Educational Technology

Invigorating Statistics Teacher Education Through Professional Online Learning (InSTEP)

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InSTEP is developing an online personalized professional learning platform to support teachers' growth in providing students learning opportunities in statistics and data science using key practices and processes with data. We are creating a scalable, accessible, and flexible approach aligned with research-based principles of effective professional learning. We use design principles for online teacher learning, and our materials are based on research on students' and teachers' learning in statistics and data science education.

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Developing Teachers' Epistemic Cognition and Teaching Practices for Supporting Students' Epistemic Practices with Scientific Systems

Principal Investigator: 

This project aims to investigate needs and challenges in developing an informed public able to evaluate empirical evidence generated from scientific activities. This includes understanding teachers' epistemic goals and practices and how to provide professional development (PD) to improve instruction. The resulting instruction will offer new affordances to advance students' and teachers' learning.

Co-PI(s): Clark Chinn, Rutgers University

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Design and Development of a K-12 STEM Observation Protocol (Collaborative Research: Dare, Ring-Whalen, and Roehrig)

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The purpose of this project is the design and development of a K-12 classroom observation protocol for integrated STEM instruction (STEM-OP). Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, the STEM-OP will be a valid and reliable instrument for use in a variety of educational contexts. The STEM-OP and associated training materials will be available for use by education stakeholders, (e.g., K-12 teachers and district administrators), through a publicly available online platform.

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Transforming Scientific Practices to Promote Students Interest and Motivation in the Life Sciences: A Teacher Leadership Development Intervention

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How Do Teacher Leaders Transform Scientific Practices to Promote Students Interest and Motivation in STEM? Formal and informal K-12+ educators learn to employ strategies of community mapping, curricular mapping and place-based, culturally sustaining pedagogy to write, teach, and evaluate NGSS lessons that engage underrepresented students in mathematics, life, earth, and physical sciences. Two case studies highlight how educators apply these strategies to intersect three domains: experiential/place-based learning, culturally sustaining learning, and disciplinary learning .

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Teaching STEM with Robotics: Design, Development, and Testing of a Research-based Professional Development Program for Teachers

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To lower the barriers in STEM disciplines for students, using evidence-based research, we designed and conducted a professional development program that built middle school teachers' capacity to use hands-on robotics and engineering design as the curriculum focus. Through summer workshops, teachers learned to: build and program LEGO robots; create and implement standards-aligned robotics-based STEM lessons; and develop, practice, and examine optimal pedagogical approaches for STEM learning using robotics.
 

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A Practice-Based Online Learning Environment for Scientific Inquiry with Digitized Museum Collections in Middle School Classrooms

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EPIC Bioscience engages middle school students in authentic scientific practices via NGSS-aligned investigations of museum specimens. Students complete interactive activities to build prior knowledge and context, then use digitized specimens to collect and analyze relevant data. Findings are applied to pressing global issues such as biodiversity loss, geographic range changes in populations, and diminishing resources. Key challenges in the development of online, specimen-based science investigations are addressed using example interactions and analyses from EPIC investigations.

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Supporting Science Learning and Teaching in Middle School Classrooms through Automated Analysis of Students' Writing (Collaborative Research: Passonneau and Puntambekar)

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This project will design a sociotechnical system to automatically assess students written scientific explanations during science problem solving. The project will use two complementary mechanisms to provide feedback: automated assessment and feedback to students’ science explanations using using NLP techniques, and feedback to teachers provided through aggregated data about students’ writing generated by the system.
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Professional Development Supports for Teaching Bioinformatics through Mobile Learning

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Bioinformatics is an emerging area of research that develops new knowledge through computational analysis of vast biological data. This project investigates the professional development (PD) supports needed for teaching bioinformatics at the high school. Building from a robust literature in PD design research, project team worked with science teachers to co-design instructional modules to engage students with core bioinformatics concepts and data literacies, by focusing on local community health issues supported through mobile learning activities.
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PBS News Hour Student Reporting Labs StoryMaker: STEM-Integrated Student Journalism

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Sneak peek at StoryMaker, a video storytelling platform /educator co-learning community supporting students to produce videos about STEM projects.
PI: Leah Clapman, PBS NewsHour
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Online Practice Suite: Practice Spaces, Simulations and Virtual Reality Environments for Preservice Teachers to Learn to Facilitate Argumentation Discussions in Math and Science

Principal Investigator: 

This poster provides an overview of our three-year project where researchers are using a design-based research approach to develop, pilot, and refine a set of coordinated and complementary practice-based activities that teacher education programs can deploy to provide practice-based learning opportunities for preservice teachers. The goal is to help the preservice teachers to engage in authentic, purposeful, and scaffolded approximations of practice as they develop their ability to facilitate argumentation-focused discussions in mathematics and science.

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