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Glossary of Terms

Abstract. A brief summary that highlights the most significant aspects of the project, including the title of the project, the purpose or goals of the project, a brief description of the product, and a brief description of the project's relation to the TEKS.

Appropriate audience. The spectators, listeners, or readers of a student's final product. Members of the audience may include professionals with experience in the field of study or related fields of study and students with an interest in the field of study.

Assessment system. The integrated components needed to implement a large-scale, complex performance assessment. Components include guidelines for student project development, scoring scale, exemplars of various levels of performance, professional development for teachers, and training for reviewers. The assessment system is built on documentation of decisions made in the development of the system and evidence of reliability and fairness.

Criteria. Statements of the knowledge and skills that are expected of students completing and receiving services for gifted/talented students.

Dimensions. The basis of the criteria; important ideas that the TPSP addresses.

Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP) Original Research/Project. One of the advanced measures that may be used for the Distinguished Achievement Program for high school graduation in Texas. Students undertaking the DAP original research/project may use the guidelines for this project. A panel of professionals in the area of study needs to review the student project for the student to obtain DAP credit.

Documentation. A record of the steps that students undertake to develop the final product and complete the planned experience. The documentation may consist of items such as field notes, early drafts of literary works, and transcriptions of interviews that highlight significant insights or turning points in the student's thinking and subsequent work.

Exit-level standards. Statements of the knowledge and skills that are expected of students completing their K-12 education who have received gifted/talented services. Typically, students demonstrating the levels of accomplishment in this project are in grades 11 and 12.

Final product. The final product is the tangible end result of the student's TPSP project. The final product provides students with opportunities to synthesize learning, apply knowledge to a novel situation, and provide an advanced, high-quality demonstration of the student's knowledge and skills.

Mentor. A person with expertise in the student's area of inquiry who works closely with the student on the project. The mentor may be a teacher who is not the project teacher, a university professor, or a professional from the field. The mentor provides the student with background information and research guidance, maintains regular contact with the student, and provides subject-specific advice to the student.

Peer assessment. Evaluation and feedback provided to a student by other students who are also project participants.

Phase I. See planned experience.

Phase II. See final project.

Planned experience. TEKS-based curricular and instructional guidance for teachers, including suggested activities designed to give students an opportunity to experience discipline-based research.

Primary sources. Original records, such as letters, diaries, or photographs, that document personal experiences.

Process record. Documentation of the steps the student undertakes to develop the final product and complete the project. The process record may consist of items such as field notes, early drafts of literary works, and audiotapes of interviews. The process record highlights significant insights or turning points in the student's thinking and subsequent work.

Product. The final product is the tangible end result of the student's TPSP project. The final product takes a form that is appropriate for the field of study and that conveys the knowledge and skills learned in the project.

Project. The student's entire TPSP experience from start to end, including the documentation and the final product. The long-term and comprehensive development of a question or idea that is significant to professionals in the specified field of study.

Proposal. A student's submission of a topic, work plan, budget, list of required resources, and rationale for the teacher's consideration.

Public presentation. An opportunity for students to share their learning with an audience knowledgeable about or interested in the field of study. A brief introduction to the project and product is followed by a question-and-answer period.

Secondary sources. Resource materials, such as written records or books, that supply information derived from primary or original records.

Self-assessment. Each student's final evaluation of his/her project.

State standards for gifted/talented students. Expectations for student performance articulated in the assessment rubrics for this project. Though based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in English language arts and reading, mathematics, social studies, and science, the performance standards for this project extend beyond the TEKS. The statewide standards represent high, rigorous levels of knowledge and skill that can be expected of students who receive gifted/talented services.

Student project. The student's entire TPSP experience from start to end, including the documentation and the final product.

Task. A comprehensive set of planned experiences that result in a final, student-developed product. Though tasks focus on the core areas of reading/language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science, they are interdisciplinary in nature.

Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP). An assessment system and statewide standards for gifted/talented students at all grade levels.

Topic. The question or area of study that is the focus of the project. The topic is narrow enough in scope to allow for an in-depth, original study utilizing some degree of primary sources and analysis.

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