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Running head: Online NGSS Professional Learning for California Teachers

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY


MONTEREY BAY
Online Professional Learning for Implementation
of Next Generation Science Standards in California Schools
CAPSTONE REPORT
Submitted in partial satisfaction of requirements of the degree of
MASTER OF SCIENCE in
Instructional Science and Technology
Cynthia Sargent
December 8th, 2015

Capstone Approvals: (At least one advisor and capstone instructor should approve)
_____Dr. Nancy Lockwood____ ___________________________ _____________
Advisor Name
Signature
Date
_____Dr. Miguel Lara________ ___________________________ _____________
Capstone Instructor Name
Signature
Date

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Executive Summary.....................3
Introduction..........................................................................................................5
Background on project...........5
Problem Description..........8
Target Audience and Cont....................................................................................11
Literature Review and Environmental Scan........................................................12
Solution Description.......................................................................................................14
Goals and Objectives...........16
Proposed Solution............18
Learning Theories and Instructional Principles...........18
Media Components..........21
Challenges...............................21
Methods/Procedures..........22
Resources............24
Timeline..........25
Evaluation & Testing Report....................26
Formative Evaluation ..................26
Summative Evaluation ....................27
Appendices A-E..............................................................................................................30
References.......................................................................................................................348

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

Executive Summary
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) present many challenges for Californias
teachers, Kindergarten through 12 th grade. The standards are very different from previous science
standards in format, level of rigor, and in the practices that students and teachers engage in as
they learn and teach science. Effective implementation of NGSS hinges on teachers developing a
new pedagogical content knowledge framework to guide their planning and instruction. The
20142015 school year was intended to be an awareness year for NGSS, according to the
California Department of Education (CDE). Yet, teachers in Sutter Countythe target
audiencehave had little to no opportunity for awareness training.
As California enters the transition phase of NGSS implementation (the 20152016
school year), it is imperative that Sutter County teachers be provided professional development
opportunities that can reach all teachers in a timely fashion, moving the countys schools forward
in the implementation process. Traditional face-to-face professional development opportunities
are limited and not currently sufficient. As the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
(STEM) Professional Development Coordinator for Sutter County, the author of this report
designed the Capstone project as the start to a scalable solution for the county, providing basic
NGSS training via interactive online modules and accompanying websites that greatly increase
teachers access to professional learning.
The goals of the project were to 1) improve teachers knowledge of NGSS and their
attitudes toward science or new instructional practices, and 2) begin the process of developing or
revising teachers pedagogical framework in ways that prepare them to facilitate high-quality
science instruction in their classroom. To this end, a web-based module was developed specific
to the topic of pedagogy as it relates to the three-dimensional learning required for NGSS. The
components of this module include: two Adobe Captivate e-learning activities, a web forum
where learners discuss scenarios from the e-learning activities, and an accompanying website
that supports learners in both reviewing critical content from the e-learning activities and
extending their learning to support long-term transfer and, therefore, successful implementation
of NGSS in the classroom.
The module was designed to take a learner approximately 1.52 hours to complete,
requiring the same time investment as attending a face-to-face NGSS workshop at the county

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

office. Teachers access the module through a Google site that was also developed as part of the
Capstone project. Development of additional modules will continue in the future and will be
added to the Google site as they are completed. Thus, the Capstone project is the start of an
online community of learning for Sutter County teachers, many of which teach at very small
rural schools.
In its current form, the Capstone project delivers first-step awareness and transition
training for NGSS to teachers that need the training sooner than later to meet the implementation
timeline for the state. Results from the evaluation instruments provide evidence that the first
module is effective in meeting the goals of the project. One-hundred percent of the participants
in usability testing either agreed or strongly agreed that the e-learning activities made an impact
on their beliefs or attitudes regarding science teaching, and a pre-test and post-test comparison
showed an increase in learner knowledge following the training. Also significant is the finding
that 85.7% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that they would like to use more elearning lessons like the one they tested.
To conclude, the Capstone project verifies that online professional learning is a viable
solution for school districts as they make the transition to rigorous science standards and
effective, innovative science teaching for all students. Plans for future development (Module 2)
include working with an NSF-funded project to transform text-based case studies into interactive
scenario-based e-learning to provide teachers practice with teacher moves for the science and
engineering practices of NGSS. It is important to note that providing professional development
for NGSS via modules modeled on effective learning principles is just one step in a multi-year
implementation process. Teachers will also need to receive additional support in the form of
classroom observations and coaching, co-teaching, collaborative lesson planning, and in-person
professional development workshops that provide hands-on experiences for science concepts.

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

Introduction
Background
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have revolutionized how K-12 science
education is structured. California formally adopted the new standards as the state science
standards (Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, Grades
Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, or CA NGSS) in 2013. The previous standards had been in
place since 1998. Implementation of new standards after more than 15 years without change is a
significant adjustment for any teacher to make. It is an even greater feat to truly transform ones
teaching when new standards call for large-scale reform in lesson and unit planning and in
teaching methods, as the NGSS do.
The National Research Councils A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices,
Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (2012) initiated the reform movement, calling for science
teaching and learning to be centered around three interconnected domains: Disciplinary Core
Ideas (DCIs), Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs).
This three-dimensional vision for science education across grade levels arose from the guiding
principles for reform, including: coherence, learning progressions, deep understanding of fewer
ideas versus superficial understanding of many, integration of scientific and engineering
knowledge and practices, and a commitment to equityrigorous standards that apply to all
students. To communicate the reason for and importance of a new direction for science
education, the framework cites and summarizes important findings from research. Some of these
are described in Appendix A.
Following publication of the new national framework for science education, it was the
task of the NGSS lead states (including California) to write standards that transform the
frameworks vision into explicit expectations for student learning outcomes. The following is a
comparison of a California 5th grade standard (from 1998) and a new (NGSS) standard for the
same grade level.

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

1998 Standard

NGSS Standard (PE)

Students know
Water vapor in the air moves from
one place to another and can form
fog or clouds, which are tiny
droplets of water or ice, and can fall
to Earth as rain, hail, sleet, or snow.

Students who demonstrate understanding can


Develop a model using an example to describe
ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere,
and/or atmosphere interact.

Written as Performance Expectations (PEs) which incorporate all three dimensions


(Appendix B), rather than as fact or knowledge-based statements, the NGSS demand that
students demonstrate their understanding of science at the highest Depth of Knowledge (DOK)
levels (California Department of Education, 2015). The performance-based architecture and
three-dimensional schema of NGSS represents a huge shift in how one needs think about
academic standards and the inherent implications of these shifts for instruction. Teachers can no
longer look to the standards to get the what to teach. They now need to carefully evaluate the
foundational SEPs, DCIs, and CCCs of the performance expectations and understand these
deeplyand think about these deeplyto design effective lesson sequences. The framework
describes this shift:
The Next Generation Science Standards are student performance expectationsNOT
curriculum. Even though within each performance expectation SEPs are partnered
with a particular DCI and CCC in the NGSS, these intersections do not predetermine
how the three [dimensions] are linked in curriculum, units, or lessons. Additional
work will be needed to create coherent instructional programs that help students
achieve these standards. . . The goal of NGSS is to be clear about which practice
students are responsible for in terms of assessment, but these practices and
crosscutting concepts should occur throughout each school year (p. 1-2, Appendix A,
NGSS Lead States, 2013)
Consequently, NGSS implementation presents a significant challenge to Californias educators.
To meet this challenge, the CDE developed a plan for a gradual path toward
implementation (CDE, 2014). Strategy 1 specifies the use of professional learning opportunities
to guide teachers first through an awareness phase and then through a transition phase that grows

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teacher capabilities and paves the path to implementation. The ultimate goal is to ensure that
every student has access to teachers who are prepared to teach and facilitate student learning to
the levels of rigor and depth required by the CA NGSS (p. 19). Local education agencies
(LEAs), such as county offices of education, play an important role in realizing this goal since
LEAs are often a professional development provider for school districts as well as a source of
job-embedded support at schools to help maintain coherence between professional learning and
instruction in the classroom.
The instructional designer of the Capstone is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering,
and Math) professional development specialist for an LEAthe Sutter County Superintendent of
Schools Office. As such, my role is integral to various school district plans to help teachers
translate NGSS standards into effective classroom instruction. The online learning module and
accompanying supportive materials developed for the Capstone project will support the
awareness and transition phases of CA NGSS implementation, specifically in Sutter County, but
also potentially to a broader audience statewide.

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

Problem Description
Professional organizations, such as the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
and the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) made a concerted effort in the last year
or two to make the new standards highly visible in their conferences, journals, newsletters, blog
posts, and websites. As a result, many teachers became increasingly aware of the threedimensional, performance-based structure of the NGSS and some may have taken the time to
examine examples of lessons and classroom practice that reflect the intentions of the reformed
standards. However, the audience likely accessing the available resources, or attending
conferences is a select one. For example, in the 2013/2014 fiscal year CSTA membership was
2,502 members1, only a small fraction of the number of K-5 and middle school or high school
science teachers in the state.
Since many teachers do not opt in to personal professional learning due to cost or other
reasons, district-provided professional learning is vital to the successful implementation of
rigorous new standards. Such professional development opportunities for science have been
sorely lacking in recent years, especially at the K-5 grade levels. This trend is made evident by a
2011 study of California elementary teachers85 percent had not received science-specific
professional development in the past three years. The study also reported that more than half of
the middle school teachers surveyed indicated that a lack of professional learning was a major or
moderate challenge to implementing quality STEM education (California Department of
Education, 2014).
The statewide survey results seem reflect the experiences of Sutter County teachers as
well. At the beginning of the Capstone project I had recently acquired the job as STEM
professional development coordinator in Sutter County, and conducted an informal needs
assessment. Based on verbally surveying teachers during workshops and seeking out
conversations with both teachers and administrators in a number of school districts in Sutter
County, my initial findings were that most teachers have not received science-specific
professional development in recent years. For example, when I asked teachers in workshops to
self-rate from 1 to 4, from little NGSS knowledge to very knowledgeable, a majority of
participants selected 1 and most others were a 2. Very few rated themselves as a 3 no one was a
4. They all indicated they needed and wanted professional development for NGSS.

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As I became more knowledgeable about the schools and their programs, and spent time
on campus with teachers and conducted administrator specific meetings, these initial findings
were confirmed as a county-wide state of affairs. Teachers and administrators are unaware of, or
only moderately aware of, the structure of the new standards and the significance of the shifts in
instruction requiredvery new ways of planning instruction and teaching (pedagogical change).
In my work with teachers I found that when we begin to look at NGSS, most are
concerned with what to teach. That is, they look for specific topics in the new standards. They
often try to align the new standards to their existing units and lesson plans, using an erroneous
strategy of simply finding where the lesson fits, rather than re-thinking lesson and unit
planning with a new mindset (pedagogical framework). Teachers go straight to the standards
pages, unfamiliar with other critical resources such as the NRC Framework and NGSS
Appendices that are important for understanding the standards. They lack the big-picture vision
of how significantly different NGSS are from previous standards. In other words, they do not
demonstrate awareness of the significant instructional shifts that accompany implementation.
This is not an issue isolated to the teachers of Sutter County. CDE organized Roll Out events
for NGSS consist of two days of intensive professional development with a focus on building a
pedagogical framework for NGSS implementation (CDE, 2015). So, statewide, the effort for
NGSS professional learning is based on an expressed need to shift science teaching pedagogy to
improve teachers performance levels for planning and teaching three-dimensional instructional
sequences.
The lack of professional development opportunities for Sutter County teachers has
created a gap between the CDEs goal that all teachers are prepared to teach and facilitate student
learning of CA NGSS (by receiving high-quality training), and teachers current knowledge and
practices. Unlike other California county offices of education, Sutter County Superintendent of
Schools Office has not created, to date, NGSS training nor has this training been provided by
other entities to the countys teachers. As the state moves from the awareness phase to the
transition phase (2015-2016 school year), it is imperative that all teachers be provided with both
the information and learning opportunities needed to begin their personal transition toward new
methods of science teaching and learning in their classrooms. The Capstone project is one of a
variety of interventions designed to address this critical need for Sutter Countys teachers.
1

Obtained from http://www.cascience.org/csta/pdf/13-14AnnualReport.pdf

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The current model of professional development in Sutter County consists of a


combination of school site and county office face-to-face sessions. For example, professional
development (PD) coordinators from the county office may visit schools periodically to work
with teachers on grade-level curriculum planning, analysis of student assessment results,
unpacking of essential standards for math or ELA, or similar activities on minimum days. These
may occur once per month at a school, or less (some schools have no minimum days.) And not
every minimum day involves county-provided PD. Alternatively, or additionally, teachers can
attend after-school workshops held periodically throughout the school year at the county office.
These workshops are low-cost and districts tend to support their teachers participation if
teachers request to attend. However, PD after school is complicated by the need for some
teachers to travel 30 minutes or more to the county office as well as by conflicts with teachers
other commitments, such as coaching or caring for their own children. So the number of
participants, typically 10 to 15 per workshop, is a small proportion of the population of teachers
that could benefit from such learning opportunities.
While face-to-face professional learning and job-embedded support will need to be
maintained as a priority for successful implementation of NGSS (CDE, 2015), moving some
professional learning opportunities to an online environment improves teachers access to
important first steps training. Online PD is scalable and has the potential reach a great number
of teachers in a timely way. It also has great potential to maximize the effectiveness of all PD
offerings by directly linking the goals of each to one another. Online training may also increase
the effectiveness of in-person PD, providing more time for collaborative dialogue and problemsolving by dedicating some of the time teaching declarative knowledge objectives to the online
modules instead. Additionally, by moving some of the metacognitive, scenario-based reflection
of teaching cases to an online environment, teachers can have a chance to practice with their new
knowledge, better preparing them to engage in meaningful dialogue with their peers in face-toface learning sessions.
To summarize, the Capstone makes use of instructional technology to reduce the
currently limited teacher access to traditional in-person professional learning. Using instructional
technology as part of the solution leverages the designers expertise and maximizes the
availability of the learning, making it accessible to all. Instructional technology also provides

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some unique affordances that make it a good choice as a prelude or supplement to other PD
opportunities, including traditional types of learning opportunities.

Target Audience and Context


Some important characteristics of the target audience were gleaned from a 2012 national
survey of science and mathematics education (Appendix C).2 In addition to knowing trends in
teacher beliefs about preparedness and science teaching, it is also informative to know teachers
pedagogical beliefs and compare and contrast these with what is envisioned for NGSS-aligned
science teaching. Doing so helps determine where the gaps may be between current instructional
practices and those practices promoted by the new science framework and NGSS. In turn,
professional development can be targeted to shifting instruction where needed. Regarding
pedagogical beliefs and science teaching the national survey report concludes:
Approximately three-fourths of teachers at each grade range agree that it is better to
focus on ideas in depth, even if it means covering fewer topics, one of the central
tenets of calls for reform in science instruction. At the same time, despite research
on learning that suggests otherwise, roughly 40 percent of science teachers at each
grade level agree that teachers should explain an idea to students before having
them consider evidence for that idea; and more than half indicate that laboratory
activities should be used primarily to reinforce ideas that the students have already
learned. And despite recommendations that students develop understanding of
concepts first and learn the scientific language later, from 70 to 85 percent of
science teachers at the various grade ranges indicate that students should be given
definitions for new vocabulary at the beginning of instruction on a science idea.
(Banilower, E. R., et. al, 2013, p. 21)
While one aspect of teachers pedagogical beliefs aligns nicely with NGSS (focusing on science
ideas in depth), other beliefs such as the purpose of laboratory activities or the placement of
vocabulary or explanatory instruction at the forefront are at odds with NGSS-aligned instructional
practices. While the results summarized above are from a national sample, in my prior experience
as a teacher (and mentor teacher) and now a science supervisor, I can attest that these results are
2

13.pdf

http://www.horizon-research.com/2012nssme/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Appendix-B-updated-11-13-

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also reflective of the teachers Ive worked with, observed, and coached in Sutter Countythe
target audience.
This Capstone project addresses the needs of the target audience by providing learning
opportunities that increase teacher preparedness specific to NGSS science teachingespecially in
the area of engineering. Engineering is a science discipline that was not included in previous
standards, and is one for which many teachers feel unprepared. The Capstone also provides
learning activities that explicitly address pedagogical beliefs to initiate teachers transition to
using instructional practices that are likely new to them, or at least not fully utilized currently in
their classrooms.
The context for the online NGSS professional learning modules developed for the
Capstone project is as professional development that is used in conjunction with in-person support
from the STEM PD coordinator as well as with collaborative work among teachers at their
schools. No district in Sutter County has a clear plan yet for NGSS so the need is great for
modules that can be flexibly used for various purposes. For example, in the single large district in
the county, with close to 300 K-5 teachers, these modules may serve as introductory learning for
teacher leaders who then participate in train the trainer types of sessions to develop their
capacity to lead science standards implementation at their school sites, or for a small number of
schools in the district.
For small, rural districts in which there may only be one teacher per grade level and no
teacher leaders, the modules can serve as introductory learning that is followed by a school wide
science PD session facilitated by the county STEM PD coordinator on a minimum day. The
online training will also likely be used to provide distance-education to the informal science
educators at our countys environmental education camp, Shady Creek, since they also need to
transition to NGSS by modifying their curriculum. Finally, the modules can serve as a useful
resource for administrator learning. California principals reported being much less likely than
those in other states to have participated . . . regularly with teachers in professional
developmenta practice associated with effective instructional leadership (CDE, 2015).

Environmental Scan and Literature Review


Much research has been done related to teacher professional development.
The Innovate report (CDE, 2014) summarizes the findings of this research: studies have shown
that professional learning most closely linked to improved student learning: a) focuses on

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teachers understanding the content they will teach; b) is sustained over time; and c) provide
opportunities for professional dialogue and critical reflection (p. 14). (See also the consensus
model for professional development proposed by Laura Desimone, 2009.) While the proposed
Capstone project will address, in part, the need for sustained professional learning by creating a
coherent series of learning opportunities as opposed to one sit and get event, the main way in
which learning will be sustained for the teachers in Sutter County is through sustained
collaboration between the LEA and the local districts as long-term implementation plans are
decided on and put into place. Therefore, the professional learning modules designed for the
Capstone project will target two of three research-based professional development principles: 1)
teacher understanding of the content they teach and 2) teacher dialogue and reflection as part of
the learning process.
For NGSS, or any set of standards, it is important for teachers to understand well
themselves the science content of a lesson they teach to their students, such as a 5th grade lesson
on the water cycle. To teach the water cycle to students teachers need to understand concepts
such as changes in states of matter (evaporation, condensation, freezing, melting). This content
knowledge helps the teacher explain clearly, using proper vocabulary and representations, the
way in which water moves between the atmosphere, bodies of water, and the land. Though it was
not a component of Module 1 developed for the Capstone, future modules will include
explanations of important science content to further teachers knowledge (and confidence) of the
content the students need to learn.
But understanding the content they teach involves more than the science concepts;
teachers must have a broaderand deeperunderstanding known as pedagogical content
knowledge (PCK). Pedagogical content knowledge includes information about paths that
students typically traverse in order to achieve understanding, and sets of potential strategies for
helping students overcome the difficulties that they encounter (Heller, J.I., Little, J. W., and
Shinohara, M., 2012, p. 3). The national survey of teachers (Appendix C) provides evidence that,
even when they are confident in a particular topic, teachers may not feel adequately prepared to
anticipate difficulties students may have with science ideas. They may not anticipate, for
example, that students might have trouble developing a conceptual model for water existing in an
invisible gaseous state in the atmosphere. That is, teachers PCK needs further development.

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PCK is particularly important in the context of NGSS since students are expected to learn
science more through engaging in the science practices and collaborative discourse and less
through teacher explanation. The integration of disciplinary core ideas with science practices and
crosscutting concepts in the NGSS also demands a higher level of PCK because the content is
not facts or knowledge. The content is the SEPs, DCIs, and CCs, as they relate to explaining and
understanding a big idea or designing a solution to a problem. The new California Science
Framework stresses the importance of PCK in the chapter dedicated to implementing highquality science instruction. The skills and knowledge of how best to facilitate student learning
of specific content, is of particular importance in helping students experience the threedimensional learning process represented in the CA NGSS (CDE, 2015).Therefore, designing
instruction to improve PCK was a major goal of the Capstone project.
Constructivism is one theory that was applied in the instructional design process. This
theory is further described in a later section. However, support for applying this theory to teacher
professional development is described briefly here. An evaluation of constructivist-oriented
teacher professional development (specific to the integration of technology in science teaching)
was conducted by Gerard et. al (2011). In the data collection phase of the literature review,
professional development was considered consistent with constructivism if it had the following
components:

eliciting teachers current ideas about teaching


adding new ideas to the teachers repertoire
engaging teachers in using evidence to distinguish between current ideas and new
ideas
facilitating on-going reflection and integration of new ideas with current ideas to
formulate a pedagogical framework

Findings of the literature review supported the application of a constructivist approach in


professional development. Teachers engaged in this type of learning, over a sustained time
period, were more likely to adopt inquiry-based teaching practices. The e-learning activities
developed for Module 1 of the Capstone, were designed to engage teachers in four steps very
similar to those listed above to help teachers construct a PCK framework for NGSS.
An environmental scan of available online NGSS professional learning resources
revealed that the Capstone project provides a resource that does not yet exist. Two online NGSS
courses were located. A brief review is provided for each.

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STEM lab @ UW Oshkosh


http://www.uwosh.edu/stemlab/ngss/ngss-mooc-1
This course is organized into modules that provide a good start for a teacher new to NGSS.
However, the videos are simply direct instruction and then teachers have prompts to reflect on.
What is missing from this course are opportunities to see teaching practices being modeled and
opportunities for interactive interaction with the material being taught. There also needs to be
practice before reflection or application. The course is missing these important instructional
components.
Wayne RESA
http://www.resa.net/curriculum/curriculum/science/professionaldevelopment/ngss-pd/
There are a lot of valuable resources and activities embedded within this course, but it is textbased and looks like a teacher needs to commit a significant amount of time to it. It does, in fact,
require a lot of time. Many links reference archived webinars that are each an hour long.
Teachers are likely to peruse the various sections, but it is not interactive so they may not do
more than skim or just try out a few of the links. It does not draw them in to full engagement
with the material; it is overwhelming. Like the other course, it disseminates information and asks
teachers to reflect and apply, but it lacks scaffolding, interactivity, and opportunities for practice.
Neither of the courses listed above are California specific. A scan of more than 10 CA
county office of education websites revealed that the LEAs are using traditional professional
developmentface-to-face workshopsas their means of providing professional learning
opportunities. No offices were found to offer online learning as an option. A new resource for
California teachers, the Digital Chalkboard (https://www.mydigitalchalkboard.org/) provides a
series of learning modules for Common Core ELA and Math standards but similar modules for
NGSS are not yet available.
The guidebook Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and
Mathematics supports online learning as a viable and effective option, especially when used in
the way the Capstone project intends. [It is important that] online professional development
complements teachers overall professional learning experiences and is used to create a coherent
learning plan (p. 273, Loucks-Horsley, et al, 2010). Specifically, online learning can be effective
when the intended outcome is enhancing teachers knowledge of content, instructional
approaches, and understanding of student learning.

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Solution Description
Goals and Objectives of the Project
The major goals of the project were to:

Support transition toward implementation of new standards by addressing both


knowledge and attitudes.

o Increase teachers declarative knowledge of NGSS and the reformed vision of


science education, and motivate them to take steps toward new ways of teaching
Improve teachers capabilities to make the instructional shifts needed for fidelity of
implementation (instruction matching the intent and expectations of new standards)
o Improve teachers science PCK for three-dimensional teaching and learning

To meet the goals of the project, the Capstone project needed to address the following content
and tasks.
Content

Tasks

Know the standards they need to teach

Access grade-level standards online

Understand that the standards are based on


three dimensions

Map any given performance expectation to


the three dimensions (a practice, core idea, and
crosscutting concept)

Distinguish between pre-NGSS pedagogy


and NGSS-envisioned pedagogy
Know the science practices and why it is
important for student learning to integrate
the practices into all grade levels, and
instruction for all core ideas
Know the crosscutting concepts and why
these are helpful in developing deep
understanding of core ideas

Observe teachers and classrooms and


determine features of NGSS teaching. Reflect
on current teaching practices and make
reasoned decisions on how to change, or shift,
practices
Interpret a standard to identify the science
practice that will be assessed and be able to
relate the practice to the real-life work of
scientists or engineers as well as to the guiding
principles of the NRC Framework
Interpret a standard to identify the crosscuttingconcept, provide a general description of the
concept and relate the concept to the guiding
principles of the NRC Framework

The learning objectives (LO) for Module 1 are listed below: first as they were stated to the
learner and then as they were written by the instructional designer (as assessable statements) in

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the Capstone project design. The e-learning activities of the module have some knowledge
check slides to provide learners opportunities for practice and reflection, however, the learning
objectives are assessed through teachers answers to reflection questions and their responses to
scenario-based questions presented at the end of each part of the module (Appendix ).
LO1: Express what teaching and learning look like for NGSS
After completion of both parts of Module 1, K-12 teachers will, from memory and in their
own words, describe specific teaching practices and student practices that are observable in
a classroom setting and consistent with NGSS-envisioned teaching
LO2: Describe some of the guiding principles of the vision for NGSS
After completion of both parts of Module 1, and optional use of a Pedagogy website as a
job aid, K-12 teachers will describe some of the guiding principles of NGSS and the
proficiencies students will achieve if instruction is consistent with these principles
After completion of both parts of Module 1, K-12 teachers will describe the relationship
between some of the guiding principles for NGSS and the three-dimensional nature of
teaching and learning that is envisioned for NGSS.
LO3: Identify and describe the three dimensions for NGSS and explain how the dimensions are
incorporated into the standards
After completion of Part 1 of Module 1, K-12 teachers will, from memory, identify at least
two (of 8) science and engineering practices, and at least two (of 7) crosscutting concepts.
After completion of Part 1 of Module 1, K-12 teachers will, with optional support from the
nextgenscience.org website, identify for a standard in their grade level the science and
engineering practice, disciplinary core idea, and crosscutting concept components of the
standard.
After completion of Part 1 of Module 1, K-12 teachers will, from memory and in their own
words explain to another teacher how any given NGSS standard is comprised of three
dimensions.
After completion of Part 1 of Module 1, K-12 teachers will, with optional support from the
nextgenscience.org website, identify for a standard in their grade level the science and
engineering practice, disciplinary core idea, and crosscutting concept components of the
standard.
After completion of Part 1 of Module 1, K-12 teachers will, from memory and in their own
words, describe each of the three dimensions generally: practices, core ideas, and
crosscutting concepts.
LO4: Become familiar with and utilize NGSS resources for further study and guidance for
transition to NGSS lessons

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

18

After completion of both parts of Module 1, and provided a Pedagogy website with
information and links, K-12 teachers will utilize NGSS resources to modify one of their
current instructional sequences to be anchored to a phenomenon and design lessons within
a storyline that explicitly include science practices and a crosscutting concept.

Proposed Solution
The Capstone project represents a solution to the need for scalable professional
development in Sutter County. One component of the solution is a set of e-learning activities
produced in Adobe Captivate 9. These include videos, narrated information with text and
graphics, embedded practice activities, and basic scenarios. At the end of each part of the
module, teachers answer reflection questions that require them to make use of their new
knowledge and synthesize information, and they take the first step toward collaborative learning
via posting responses to scenarios in a web forum (and replying to others). Module 1 was
designed to be equivalent in time investment to current in-person workshops, approximately two
hours.
The solution was designed to include more than just e-learning activities in order to
support transfer of learning. One can learn about the standards and even have a change in beliefs
or attitudes about science teaching, but to truly develop a new PCK framework for NGSS,
teachers need to put their learning to work in the classroom, planning and performing NGSS
lessons and reflecting on the relative success of such lessons. Accompanying websites with an
In Your Classroom theme were developed to provide easy-to-access curations of critical
resources and helpful tools for classroom implementation. Each website is topic-focused making
it straightforward for teachers to access information and resources most relevant to their current
needs. For example, one website is dedicated to pedagogy and another website is dedicated to the
NGSS engineering standards.

Learning Theories and Instructional Principles


The major learning theories applied to the design of the Capstone project include
constructivism and social-cognitive theory. Albert Banduras social-cognitive theory relates to
the instructional strategy to include videos of teachers modeling instructional practices. Vicarious
experience can contribute to self-efficacy. And self-efficacy ultimately affects what a teacher
does or does not do with regard to trying out new teaching practices that may help their students
(Gredler, M.E., 2009). As a first step in the transition to NGSS, teachers can model their own

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

19

behavior on that of the experts shown in the videos, and their inhibitions to engage in new tasks
may be reduced after watching others perform the same tasks (Morrison, Ross, Kalman & Kemp,
2013).
The theory of constructivism posits that learning occurs when learners actively engage in
activities and social collaboration that facilitate their making meaning of the world. In other
words, knowledge is constructed from a learners interactions with the world and through social
participation (Reiser, R.A., and Dempsey, J.V., 2012). Constructivism has ties to the work of
Jean Piaget and Jerome Bruner. Consider some of the ideas of these theorists and the
implications for instructional design.
Piaget described the importance of children interacting with the physical learning
environment and the importance of social interactions between children in terms of the
development of their ideas. Piaget recognized that the social component was influential to
learning because without it a child can maintain certain subjective beliefs, but when they
encounter others with different ideas and experience cognitive conflict, the learner must
reorganize their thinking (Gredler, M.E., 2009). Piagets conclusions can reasonably be
generalized to adults. Teachers can also hold on strongly to subjective beliefs. NGSS Module 1
was designed to include activities that challenge some commonly held beliefs and bring about
cognitive conflict. This conflict may or may not be resolved in teachers minds during their
interaction with the modules, but through the longer-term professional learning they take part in,
they will have opportunities to reflect on the cognitive conflict and reorganize their pedagogical
framework to incorporate new or revised ideas.
Bruner viewed learning similarly to Piaget, as an active process of constructing new
knowledge. Bruner described constructivist teaching as that which carefully sequenced learning
events and organized information such that students built new knowledge based on their prior
knowledge in a spiral fashion, always expanding on what they already know. When learners
discover principles for themselves, they can go beyond the specific information or examples
provided by the instructor. Another principle of instruction related to Bruner s constructivist
theory is learner readiness: experiences and contexts should facilitate a learners willingness and
ability to learn (Kearsley, G., 1994). The three dimensions of NGSS (SEPs, DCIs, and CCCs)
appear in each part of the module as do explicit connections between the three dimensions and
specific teaching strategies or practices. By spiraling the instruction for these throughout,

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

20

teachers will expand their understanding further each time they encounter the concepts. And
instead of simply being told the new vision of science education teachers will build their own
picturea personalized schemataof the reformed classroom as they partake in the activities
of the modules. This is important as teachers will need to be able to take the learning from the
modules and go beyond the specific examples, as Bruner describes.
The purpose of applying constructivism in the design of the Capstone project is well
summarized by Morrison et al (2013): the more actively students process new material by
relating it to prior knowledge and applying it to new tasks, the better it will be learned, and just
as prior learning influences new learning, new learning experiences, in turn, change our
knowledge structures (p. 357-358). The predicted outcome of applying this learning theory to
the instructional design of the Capstone is that the teachers will be more willing and able to
further their learning in the future, whether in workshops and similar professional development,
or eventually from teacher guides when curriculum becomes available for CA NGSS.
At the level of activity design, the major instructional principles applied were Gagnes 9
Events of Instruction: gain attention, inform learners of the objectives, stimulate recall of prior
knowledge, present information, provide guidance, elicit performance, provide feedback, assess
performance, and enhance retention and transfer. For example, in Part 1 of Module 1, the
attention of the learner is gained by comparing visually the old and new standards. Then,
following a description of the modules objectives, stimulation of prior knowledge occurs by
asking teachers to answer a few questions about their teaching beliefs, followed by survey results
from a national sample. The module then presents information through narration and interactive
elements. Guidance in conceptualizing the new information is provided through the use of a
video of a teacher modeling aspects of NGSS-envisioned teaching. A drag and drop activity
elicits performance and provides feedback. Retention and transfer of information is facilitated
through reflection questions and social learning within a web forum. Throughout the modules
principles for designing e-Learning (Clark & Mayer, 2006) were followed, such as the
multimedia principles, coherence principle, personalization principle, and contiguity principle.
These principles have been shown to help reduce cognitive load and promote cognitive
processing, two critical elements of effective instruction.

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

21

Media Components & Delivery Format

STEM@SCSOS Google site media


o Images that support navigation and understanding course components, video,
links to Captivate modules and In Your Classroom websites

Captivate media:
o Images of NGSS standards, videos of teaching practices, character images,
Captivate interactions (such as a page with tabs to click)

In Your Classroom websites containing:


o images, videos, and links to resources

The Capstone was not designed to be a standalone Captivate module because the content needs
to be chunked into small, easy to navigate activities that are embedded within a learning space
that places e-learning activities in close proximity to job-aid like supports and other resources.
A Google site was determined to be a feasible option for hosting the e-learning activities
and other components of the Capstone because LMS platforms like Moodle did not seem to be a
good fit for the delivery of the NGSS course at this time. In part, this system did not garner
support from the county offices technology department. Also important is that teachers will
access the learning modules on their own time and any barrier, no matter how small, is just
enough to make some teachers turn away. So it was not critical to have usernames or passwords
to log in or formally track assessments, as this learning is voluntary and participation and
learning outcomes are able to be tracked in other ways, such as collecting teachers responses to
reflection questions and reading their responses in the web forum.

Challenges
As with almost any project, time was a significant challenge. Much of the first month of
the project was spent on content and task analysis, researching available resources, attending
NGSS trainings for teacher leaders, and learning the basics of html5 and Java Script. Actual
development of Captivate modules began significantly later than originally planned. I did benefit
from the ability to use some of my paid time at work for the project, which allowed me to
eventually catch up and meet deadlines.
While in the early phases of planning and development there were a lot of moving
parts, and storyboarding was difficult, a breakthrough came from attending a two-day CDE

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

22

Roll out session. The facilitators of the sessions were Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in
professional development for NGSS. Experiencing their facilitation of activities and studying
their materials (handouts, scripts, and PowerPoint files) provided a clear direction for
development of the Capstone place shifts in pedagogy at the forefront of NGSS learning and
do not try to do too much with learners too quickly.
Although the html5 and Java Script elective class was at times time-consuming and
delayed some work on the Capstone project, in the long run the class was a great asset. Another
breakthrough occurred when planning the final webpage for the elective course (ist 541). I
discovered that a webpage could provide a solution to organize critical information and resources
and provide post-training support. At face-to-face trainings a lot of handouts are provided, but
these may be easily lost. A well-organized and helpful website can make it easier for teachers to
find just-in-time information for a particular aspect of NGSS, such as Pedagogy. While there is a
lot on the web, a curation of resources is more effective than searching on ones own.
I anticipated some challenges with the plan to use videos for modeling instructional
practices. As expected, time constraints made it difficult to produce my own videos, however, I
was able to find a number of videos that were a good fit for the objectives of the Capstone
project so I was able to carry through with the plan to use modeling as a key component of the
instruction.
Professional dialogue and reflection are an important aspect of learning for teachers. It
was difficult to determine how to best integrate this into the Capstone project design. After
determining that a platform like Moodle was not going to be used, I settled on a Google group
web forum. While the forum has been set up, it has not yet been used by teachers; therefore, it is
not yet known if such a format for collaborative dialogue will be well-received and utilized by
teachers as intended.

Methods & Procedure


The major deliverables of the project include the following (see also Appendix D):

Course Webpage (Google site) containing:


o Overview information for the online learning modules, links to the modules and
accompanying In Your Classroom websites, a web-based discussion forum, and
a blog (for tacit knowledge sharing)

Two Captivate e-learning activities, each containing:

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

23

o narrated text and images describing and explaining facts and concepts; videos of
teaching practices; guiding questions to help focus the learners attention on
specific aspects of teaching practices and debriefs that help learners check their
thinking; interactions that allow learners to see only some information at a time
and comprehend it at their own pace, or to consider their own thinking about
concepts before hearing instruction; knowledge check slides and end-of-activity
reflection questions and scenarios that learners respond to

In Your Classroom websites containing:


o Topic-based information, interactive elements, videos, and links to critical
resources and helpful tools
Although multiple modules are planned, only Module 1 was fully completed for the

Capstone project (Appendix D). The e-learning activities of this module are outlined below.
Module 1, Part 1: Learners,

reflect on their current teaching practices as well as the pedagogy of others.


observe a couple of classrooms in action and consider how current practices might "shift"
when designing instruction aligned with Next Generation Science Standards
learn about the three dimensions of NGSS and the architecture of the standards and
performance expectations.

Module 2, Part 2: Learners,

are introduced to an important resource for understanding NGSS the National Research
Councils Framework for K-12 Science Education
learn about the guiding principles of the framework as well as a pedagogical framework
for facilitating learning in ways consistent with these principles
observe videos of classrooms in action to help illustrate the pedagogy related to the vision
of the framework
A pedagogy-focused webpage was designed and developed as part of the Capstone to

support learners in reviewing information presented in the e-learning activities, and to extend
their learning as they use the information, resources, and tools on the website to plan instruction.
Additionally, since engineering is a very new part of the standards, an engineering-focused
webpage was also designed and produced. It provides a resource to fill the gap for this topic right
now, and will eventually be supported by e-learning activities developed for Module 2.

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

24

The original storyboard chunked the content into three modules. However, after the first
two modules were developed I determined that what had been planned for Part 3 fit better with
Part 1, prior to Part 2. Also, the original design had all three parts in the same Captivate module,
but after demonstrating the module to some colleagues and the Capstone advisor, it was clear
that the table of contents made it too easy for learners to miss some of the teaching, and the
module was too long for what a typical teacher would devote to online learning at a given time.
So it was decided to keep the parts as separate Captivate activities. However, this produced
another issue; it wasnt totally clear in the first instance of the STEM@SCSOS Google site the
big picture of Module 1. Following usability testing, including direct observation of users, the
Google site organization was improved to address this issue. The major usability issue resolved
before conducting the official formative and summative evaluations was the addition of Next
and Back buttons, in addition to the playbar, to make navigation of the elearning activities
more clear.
The In Your Classroom websites were developed concurrently to the Captivate
modules. Face-to-face trainings were great for vetting resources and determining what teachers
most need in terms of information, resources, and tools.

Resources
Since the Capstone project benefits the designers employer, permission was obtained to
devote some working hours to its development, reducing the burden to complete the project only
on nights and weekends. The employer also supported the project by paying for professional
development (workshop costs and travel) to improve the designers expertise in CA NGSS. For
example, I attended two workshops in September and two in October. While I was the main SME
for the project, through the workshop events I was able to network with other LEA professional
development coordinators and was able to use two as SMEs.
Media, such as videos, were available from Teaching Channel and YouTube, and I was
able to produce simple screencasts using Camtasia, a program already available to me as a
student so the use of videos in the project required no expenditure. Adobe Captivate 9 was used
to produce the interactive e-learning activities and was purchased by my employer through a 1year subscription at $29.99/month. Dreamweaver was used to develop the In Your Classroom
websites, and the program was available to me as a student at no cost. Dollar Photo was a source
of graphics; as the name implies, I paid $1 for each download, so there was no need for a large

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

25

budget for graphics. Many of the graphics used in the e-learning activities were screenshots,
Captivate-included characters, or NGSS logos that were used with permission from the website
for NGSS and from the CDE Roll Out event. So no cost was incurred for these. Major sources
of content, in addition to the NGSS standards themselves (2013) and the NRC Framework
(2012), were materials provided to LEA teacher leaders in the CDE Rollout Session and the
draft of the framework for CA NGSS (CDE, 2015), all of which are freely available materials.
The Captivate activities and website files are currently stored for learner access on the
itcdland.csumb.edu server available to me as a graduate student at CSU, Monterey Bay. Work is
in progress to create a space for the project within the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools
Office existing server space, so there will be no cost for hosting the modules beyond my time as
a MIST student. When my access to Dreamweaver through Adobe Creative Cloud expires in
2016, I or my employer will need to incur the cost of the program for continued website
development.

Timeline
The Capstone project was completed between September 8 th and November 17th, 2015.
The following table describes the timeline and major checkpoints for the project.
Dates
9/8 10/2

Work to be done
Content and task analyses
Attend workshops and refine the
scope and objectives of the
Capstone

Milestones
Design the Captivate
shell: determine color
scheme, etc.
Outline content/learning
sequence for the module

Learn html5 and JavaScript


10/3 10/20

Use face-to-face trainings to


evaluate teachers reactions to
certain resources, such as reading
about the guiding principles or
using the 5E model for lessons
Finalize objectives and lesson
content; begin module
development
Continue to learn html5 and
JavaScript

Locate videos for


Captivate activities
Engineering In Your
Classroom website
developed as final project
for ist541
Storyboard for Captivate
Module

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS


10/21
11/13

Continue to develop Captivate


Module

Module ready for first


review/feedback

Design and Develop pedagogyfocused In Your Classroom


website

Google site set-up,


including web forum

26

Determine final course structure


11/14 12/2

Revise module
Continue development of
Pedagogy Website

Part 1 and Part 2 of


Module finalized for
usability testing/learning
evaluation

Summative Testing instruments


prepared and administered

Pedagogy website
completed

Evaluation & Testing Report


Formative Evaluation
Usability testing was performed on Part 1 of Module 1 in conjunction with summative
evaluation. A small sample of teachers were recruited for the evaluation process and provided a
google document with instructions and links to complete the testing. Nine teachers completed the
pre-test and post-test for the summative evaluation, however, only seven of those nine completed
the usability survey questions. The usability survey was administered via Google forms. One of
the testers was observed by the Capstone instructional designer via Skype screen-sharing as she
completed Part 1 of Module 1. All others completed the evaluation process without direct
observation by the designer. Testers were given the option to also look at and provide feedback
for Part 2 of Module 1 and the Pedagogy website if they had sufficient time to do so.
The results of the usability testing (Appendix E) indicate that Module 1 is functional and
can be deployed to a larger audience. Two of seven testers experienced unexpected behavior for
the hotspot activity, and one tester experienced a slow loading time for videos, but all other
features worked as expected for the users. Five of seven testers reported that they would strongly
recommend this type of e-learning as a good option for professional development and the same
number of testers also strongly agreed that the lesson was easy to use and the material was
interesting and relevant. One hundred percent of the testers either disagreed or strongly disagreed
with the statement that teachers would need a lot of support or the help of a technical person to

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

27

complete this type of professional development. When asked what they liked best about the
lesson, testers responded with comments about good examples and explanations, videos of other
teachers, good narration and use of signaling to help follow narration, and a user-friendly format.
One area for improvement identified by usability testing includes increasing learner
confidence when working through the lesson. Only 4 of 7 reported they felt very confident and 2
reported a neutral feeling about their confidence level in working through the module; the same
two testers were also neutral about whether the lesson was unnecessarily complex. When asked
what they liked least about the lesson, testers responded with comments about the length of the
lesson, the amount of reading, slow loading time for videos, and a request for more practice. A
few testers commented that more practice might be good within the lesson. Future revisions to
the module can test whether adding more practice helps increase learner confidence.
Two SMEs were asked to provide a general review of Module 1 and one person
responded. The feedback was: I think the learning modules are a great start. Personally I am a
very visual learner and want lots of examples. So I would want more graphics and more
examples. It is likely that adding in more graphics and examples would also improve learners
confidence, and additional examples are a way to provide more practice as well, as knowledge
checks can be added in following the examples.
Only one tester also tested Part 2 of Module 1 and she was very positive about the
experience, commenting specifically about the videos and interaction that compare different
teachers approaches to demonstrations and labs. Four of the seven testers reviewed the
Pedagogy website and they all responded with positive comments about the organization of the
website, the clarity of the information, and the usefulness of the information. No
recommendations for improvement were offered.

Summative Evaluation
The summative evaluation process consisted of a pre-test and post-test comparison. The
results were evaluated using a paired t-test. The pre-test and post-test were administered via
Google forms. Questions were worth either 1 or 2 points each depending on the type of question,
and the instructional designer assigned point values to each persons responses; partial credit was
given if answers for 2-point questions were partially correct. No partial credit was given for 1point questions. A sample of nine teachers completed the summative evaluation. Data are
provided in Appendix E.

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

28

For the pre and post-test comparison, the p-value of the paired t-test (p = 0.0059) was
much lower than the p-value needed to reject the null hypothesis (p =0.05), therefore, the results
of the evaluation support that the null hypothesis should be rejected; the difference between the
means of the pre-test and post-test is significant. Rejecting the null hypothesis is also supported
by the t stat value (3.24) for a one-tailed t-test being greater than the t Critical value (1.86).
Specifically, the increase in the mean following instruction is significant indicating that the
lesson was effective in meeting the objectives.
Teachers self-reported understanding of Pedagogy for NGSS was also different before
and after the lesson. The mean score (on a scale from 1 to 5) increased from 2.78 to 4.00. It has
not yet been determined if the teachers feelings of greater understanding lead to actual transition
of pedagogy in their classrooms, but it is a positive indicator that teachers may be likely to take
steps to change their instruction due to having a better understanding of what is envisioned. One
tester reported that she immediately modeled a lesson in her classroom off the approach seen in
the Cartesian Diver video in Part 1 of Module 1 and was pleasantly surprised at the success of
this approach when she tried it with her own students.

Conclusion
The goals of the Capstone project were to 1) improve teachers knowledge of NGSS and
their attitudes toward science or new instructional practices, and 2) begin the process of
developing or revising teachers pedagogical framework in ways that prepare them to facilitate
high-quality science instruction in their classroom. In its current form, the Capstone project
delivers first-step awareness and transition training for NGSS to teachers that need the training
sooner than later to meet the implementation timeline for the state. Results from the evaluation
phase provide evidence that the Capstone can achieve these goals. Therefore, the Capstone
project verifies that online professional learning is a viable solution for school districts as they
make the transition to rigorous science standards and effective, innovative science teaching for
all students.
In line with the iterative nature of instructional design, revisions are planned that will
improve Module 1 and there are also plans to develop additional modules will in the future
adding to the value of the STEM@SCSOS course site for NGSS online learning. One aspect of
the project that was not fully developed in the Capstone was the use of interactive scenarios to
help teachers learn new teaching practices. Future development efforts will more fully apply the

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

29

use of scenarios as an instructional strategy for NGSS professional development. The


instructional designer has obtained an enthusiastic go-ahead from the NSF-funded project
Instructional Leadership in Science Practices to transform their text-based case studies into
interactive scenario-based e-learning to provide teachers practice with teacher moves for the
science and engineering practices of NGSS.
In the pathway to implementation of NGSS, online modules are just one step in a multiyear process. Teachers will also need to receive additional support in the form of classroom
observations and coaching, co-teaching, collaborative lesson planning, and in-person
professional development workshops that provide hands-on experiences for science concepts.

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

Appendix A
Table 1. Key Findings of Science Education Research1
The capacity of young childrenfrom all backgrounds and socioeconomic
levelsto reason in sophisticated ways is much greater than has long been
assumed. Although they may lack deep knowledge and extensive experience,
they often engage in a wide range of subtle and complex reasoning about the
world. (p. 24)
One rationale for organizing content around core ideas comes from studies
comparing experts and novices in any field. Experts understand the core
principles and theoretical constructs of their field, and they use them to make
sense of new information and tackle novel problems. Novices, in contrast,
tend to hold disconnected and even contradictory bits of knowledge as
isolated facts and struggle to find a way to organize them and integrate them.
[Reforming science education] will enable [students] to become less like
novices and more like experts. (p. 25)
From its inception, one of the principal goals of science education has been to
cultivate students scientific habits of mind, develop their capability to engage
in scientific inquiry, and teach them how to reason in a scientific context.
There has always been a tension, however, between the emphasis that should
be placed on developing knowledge of the content of science and the
emphasis placed on scientific practices. A narrow focus on content alone has
the unfortunate consequence of leaving students with nave conceptions of the
nature of scientific inquiry and the impression that science is simply a body of
isolated facts. (p. 41)
1
NRC, 2012

30

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS


Appendix B
Figure 1. NGSS 5th Grade Standards1
5 Earths Systems
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
5-ESS2-1.
Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere,
hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. [Clarification Statement: **The geosphere,
hydrosphere (including ice), atmosphere, and biosphere are each a system and each
system is a part of the whole Earth System.]
5-ESS2-2.
Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in
various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.
5-ESS3-1.
Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science
ideas to protect the Earths resources and environment.
The performance expectations above were developed using the following elements from the
NRC document A Framework for K12 Science Education:
Science and Engineering
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Practices
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and
Developing and Using
Systems
Earths major systems are the
Models
geosphere (solid and molten rock,
Modeling in 35 builds on
soil, and sediments), the
K2 experiences and
hydrosphere (water and ice), the
progresses to building and
atmosphere (air), and the
revising simple models and
biosphere (living things, including
humans). These systems interact
using models to represent
in multiple ways to affect Earths
events and design solutions.
Develop a model using an
example to describe a
scientific principle. (5ESS2-1)

Using Mathematics and


Computational Thinking
Mathematical and
computational thinking in
35 builds on K2
experiences and progresses
to extending quantitative
measurements to a variety
of physical properties and
using computation and
mathematics to analyze
data and compare
alternative design solutions.
Describe and graph
quantities such as area
and volume to address

surface materials and processes.


The ocean supports a variety of
ecosystems and organisms,
shapes landforms, and influences
climate. Winds and clouds in the
atmosphere interact with the
landforms to determine patterns of
weather. (5-ESS2-1)

ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in


Earths Surface Processes

Nearly all of Earths available


water is in the ocean. Most fresh
water is in glaciers or
underground; only a tiny fraction is
in streams, lakes, wetlands, and
the atmosphere. (5-ESS2-2)

ESS3.C: Human Impacts on


Earth Systems
Human activities in agriculture,
industry, and everyday life have
had major effects on the land,
vegetation, streams, ocean, air,

Crosscutting Concepts
Scale, Proportion, and
Quantity
Standard units are used to measure
and describe physical quantities such
as weight, and volume. (5-ESS2-2)

Systems and System


Models

A system can be described in terms


of its components and their
interactions. (5-ESS2-1),(5-ESS3-1)

---------------------------------------------Connections to Nature of Science


Science Addresses Questions
About the Natural and Material
World

Science findings are limited to


questions that can be answered with
empirical evidence. (5-ESS3-1)

31

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS


scientific questions. (5ESS2-2)

Obtaining, Evaluating,
and Communicating
Information
Obtaining, evaluating, and
communicating information
in 35 builds on K2
experiences and progresses
to evaluating the merit and
accuracy of ideas and
methods.

and even outer space. But


individuals and communities are
doing things to help protect Earths
resources and environments. (5ESS3-1)

Obtain and combine


information from books
and/or other reliable media
to explain phenomena or
solutions to a design
problem. (5-ESS3-1)

Connections to other DCIs in fifth grade: N/A


Articulation of DCIs across grade-bands: 2.ESS2.A (5-ESS2-1); 2.ESS2.C (5-ESS2-2); 3.ESS2.D (5ESS2-1); 4.ESS2.A (5-ESS2-1); MS.ESS2.A (5-ESS2-1); MS.ESS2.C (5-ESS2-1),(5-ESS2-2); MS.ESS2.D (5ESS2-1); MS.ESS3.A (5-ESS2-2),(5-ESS3-1); MS.ESS3.C (5-ESS3-1); MS.ESS3.D (5-ESS3-1)
California Common Core State Standards Connections:
ELA/Literacy
RI.5.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing
inferences from the text. (5-ESS3-1)
RI.5.7
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an
answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently. (5-ESS2-1),(5-ESS2-2),(5-ESS31)
RI.5.9
Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the
subject knowledgeably. (5-ESS3-1)
W.5.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and
digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a
list of sources. (5-ESS2-2),(5-ESS3-1)
W.5.9.a,b
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
(5-ESS3-1)
SL.5.5
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when
appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes. (5-ESS2-1),(5-ESS2-2)
Mathematics
MP.2
Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (5-ESS2-1),(5-ESS2-2),(5-ESS3-1)
MP.4
Model with mathematics. (5-ESS2-1),(5-ESS2-2),(5-ESS3-1)
5.G.2
Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the
coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation. (5ESS2-1)
1

http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ca/sc/ngssstandards.asp

32

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS


Appendix C
Table 2. Survey of Teacher Preparedness1
Middle School and High
School Teacher Responses
Most feel very well
Teachers feel more
prepared to teach ELA
prepared to teach certain
(81%) and Math (71%) but
topics of their discipline
only 39% feel the same
than others. The
way about teaching science
percentage of teachers that
feel very well prepared
Teachers are most
varies by topic, from
confident in teaching life
Preparedness
o 25% to 58% for
science or earth science
to Teach
middle school teachers
topics. Only 17% feel very
Science
and topics
confident in physical
o 39 to 83% for high
science and just 4% feel
school teachers and
prepared to teach
topics
engineering
Fewer than 10% of
teachers at either level feel
very well prepared to
teach engineering
39% feel very well
Just over 50% feel very
prepared to implement
well prepared to
provided curriculum
implement curriculum
Preparedness
28% feel very well
39% of middle school and
to Implement
prepared to anticipate
49% of high school
Curriculum
difficulties students may
teachers feel very well
(textbooks or
have with particular
prepared to anticipate
modules)
science ideas and
difficulties students may
procedures in a unit
have with science ideas or
procedures
1
Banilower, E. R., et. al, 2013
K-5 Teacher Responses

33

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS


Appendix D
Figure 2. Components of the Capstone Project
A. Course webpage (Google site)

https://sites.google.com/site/stemscsos/
B. Two e-learning activities (Captivate 9)
Followed by reflection questions and responses to scenario-based questions
(posted to a web forum)

C. Accompanying Pedagogy-focused website


Accessed as needed for job-embedded support

http://itcdland.csumb.edu/~csargent/ist541/NGSS%20Pedagogy/index.html

34

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

35

Appendix E
A. Usability Testing Participant Profiles
Table 2: Participant Information
Gender
Teaching
Experience
11-15 years
Female
6-10 years
Female

Teaching Assignment

Male
Female
Female

1-5 years
11-15 years
More than 20 years

Female
Female
Female
Female

11-15 years
6-10 years
6-10 years
11-15 years

High School Science


Higher Education
(other subjects)
5th grade
High School Science
High School
(other subjects)
Higher Education (science)
3rd grade
High School Science
High School Science

B. Formative Evaluation3
Table 3: Participant responses

Questions
I think that I would like to use more
eLearning lessons like this one
I thought the lesson moved too quickly
I found the lesson unnecessarily
complex
I thought the lesson was easy to use
I thought the material of the lesson was
interesting and relevant
I found the lesson very cumbersome to
complete
I felt very confident working through the
lesson
I think teachers would need a lot of
support or the help of a technical person
to be able to complete this type of
professional development
3

Number of Responses for Each Scale Value


Strongly
Strongly
Scale
disagree
Agree
1
2
3
4
5
0

Usability Survey Questions:


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1U6bCA6HyFnd4TsSbrkVbYB2hpGK4Aoj4cEhiuJql-nM/viewform

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

36

C. Summative Evaluation
Table 3: Summary of Assessment Scores 4
Tester
Pre-test Post-test Self-rating of Pedagogy
Number
score
score
Knowledge (pre)
1
5.5
10
5
2
1
11.5
1
3
4.5
9.5
4
4
11
12
3
5
4
13
1
6
9
12.5
3
7
9.5
10.5
1
8
9
8
3
9
9
12
4
Mean
6.944
11.000
2.777
score

Self-rating of Pedagogy
Knowledge (post)
5
3
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4.000

Pre-Test Google Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1oM6nEydQzTrzmcbCErTgHcm4T5EvNaQ0nvcmi0YNxQ/viewform


Post-Test Google Form:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Q6ex2vuZBLcfjDIuO6h9ZgV41FHwwdyya17MXC9Qt_k/viewform

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS


Table 4: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for Means
Mean
Variance
Observations
Pearson Correlation
Hypothesized Mean
Difference
df
t Stat
P(T<=t) one-tail
t Critical one-tail
P(T<=t) two-tail
t Critical two-tail

Variable 1
11
2.625
9
-0.046597813
0
8
3.241244794
0.005927751
1.859548038
0.011855502
2.306004135

Variable 2
6.944444444
10.96527778
9

37

NGSS LEARNING MODULES FOR CALIFORNIA TEACHERS

38

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