Working with Middle School Science Teachers to Design and Implement an Interactive Data Dashboard

This project will work with middle school science teachers to design and evaluate a set of data management tools that will be embedded in a web-based science curriculum. The project helps middle school science teachers monitor their students' progress, plan lessons, and reflect on their lessons. This project will identify characteristics of data management tools that are more likely to be used effectively by teachers and have a positive impact on science teaching and learning.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1417705
Funding Period: 
August 1, 2014 to July 31, 2017
Full Description: 

The William Marsh Rice University project will work with middle school science teachers to design, field-test, refine, and evaluate a set of data management tools that will be embedded in a web-based science curriculum. The project helps middle school science teachers monitor their students' progress, plan lessons, and reflect on their lessons. The project consists of three primary phases: first, the researchers will work with teachers to develop an initial set of data tools; second, teachers will test these tools in their classroom to verify that they are feasible and usable; and third, a pilot study will be conducted to examine how the tools are implemented in the classroom and an external evaluation will determine the early impact of the tools. As part of this study, the research team will work with 125 middle school science teachers across three different school districts. Ultimately, the findings from this project will identify characteristics of data management tools that are more likely to be used effectively by teachers and have a positive impact on science teaching and learning.

The project is employing a mixed methods design. Through design-based research, this project will help fill the need for research-based and teacher-driven design of online student management systems. During the first two years of the study, work will alternate between design/development and data collection, allowing the research team to collect and then incorporate teacher feedback into the tools' design. During these first two years, data will be collected through teacher surveys, interviews, and observations. The culmination of the project will be a one-year pilot, which will allow the research team to study the implementation of the final tools, and an independent evaluator from the University of Houston to evaluate the early impact of the tools on teaching practices and student achievement. The development and research proposed in this project will benefit teachers and students throughout the United States by improving what data teachers see about their students' progress in science and their own use of the curriculum.

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