Embedded Signature Assessments (ESAs) form the local component of the PACT assessment system alongside the Teaching Event, which is standardized across programs. ESAs offer programs an opportunity to reflect their local program emphases and values. Programs have the option to develop ESAs or to just use the Teaching Event as their Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA).
ESAs were envisioned as being embedded into one or more courses. Many programs identified what they considered to be major key assignments within their program, and developed them into ESAs. UC-San Diego developed a new ESA focusing on the social environment of the classroom, which collects evidence over time across several courses. Other examples of ESAs embedded within a single course include a community study, an observation of classroom management, a child case study, or a curriculum unit. Some of these (e.g., curriculum unit) focus on similar areas of teaching as the Teaching Event, while others (e.g., community study) focus on areas that are not addressed in any depth in the Teaching Event.
The difference between ESAs and many classroom assignments is that the ESAs have more formalized scoring criteria that are used by more than one person. If they are to be used to compensate for failing scores on the Teaching Event, however, then they will need to demonstrate the same rigorous psychometric properties, e.g., inter-rater reliability.
Many longtime institutions in PACT have developed ESAs, including formal scoring criteria, and are piloting them and analyzing scores. The longterm goal of PACT is to add ESAs as an optional component of the complete Teaching Performance Assessment package.