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Your Faculty for this Course

Raychelle Harris, Ph.D.

ASL 750: Assessing Sign Language Skills (3)
Syllabus - Summer 2015
Online: May 18 - June 10
Onsite: July 6 - 17, Mondays through Fridays,
from 8:30 to 12 pm or 1:30 - 5 pm
(See sidebar <— for more details, including deadlines to drop/withdraw from this course)

Contact me via my
Gallaudet e-mail for:
Gallaudet IM,
or FaceTime.
Etiquette rules apply
(See #8 on the last page of this
Online: Contact me between
9 to 4 pm EST during
weekdays. Other days/times by
appointment only.
Onsite: I’ll be in the
classroom from 8 am to 6 pm.
After hours, see above contact
Teacher Assistant:
Tim Riker
Need to Drop This Class?
100% refund: May 11
50% refund: May 17
No refund: May 18
WD grade: May 29

This course examines factors involved in developing and administering an
assessment of Sign Language students’ linguistic proficiency and sociocultural competence.  Topics include the role and function of assessment,
assessment validity, assessment reliability, the use of measurement
instruments, current approaches to assessing language learning, and an
analysis of current tools for testing Sign Language skills and knowledge. 
Students will develop samples of assessment tools.
Prerequisite: Matriculation in the MA program in Sign Language Education or permission of the
program coordinator.

Graduates from the MA program in Sign Language Education will:
1) Demonstrate theoretical knowledge and display competence in
classroom settings regarding methodological and socio-political issues
involved in sign language teaching, curriculum development and assessment;
2) Produce graduate level Sign Language and English texts that demonstrate
knowledge of and critical inquiry into key concepts in the sign language
teaching field;
3) Recognize the importance of the Sign Language teacher as a system
change agent and apply this in practice utilizing effective leadership, advocacy,
consultation, and collaboration to influence change on the individual, group,
and organizational and systemic levels; and
4) Demonstrate preparedness to seek and obtain employment as a teaching
professional in the field of sign language education.

WP/WF grade: July 17
See link for more details
(We are categorized as 9w1)
ASL 750: Assessing Sign Language Skills

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Program Outcomes
Course Student Learning

Student Learning




Assessment Method

After completing this course,
students will be able to…

Articulate application of
assessment concepts to
different contexts in sign
language education field

-Online/Onsite discussion
-Unit Plan Project

-Discussion rubric
-Assignment rubric
-Unit Plan Project



Demonstrate ability to
select and produce
assessment instruments for
different types of sign
language curricula and

-Online/Onsite discussion
-Unit Plan Project

-Discussion rubric
-Assignment rubric
-Unit Plan Project



Critically synthesize role of
different assessment types
aligned with curricular
design and program goals

-Online/Onsite discussion
-Unit Plan Project

-Discussion rubric
-Assignment rubric
-Unit Plan Project







ASL 750: Assessing Sign Language Skills course is a non-traditional 3-credit bearing experience course,
which requires a minimum of 112.5 hours of course work.
Academic Activity


Online/Onsite Participation








Unit Plan Project



123+ hours

ASL 750: Assessing Sign Language Skills

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Percent Range
97.6 - 100






89.6 - 93.5



87.6 - 89.5




2.7 Unsatisfactory

79.6 - 83.5



77.6 - 79.5



73.6 - 77.5


0.0 Failing, No Credit

73.5 or below


0.0 Academic Integrity Policy Violation, No Credit


93.6 - 97.5

83.6 - 87.5

Note: The grade average you see in your course grading center at the end of the course will translate into the
letter grades above. No end-of-course requests or negotiations for grading alterations, rounding-off or extra
credit will be responded to. Strive to do your best on each assignment. A B- grade or below indicates you
have performed unsatisfactorily in the course, and this puts you on academic probation and possibly academic
dismissal from the program. A B- or below indicates automatic retake of the course, that is, if you are not
dismissed from the program.
The grading system for graduate students can be found in the graduate catalog here.
Incomplete Grade Disclaimer:
A grade of Incomplete [I] is given only when student performance in a course has been satisfactory, but
the student is unable to complete the requirements of the course. The decision to give a grade of I is
made by the instructor with approval from the coordinator, and only reserved for extraordinary
circumstances (hospitalization or death in family). A student must be passing the course and have no
more than 25% of the course requirements remaining before the possibility of an incomplete will be
considered. To be eligible for credit in a course which an I is recorded, students must complete the
requirements of the course by the end of the final day of classes of the following semester or a date
agreed up on in writing with the instructor; otherwise, the grade will automatically become an F. The
student and instructor must provide Registrar’s Office with written notification of the agreed upon
date before the time limit indicated above.
For all other questions, concerns, grievances or disputes that are not covered in this syllabus, please refer to
the current University Graduate Catalog.

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Methods ofSign Language Teachin
Brown, H. D. & Abeywickrama, P. (2010). Language assessment: Principles and
classroom practice. White Plains, NY: Pearson.
ISBN-10: 0138149313 | ISBN-13: 978-0138149314 | Edition: 2


We’ll cover Chapters 1-6, 11-12 in this book. Chapters 7-10 include nifty activities as you work on
your unit plan.

McKee, D., Rosen, R. & McKee, R. (2014). Teaching and learning signed languages:
International perspectives and practices. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
ISBN-13: 978-1137312488 ISBN-10: 1137312483

Section IV: Assessment; Chapter 11 will be covered in this course.

Brown, H. D. (2007). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language
pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Pearson.
ISBN-10: 0136127118 | ISBN-13: 978-0136127116 | Edition: 3

Chapters 23 and 24 in this book are scanned and posted on Bb.

Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers. New York: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN-13: 978-0521484954 ISBN-10: 0521484952 Edition: 2nd

Chapters 1, 3-8, 13-15 in this book are scanned and posted on Bb.

Rosen, R. (2015). Learning American sign language in high school: Motivation, strategies, and
achievement. Washington, DC: Gallaudet Press.
ISBN 978-1-56368-642-9; E-Book ISBN 978-1-56368-643-6

Book is currently not available until mid-June from publisher. Instructor will email class as to when the book
is ready and which chapters will be covered in this course, if any.

Note: We will frequently have opportunities to do hands-on work in our onsite classes. Bringing your
preferred devices highly recommended (e.g. laptop, iPad). During class discussions, please refrain from
having your devices block your signing space. Putting these devices away during discussions increases
the visual nature of classroom discussion.
*Instructor reserves the right to add new viewings and readings to course as the course progresses in
order to support spontaneous learning and direction of inquiry taken by the course participants.

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Unit Plan Project



Total: 100%

*Details for each assignment above are discussed below.
Assignments are varied and differ in their degree of difficulty. They also vary in which language they will be in,
ASL or English- or both. The faculty of this course reserves the right to add (or deduct) assignments to the
syllabus as the course progresses, in order to leave room for student-inspired directions the course will take.
Since no assignment is similar in this category, a broad rubric will be used to assess your submission. The
rubric can be found in the appendix.
Students are to complete online, open-book quizzes during the online portion of this course by the deadline
indicated on Blackboard. Quizzes will be based on assigned readings, class lectures and class discussions. Quiz
format varies, some will be multiple choice and/or short answer, and some are posed in ASL or in English or
require ASL or English responses.
The midterm will be a combination of some of your previous assignments and quizzes. Class lectures, course
readings and course discussions will also be incorporated in the midterm. Your midterm will be closed-book
and taken during class on your laptops and computers. Please leave all of your notes, books, and study
materials in your bags. You are also asked not to use any other applications/software on the computer except
to log in Blackboard to complete the midterm. The faculty of this course will be available to answer any
questions during the exam. This will be your opportunity to show what know, what you’ve learned, and to
You are to sign up for one unit during the first week of the onsite course. This unit will be the same unit you’ll
also work on in ASL 743 course with Dr. Radford. You’ll work mostly on unit and lesson planning with Dr.
Radford. In this course, you’ll be supplementing your lesson plan with informal and formal assessment tools
and techniques, including, but not limited to in-class assessment, assignments, and a quiz. You are to post your
final unit plan project on a program-specific website under your unit tab. Instructions on how to access will be
given during the first week of onsite class.
Your unit plans can be used:
1) in your application for ASLTA certification;
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2) in your web portfolio you’ll be designing for the ASL 795 course;
3) for jobs you’ll be applying to in the future; and
4) for your own ASL classes, workshops, weekend retreats, camps and more!
And this experience will help you see how developing a full ASL curriculum is a daunting task, and help
you appreciate the (limited amount of) curricula currently on market. Maybe this experience will also
inspire you to author your own ASL curricula and/or resource to add to the current market. Finally,
since we are all sharing our unit plans on the MASLED website, if you are to borrow ideas, activities,
assignments or quizzes from other units, please honor your colleagues’ work by asking for permission
(yes, each time!), and crediting them when given permission. If you are to alter or add to their original
work, please share your work with the original author as a token of appreciation. This is a truly a very
essential practice as an ethical, moral ASL professional and this positive action will contribute to a
vibrant, healthy ASL pedagogical community.
1. Attendance: Onsite attendance and participation will not be graded, however, since this is an intensive and
condensed course, no unexcused late arrivals/early departures or absences will be tolerated. The
faculty of this course reserves the right to apply deductions to your final grade (e.g. 1 hour absence = 2
point deduction from the final grade). Excused absences are rarely approved unless it is a true
emergency (e.g. hospitalization and/or death of immediate family members). Your classmates and I
appreciate your presence in class and learning about your thoughts and contributions to class
2. Assignments: All assignments are to be submitted via Blackboard. Online: I am more than happy to
respond to questions during the week, however, I will not respond to last-minute questions about your
assignments during the weekends before the due date on Sunday at 11:59 pm. Onsite: Tutors and TAs
are available during the evenings and weekends to assist and answer any questions you may have.
3. Student Responsibilities:  Students are expected to actively participate by participating online discussions,
attending class and completing assigned activities, participate in class discussions, serve in groups,
complete assignments on time, respect diverse perspectives and opinions, and support opinions and
answers with reasons, explanations and documentation from a variety of sources.
4. Graduate Program Etiquette:  Basic etiquette includes turning off external electronic devices that may
interfere with class participation. Arrive on time for class, stay the entire period, and avoid behavior
that interferes with the concentration and learning of other students. Attention should be given to the
instructor, guest speakers, and fellow students.
5. Deadlines:  Assignments are due before class. Assignments not submitted before class will receive a zero,
period. Graded work is final. No make-ups or extra credit. Strive to do your very best.
6. Peer Network:  Each student is responsible for getting access to and understanding what is expected of
each assignment.  Please form a network with your peers.  If you need information about assignments
or class schedule, go to your course Blackboard and ask other classmates to learn about what you

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7. Submissions: I will accept the submissions in the following format: .pages, .docx, .pptx, and .key. I will also
accept .pdf submissions. Please be aware that .pptx, .key and .pdf do not allow for the same level of
feedback I can give via the tracking and comment function available in .pages and .docx
8. Academic ASL/English:  We will communicate using academic ASL/English, which is a specialized type of
discourse for academic settings.  Use only academic ASL/English in classroom and during video
assignments throughout the course. Professional academic discourse requires giving credit to original
authors for their ideas, so citations and references are required, both in ASL and English. The citation
and reference format required for assignments in English is American Psychological Association (APA)
format.  Using written ASL terms in your typed/written work or English-based signing in your video
work is not acceptable.
9. Communication: I welcome emails, Glides, GoogleIMs/videos, text/videos sent to me via iMessage, calls via
FaceTime, but will not accept or respond to excessively colloquial register choices in either language.
This is your opportunity to practice ASL and English in academic settings, on a consistent basis.
10. Editing ASL/English works: You are strongly encouraged to edit your ASL/English assignments.  Feel free to
meet with your instructor or visit program-provided tutors/consultants to get the feedback as often as
needed to produce the very best work possible.  Unedited work will be graded accordingly. I reserve
the right to return heavily unedited work for a zero.
11. Technology:  This is a paper-free classroom.  All assignments are to be posted on Blackboard or as
instructed. The Gallaudet Technology Services staff can assist you with technical issues throughout the
course or you can visit for assistance.  You are to upload all of your
assignments to Blackboard including links to videos. For large files, upload them to GoogleDrive or
DropBox, and share links via Blackboard with my Gallaudet e-mail address. DVDs, thumb drives, CDs,
external HDs or any other format will not be accepted.
This policy applies to both ASL and English.
Students who need special services or accommodations should contact the Office for Students with
Disabilities (OSWD), located in SAC Room 1022.
*Disclaimer: This syllabus is tentative and may be subject to change if circumstances require it.
Changes if any, will be announced via Blackboard announcement feature.

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