NSF-funded virtual PD to Support Development of MS and HS Science Assessments in Rural Communities
Our research team at the University of Colorado Boulder and BSCS Science Learning has developed an online professional learning course that will support rural science teachers to improve their classroom instruction and assessment practices. Participating teachers will have the opportunity to take the course and provide feedback.
In this course, teachers will co-develop a vision for meaningful science teaching and learning that involves students using disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts to explain phenomena or solve problems that are important to students and their communities and support student identities in science. Teachers will explore how the Next Generation Science Standards, Colorado Academic Standards of Science (2020), and Nebraska’s College and Career Ready Standards for Science (2017) can provide guidance for designing 5D instruction and assessment opportunities. Teachers will identify phenomena that provide compelling contexts for students to develop and demonstrate their understanding and develop an assessment that embodies our vision of meaningful science learning. Throughout the course, teachers will learn alongside and from their peers who teach in similar contexts.
What are we asking you to do?
We are conducting an experiment to assess how well this course helps teachers. We are looking for teachers who currently teach science to students in middle or high school in rural/mountain areas in Colorado and Nebraska. In addition to completing the online course, we will ask you to take part in a variety of data collection activities related to the course before, during, and after the course. All participation will take place virtually.
Data collection activities include surveys, classroom observations, science assessment tasks, reflections, and interviews. You will be asked to share your ideas about science instruction and assessment, record several of your science lessons, allow the researchers to access the assignments and science assessment tasks you create as part of the course, and provide reflections and feedback related to the course.
You have a 50-50 chance of being chosen to take the course as either Group A or Group B.
- Course Group A will take the course during Fall 2022 and Course Group B can take the course during Spring 2023. You will not have a choice about the group you are assigned: it will be decided at random (i.e., flip of the coin).
All participants, regardless of when you will be completing the course, will engage in some data collection activities during Spring 2022 and Winter 2023.
All teachers will be compensated the same regardless of which group you are assigned. Course Group B teachers are not obligated to take the course when offered during Spring 2023. The dates for Course Group B will be decided to best meet the needs of participating teachers.
How much of my time will the project take?
The online course is expected to require approximately 25 hours of your time over a semester (about 3 hours per week) and approximately 10 hours of time outside of class. Data collection activities will take place in the context of your normal teaching. Additional tasks may take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete, such as uploading artifacts (not including the activities that are part of the course itself).
Will I be compensated for my time?
We will pay you $1600 for your participation in the study. You will be paid after submitting your second round of data collection at the end of Winter 2023 and before Course Group B begins.
You will receive documentation of your time to satisfy state professional learning requirements. You may also use completed coursework to satisfy requirements as part of CU Boulder’s Masters in Teacher Leadership program.
Who are the researchers?
A team of researchers from University of Colorado Boulder and BSCS Science Learning received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop this professional learning course for science teachers. Bill Penuel, the Principal Investigator, is a professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development at University of Colorado Boulder. Abe Lo, the Co-Principal Investigator, is a Science Educator at BSCS Science Learning and will be facilitating the course.
Do I have to participate?
Your participation is entirely voluntary and not required by your state, BOCES, ESU, district or school. You can decide whether to participate, and you can end your participation at any time.
Please complete this form to indicate your interest in participating in the study:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5D_Course. We will hold informational meetings (via Zoom) with interested teachers to provide additional information and address questions or concerns.
What if I have questions?
Please feel free to contact Lisa Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or would like more information.