Certifications

It is the intent of QTII to offer "Effectiveness Certifications" for teachers, for courses, for departments, for schools, and for textbooks.

We envision certifications at the following levels:

  1. Defining the WHAT: Objectives for Effective Teaching
  2. Defining the HOW: Classroom Techniques for Effective Teaching
  3. Test Construction
  4. Win Their Hearts, Win Their Minds: Student Affective Development
  5. Curriculum Development (Not for individuals)
  6. Counseling and Advising (Not for textbooks) 

Certifications at Levels 1 through 3 should be available by the spring of 2004, and level 4 in the spring of 2005.

EXAMPLE:  The following is a preview of the certification standards being contemplated for Level 1, "Defining the WHAT."

To qualify for a QTII Effectiveness Certificate in Level 1, "Defining the WHAT," a teacher, course, school, or textbook must meet the following conditions:

I. Individual Teacher Certification in "Defining the WHAT: Objective-Based Planning, Teaching, and Assessment (OBPTA)."

To qualify as a QTII OBPTA Certified Instructor, a teacher must attain 90% or better in each element of the QTII Teacher OBPTA Certification Specification. Yes, 90% might seem high, but this is not a grey-area issue. Either you know the material or you donít. Either you use the correct techniques or you donít. A teacher who uses correct techniques 70% of the time and incorrect techniques 30% of the time is still an ineffective teacher.

 To qualify as a QTII OBPTA Gold-Certified Instructor, a teacher must attain 100% in all elements of the QTII Teacher OBPTA Certification Specification.

 The QTII Teacher OBPTA Certification Specification contains the following elements.

 1.  OBJECTIVES.

Synthesis-Level Competency. A QTII OBPTA Certified teacher must demonstrate the ability to construct an effective chain of objectives for all competencies in a course, and must be able to effectively critique ineffective objectives.

Existence: For each course taught, the teacher must have cognitive objectives to include at least terminal level learning objectives and their associated behavioral objectives, and lesson objectives. For at least one course, but ideally for all courses, the teacher must have a course objective, deconstructed learning objectives in a hierarchical structure down through the terminal objective level, behavioral objectives, criterion objectives, and lesson objectives. If the course is psychomotor oriented, the teacher may substitute psychomotor objectives for some or all of the cognitive objectives as needed. The teacher may also have appropriate affective objectives.

Construction: Each objective must be constructed properly, in accordance with all attributes of effective objectives.

Consistency: The objectives for each course must be consistent in their levels of learning, with appropriate behaviors specified for the corresponding levels of learning in each learning domain.

Dissemination: At a minimum, the teachers must disseminate to students the behavioral objectives for the cognitive and/or psychomotor domains. Teachers may also publish the learning and criterion objectives for the course. They should not publish the affective objectives.

2.  TEST QUESTIONS

Synthesis-Level Competency: A QTII OBPTA Certified teacher must demonstrate the ability to construct valid and effective multiple-choice test questions, appropriate to the objectives of the course.

Validity: All test questions must relate directly to a behavioral objective and a criterion objective. All test questions must test only one behavioral objective except where specified as necessary to test multiple objectives in one question. No test question may test a level of learning higher than that specified in the associated learning objective.

Rationales: Each test question must provide in its answer key a reference and rationale for why the correct answer is correct, and why the distractors (in multiple choice questions) are incorrect. 

Comprehensiveness: There should be at least one test question for each learning objective, preferably one for each behavioral objective. At least one test question for each learning objective must test the highest level of learning specified for that objective.

Construction: All test questions must be free of test construction errors, in accordance with the QTII Test Construction Standards.

3.  LESSON PLANS

Synthesis-Level Competency: A QTII OBPTA Certified teacher must demonstrate the ability to construct proper lesson plans for all lessons of each course taught.

Existence: There must be some sort of lesson plan for each lesson (class session) taught. There should be a detailed lesson plan for the first lesson in each major topic; subsequent lesson plans within that topic may be less detailed.

Objectives: Each lesson plan must contain specific lesson objectives, directly related to the learning and behavioral objectives for the course. All lesson plans and lesson objectives, in aggregate, must cover all the learning objectives of the course.

Annotation: Although annotation is not required, there should be room in each lesson plan for instructor teaching notes.

Time Structure: Time schedules must be designated for each lesson plan. Time allocated to each lesson and learning objective must be appropriate to the level of learning attainment sought.

Accomplishment Log: Teachers must demonstrate for each session of each class taught how they track which objectives have been accomplished and which are yet to be covered.

Initial teacher OBPTA certification is valid for a period of four years. Feedback plans are all that is required in the FEEDBACK element for initial certification. Subsequent certifications will examine receipt and use of actual feedback. A second or subsequent certification that qualifies at the gold level is valid for eight years. A third consecutive gold certification is valid for life.

II.  Individual Course Objective-Based Planning, Teaching, and Assessment Certification

To qualify as a QTII OBPTA Certified Course, a course must attain 90% or better in each element of the QTII OBPTA Course Certification Specification.

To qualify as a QTII OBPTA Gold-Certified Course, a course must attain 100% in all elements of the QTII Course Certification Specification.

The QTII OBPTA Course Certification Specification contains the following elements.

 1.  OBJECTIVES.

Existence: The course must have cognitive objectives to include at least terminal level learning objectives and their associated behavioral objectives, and lesson objectives. Ideally, the course will have a course objective, deconstructed learning objectives in a hierarchical structure down through the terminal objective level, behavioral objectives, criterion objectives, and lesson objectives. If the course is psychomotor oriented, there may be psychomotor objectives substituted for some or all of the cognitive objectives as needed. There may also be appropriate affective objectives.

Construction: Each objective must be constructed properly, in accordance with all attributes of effective objectives.

Consistency: The objectives for each course must be consistent in their levels of learning, with appropriate behaviors specified for the corresponding levels of learning in each learning domain.

Dissemination: At a minimum, the behavioral objectives for the cognitive and/or psychomotor domains must be disseminated to the students. Ideally, the entire tree of objectives for the course will be published. Affective objectives should not be published.

2.  LESSON PLAN

Existence: There must be some sort of lesson plan for each lesson (class session) taught for the course. There should be a detailed lesson plan for the first lesson in each major topic; subsequent lesson plans within that topic may be less detailed.

Objectives: Each lesson plan must contain specific lesson objectives, directly related to the learning and behavioral objectives for the course. All lesson plans and lesson objectives, in aggregate, must cover all the learning objectives of the course.

Annotation: Although annotation is not required, there should be room in each lesson plan for instructor teaching notes.

Time Structure: Time schedules must be designated for each lesson plan. Time allocated to each lesson and learning objective must be appropriate to the level of learning attainment sought.

3.  TEST QUESTIONS

Validity: All test questions must relate directly to a behavioral objective and a criterion objective. All test questions must test only one behavioral objective except where specified as necessary to test multiple objectives in one question. No test question may test a level of learning higher than that specified in the associated learning objective.

Rationales: Each test question must provide in its answer key a reference and rationale for why the correct answer is correct, and why the distractors (in multiple choice questions) are incorrect. 

Comprehensiveness: There should be at least one test question for each learning objective, preferably one for each behavioral objective. At least one test question for each learning objective must test the highest level of learning specified for that objective.

Construction: All test questions must be free of test construction errors, in accordance with the QTII Test Construction Standards.

Once a course is QTII OBPTA-Certified, it may be taught by any QTII OBPTA-Certified teacher without requiring re-certification, as long as other accreditation requirements are also met.

In order for a course to be QTII OBPTA-Certified, all sections of the course must be taught following the certified course lesson plan, regardless of whether the instructor is QTII Certified.

 Initial course certification is valid for a period of four years. Feedback plans are all that is required for initial certification. Subsequent certifications will examine receipt and use of actual feedback. A second or subsequent certification that qualifies at the gold level is valid for eight years.

III.  Department and School Objective-Based Planning, Teaching, and Assessment Certification

To receive Organizational QTII OBPTA Certification, a Department, School, or Training Unit must have a minimum of 80% of its courses and teachers QTII OBPTA certified, with all of the remainder undergoing the certification process.  A QTII Department or School OBPTA Certification is valid for a period of four years.

 A QTII OBPTA Gold Certified organization will have 100% of its courses QTII OBPTA Certified, all instructors with more than one year experience will be QTII OBPTA certified, and all teachers with less than one year experience will be either QTII OBPTA certified or in a training program to attain QTII OBPTA certification. A QTII Department or School OBPTA Gold Certification is valid for a period of eight years.

IV.  Textbook Objective-Based Planning, Teaching, and Assessment Certification

To receive QTII Textbook OBPTA Certification, a prospective textbook must attain 90% or better in each element of the QTII Textbook OBPTA Certification Specification. To qualify as a QTII OBPTA Gold-Certified Textbook, a textbook must attain 100% in all elements of the specification.

 The QTII Textbook OBPTA Specification exemplifies what we know about what makes a textbook a prime learning resource. The specification will evolve as we learn more about what makes a book good and what makes it hard to use. The specification contains the following elements:

 1.  OBJECTIVES.

Existence: A QTII OBPTA Certified Textbook must have cognitive objectives to include a book objective (analogous to a course objective), learning objectives, behavioral objectives, criterion objectives, and lesson objectives. If the book is psychomotor oriented, psychomotor objectives may be substituted for some or all of the cognitive objectives as needed. There may also be appropriate affective objectives.

Construction: Each objective must be constructed properly, in accordance with all attributes of effective objectives.

Consistency: The objectives for the book and for each chapter and subtopic (where applicable) in the book must be consistent in their subject matter and levels of learning, with appropriate behaviors specified for the corresponding levels of learning in each learning domain.

Dissemination: At a minimum, the student edition of the book must publish all applicable behavioral objectives for the cognitive and/or psychomotor domains. Learning and criterion objectives for the book may also be published. Affective objectives should be published only in the teacher edition, never in the student edition.

2.  PREREQUISITES

Existence: Any text should specify what existing knowledge is required in order to effectively learn the material presented therein. These specifications should include terminology, definitions, concepts, abilities, and other required learning for each topic necessary as a foundation for learning the new material. Each prerequisite topic should also specify a level of learning necessary for that topic. 

      For example, the text could include, in the introductory section, a segment entitled Prerequisites, with such wording as, "To most effectively learn the material in this text, the reader or student should have already mastered the following:" following which would be a list of topics, with perhaps an illustrative behavioral objective. E.g., "Managerial Accounting: Special Orders (Comprehension Level). Each student must already be able to describe how to use proper managerial accounting techniques to accept or reject a special order." 

Recommendation: At the end of the Prerequisites segment or immediately following each topic (depending on course structure), there should be recommended sources where the reader or student can attain the prerequisite knowledge. 

Optional: Prerequisite Summary Chapter: It is acceptable to dedicate the first chapter or section of the text to summarizing the prerequisite knowledge. It should be obvious to the readers, however, that this is indeed merely a summary, and as such is not intended to replace an earlier course or text on the material.

3.  CONTENT STRUCTURE

Overviews: Each chapter must contain an overview section, which in turn specifies the chapter (learning) objectives, and should also contain a description of why this material is important and how it fits into the overall course objective. It is also recommended that this section contain motivational material, such as real-life examples of how people or organizations suffered from not heeding this material, and how others benefited from knowing and using it. Finally, the overview section should preview the physical structure of the chapter, if it is in any way significantly different than the chapter objectives.

Intra-Chapter Hierarchy: The chapter should be organized to closely parallel the chapter learning objectives. If it is not, then there must be a convincing argument for the organizational method used, and that argument should have been presented in the overview section. It must be clear and obvious when the material from one learning objective or chapter segment is concluded and another begins. It is always a good idea to have smooth transitions between segments. 

Extra-Objective Call-Outs: When material is included in a chapter that is not part of the chain of objectives for that chapter, it must be segregated from the main chapter material as a call-out, and distinguished visually and by text that unmistakably identifies the material as not being part of the learning objectives for that chapter.

Summaries: Following each non-terminal learning objective segment, there must be a concise summary of the material that should have been learned. It is advisable that there be summaries also following the presentation of terminal learning objective material. The summaries should be presented so as to consolidate the material learned and demonstrate how this material fits into the hierarchy of the chapter and course material.

4.  END-OF-CHAPTER MATERIAL

Summaries: At the end of the teaching material of each chapter, there must be a summary of all material presented in the chapter, relating the material learned to the learning objectives for that chapter and to the topic of the overall textbook.

Questions: At least at the end of each chapter, but ideally following each major learning segment, there must be a series of questions, phrased to the appropriate level of learning, suitable for use as discussion questions, formative evaluation, or homework quizzes. These questions will address each terminal learning and behavioral objective, except for those objectives more appropriately addressed through problems or exercises.

Problems: There will be sufficient problems furnished where needed, whenever the terminal learning objectives and behavioral objectives are appropriate to such.

Exercises: There will be sufficient exercises furnished where needed, whenever the terminal learning objectives and behavioral objectives are appropriate to such.   

Answers to Questions, Problems, and Exercises: At least one third of the furnished questions, problems, and exercises must have answers furnished as well, along with rationales and descriptions where appropriate.

The Purpose of Questions, Problems, and Exercises: These items are included to provide sufficient topic-specific guided material to allow the students to develop their learning of the material to the specified level of learning. There must be sufficient questions, problems, and/or exercises to sufficiently address every terminal learning objective and every behavioral objective for the textbook. Higher levels of learning will require higher quantity and complexity of these items.

5.  PHYSICAL LAYOUT

Readability: (Description to be added, includes font, font size, column width, white space, and hierarchical separators.)

Exhibits, Figures, and Illustrations: (Description to be added)

In-Text Referents: (Description to be added; includes requirement to reference page number for any exhibits not on the current page.)  

6.   THE TEACHERíS EDITION   There must be a teacherís edition, separate from the standard student edition of the textbook. The teacherís edition of the textbook must contain the following in addition to the requirements for the student version:

Full Objectives: The Teacher's Edition must include the full cognitive chain of objectives tree, and it must also include affective objectives

Full Answers: The Teacher's Edition must include answers to all end-of-chapter questions, problems, and exercises. The answer section must include rationales where applicable, in-text referents, and step-by-step procedures for working out problems.

Bibliography: The Teacher's Edition must include sources where the teacher can go for more detailed or in-depth information on a given topic.

Optional - Teacher's CD or Web Reference: You may make available, either through inclusion on a CD or on a website, any technology based teaching aids, such as demo applications, PowerPointģ slides, formative test bank questions, quizzes, or other material helpful to a teacher of the material in this text. Material that is intended for teachers but not for students should be protected from general distribution and access.

7.   TEST ITEM BANKS  QTII does not recommend the inclusion of test item banks as part of a textbook. In lieu of included test item banks, QTII recommends a text publisher submit the text objectives and candidate test items (with rationales) to the QTII Objective and Test Item Bank Repositories. This will benefit both the QTII Repositories and the number of objectives and questions available for any given topic in the text.

      One of the reasons for this recommendation is that test item banks furnished with textbooks are notorious for test questions that are invalid, trivial, and rife with test construction errors. For those publishers who go to great pains to avoid these problems, thank you, and congratulations.

 

        QTII -- Establishing, Teaching, and Certifying Standards for Effective Teaching