At a Glance
At Dauphin County Technical School (DCTS) instructional coaches collaborated with CTE teachers to administer a mock NOCTI exam (MOCTI) to help students prepare for the NOCTI practical exam.
The DCTS instructional coaches designed the MOCTI activity to better prepare students for the NOCTI exam. The experience provided teachers with insight on which NOCTI tasks students needed additional support on, and they could then provide targeted and specific feedback to students prior to the NOCTI practical exam.
To do MOCTI, the instructional coaches used the Before-During-After (BDA) cycle of coaching. The teachers and coaches met before the MOCTI to review the specific tasks that would be evaluated. During the MOCTI, the students proceeded through the tasks of the NOCTI practical exam while the coach acted as a judge and evaluated the student according to the designated rubric. After the teacher reviewed the rubrics, the teacher and coach met to discuss what was observed, and the coach provided feedback to help the teacher prepare the students for the exam.
The DCTS instructional coaches found the before meeting between coach and teacher to be critical to the success of the MOCTI. During the before meeting, the CTE teachers must be explicit about what they are looking for and provide a rubric so that the coach can give as much specific feedback as possible.
The idea for MOCTI came from Pittsburgh Public Schools, and the instructional coaches adapted it to fit the needs of DCTS. MOCTI is voluntary for DCTS teachers, and in the 2017-2018 pilot year, four teachers participated. The instructional coaches plan to continue offering the MOCTI experience to teachers and students.
MOCTI benefited CTE teachers and their students. Based upon their students’ performances, the teachers could identify specific areas of strength and improvement on which to focus. The students also stated that going through MOCTI gave them realistic practice and made them less nervous for the actual NOCTI exam. The teachers that participated in the program and completed the BDA coaching cycle saw an increase in the number of students scoring advanced on the NOCTI.