Using an Online Assessment Tool to Teach Authentic Assessment to Early Childhood Teacher Candidates

Naomi L. Rahn, Leslie La Croix, Doohyun L. Shin, Meg Gravil, Ching I. Chen, Hollie Hix-Small, Samita Arora, Jennifer Grisham, Julie Harp Rutland, Zhen Chai, Ann M. Mickelson, Huichao Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early childhood teacher candidates (TCs) need preparatory experiences using authentic assessments to inform their instructional practices with rural learners and their families. The shift to virtual field placements in response to COVID-19 restrictions pushed faculty in teacher preparation programs to reimagine how to engage TCs in meaningful experiences using authentic assessments with children and families. This study explores how TCs experienced authentic assessment practices using an online assessment management system, Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming System Interactive (AEPSi), during virtual field experiences. Fifty-five undergraduate and graduate TCs from 11 universities completed a 45-item survey about their experience. Teacher candidates articulated knowledge and skills aligned with best practices underpinning authentic assessments. The virtual learning environment created opportunities for faculty to reimagine practices for promoting TCs’ understandings of assessment in early childhood special education contexts. We discuss implications for training TCs in rural areas to use authentic assessment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRural Special Education Quarterly
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2024.


  • AEPS
  • authentic assessment
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • distance learning
  • early childhood education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development


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