1. Lisa Milenkovic
  2. STEM+CS Supervisor
  3. Investigating Conceptual Foundations for a Transdisciplinary Model Integrating Computer Science into the Elementary STEM Curriculum
  4. http://outlier.uchicago.edu/TimeforCS/
  5. Broward County Public Schools, Outlier
  1. DEBRA KELLY THOMAS
  2. Computer Science Instructional Specialist
  3. Investigating Conceptual Foundations for a Transdisciplinary Model Integrating Computer Science into the Elementary STEM Curriculum
  4. http://outlier.uchicago.edu/TimeforCS/
  5. Broward County Public Schools
  1. Annmargareth Marousky
  2. Computer Science Instructional Specialist
  3. Investigating Conceptual Foundations for a Transdisciplinary Model Integrating Computer Science into the Elementary STEM Curriculum
  4. http://outlier.uchicago.edu/TimeforCS/
  5. Broward County Public Schools
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Annmargareth Marousky

    Annmargareth Marousky

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 10:23 a.m.

    Thank you for watching our video on Time4CS, a collaborative group formed by Broward County Public Schools, the 6th largest in the Nation, and Outlier Research and Evaluation. In our original grant we created two interdisciplinary science and social studies modules that integrated STEM and computer science into a problem-based learning format for 3rd - 5th grades. This year, we took the feedback from the participating teachers and coaches, as well as the research analysis, to revise our 4th grade modules. This revised module now better meets the needs of the classroom teacher while still integrating computer science in a plugged and unplugged format that makes explicit connections to the curriculum. Our goal being that CS and STEM should not be an "extra thing" that teachers must teach, but rather a resource that allows deeper learning of Florida's 4th grade standards that could be demonstrated in a problem-based learning format.

    Join us as we challenge students to use their understanding of life science and civic engagement standards to tackle the question of the invasive Burmese python in the Florida Everglades. They will showcase their learning by creating a Scratch simulation and using argumentation to share their point of view. Could this approach be used in your district? Could it be integrated into a different grade level? Would the use of blended learning professional development strategies be adequate to prepare educators to teach CS integration?

  • Icon for: Debra Bernstein

    Debra Bernstein

    Senior Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 10:33 a.m.

    Thanks so much for sharing this work (and also, for sharing the fact that there are now pythons in the Everglades!).  I couldn't quite tell from the video - are the teachers themselves doing design work for the new 4th grade modules?  Or has your development team created the revised modules? Thanks.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Lisa Milenkovic
  • Icon for: Annmargareth Marousky

    Annmargareth Marousky

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 11:23 a.m.

    Hi Debra! Thank you for your question.

    The teachers who undertook the original work have provided a tremendous about of feedback that was incorporated into the revision, but they are not doing the actual design work. In our revised work, we are using open ed resources. The hope is that other districts will be able to use the curriculum without the need to purchase specific materials.

    We have started testing the module with teachers that are familiar with the original module, as well as teachers who have never seen it before. Thus far, both groups are enjoying the more flexible format and continuing to provide valuable feedback from the teacher and the student perspective. 

  • Icon for: Ari Krakowski

    Ari Krakowski

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 11:01 a.m.

    This work looks really interesting, thanks for sharing! We are working in a similar space, examining integration of CS/CT in middle school science classrooms. It's really exciting to see others doing similar work in elementary classrooms.

    Your project abstract mentioned that you measured achievement and attitudes towards STEM and CS in the initial project--I'd love to hear more about the measures you chose, whether you needed to modify them to suit your study, and of course what you discovered! 

    I'm also curious about how your team approaches the application of science concepts in the Scratch models. Did you create custom models for each disciplinary topic? 

     

  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    DIrector of Research & Evaluation and Research Associate Professor
    May 15, 2019 | 11:41 a.m.

    Hi Ari - 

    This is Jeanne Century from Outlier Research & Evaluation at the University of Chicago. We are the Research Partners in this Research - Practice Partnership. I'm glad you asked!  We measured attitudes in both, teachers and students. Our teacher measure included scales we have developed over time. They included measures of general teaching and CS teaching ability beliefs, the value of CS instruction for learning in general and for the students' futures, and self-assessments of innovativeness and resourcefulness (or persistence).   The student questionnaires questionnaires included scales with some items drawn from other existing scales, but revised for this purpose. They included scales for students' perceptions of CS utility, CS identity, CS ability beliefs, CS affinity, and general school affinity.   The achievement data included the Lexile scores of the districts Achieve 3000 literacy assessment and the Florida State Assessments in ELA, Mathematics and Science.   

    We were able to do our analyses because in this partnership, we were able to work closely with the Broward County side of the team to match our data with the district and state data while still keeping all students de-identified but still matched to teachers. 

     

    As for results...there have been a number of interesting findings - a publication is currently under review, but feel free to get in touch (jcentury@uchicago.edu) and we'd be happy to talk more about them. Thanks for your interest!

     

  • Icon for: Ari Krakowski

    Ari Krakowski

    Researcher
    May 15, 2019 | 11:52 a.m.

    Thanks Jeanne!

  • Icon for: DEBRA KELLY THOMAS

    DEBRA KELLY THOMAS

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 03:12 p.m.

    Hi Ari,

    In regards to your question "how [does] your team approach the application of science concepts in the Scratch models. Did you create custom models for each disciplinary topic?"

    We looked at the standards we wanted the students to meet (for example- food chains and food webs, interdependence, balance in an ecosystem) and thought about how students could demonstrate mastery of learning those standards (as well as CS concepts) in a Scratch project.  For example, students could demonstrate the above mentioned science concepts by creating a game/simulation in Scratch that shows what happens when an invasive species is introduced into an ecosystem.  You can view this Sample Scratch Project- Non-Native Invasion Game/Simulation to get an idea.  When we revised the modules, however, we left the task more open-ended to give students more flexibility and allow for students of all levels of programming experience to be successful.  When this particular unit was revised we told students they could create a game (quiz, simulation, video game) or story (PSA, short video/film, presentation) illustrating how the introduction of an invasive species in an ecosystem can affect native populations.  In this way, students are asked basically to demonstrate learning of content standards and concepts through a Scratch project. 

  • Icon for: Gerad OShea

    Gerad OShea

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 01:44 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your work!

    In my experience, it's always a challenge to balance the structure vs. flexibility when designing these types of resources for teachers, particularly when you seem to be targeting multiple subject areas. Can you share any tips or lessons you learned from undertaking this revision to design something more flexible for the teachers?

    Thanks,
    Gerad

  • Icon for: DEBRA KELLY THOMAS

    DEBRA KELLY THOMAS

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 03:20 p.m.

    Hi Gerad,

    This is a great question.  We definitely experienced the same issue.  We started more structured and then with teacher feedback added more options for flexibility.  We found that teachers adapted the materials regardless and we used their feedback to make the materials more user-friendly.  We also went from giving lots of details in our lesson plans to being a little more succinct.  One thing we did during the revision that was helpful from the planning standpoint was to create a PowerPoint with lots of visual aids to help support instruction (mostly in Scratch concepts) so that we could refer to this in the lesson plan but not have to do so much wordy explaining.  We also knew our audience (district teachers), the materials they currently had access to, were required to use, and what they were comfortable with overall and integrated these pieces as much as possible when developing the materials.  Of course, when you are disseminating to broader populations it is much more difficult to develop curriculum that  will "fit" with each teacher and district's unique situation.

  • Icon for: Feng Liu

    Feng Liu

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 02:00 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this interesting work! Implementing the program in a large school district can definitely help with the impact evaluation in different ways such as increasing the sample size, finding a matched-comparison group, etc. I would like to know more about these information. Could you share more information on the outcomes you looked at, instruments used to measure the outcomes, and analytic approach (e.g., pre-post comparison) to measure the impact?

  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    DIrector of Research & Evaluation and Research Associate Professor
    May 15, 2019 | 12:03 p.m.

    Thanks very much for your interest!  We matched our schools based on a range of characteristics (e.g. socio-demographic data, achievement data, size, etc.) and then randomly assigned each school to either treatment or comparison.

    I outlined some of the measures above in my response to Ari, but there is much more to tell. In addition to the outcome measures, we also used our approach to measuring implementation to obtain more detailed information. In addition to knowing “whether” the modules “worked” or not, we were able to better understand which parts of the modules had the highest associations with student outcomes as well as any interaction effects occurring based on student socio-demographic characteristics.  Our approach to implementation measurement also enabled us to measure teaching practices that occurred in both, treatment and comparison classrooms so we could account for them in our analyses. 

    As for the analyses themselves, as you noted, the Time4CS study involved a pre-post research design, which collected data from multiple reporters (i.e., students and teachers). Collecting data from both students and teachers enabled us to use hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). HLM enabled us to account for the fact that students are “nested” within classrooms where they are all exposed to the same teacher and his/her teaching practices.  In addition, because both students and teachers provided data, we were able to examine associations, using HLM, between teachers’ reports of the use of different teaching practices and students’ academic achievement and attitudinal outcomes. These associations helped create a more holistic understanding of how teachers’ behaviors impact student outcomes.  

    We use a theory-based approach to implementation measurement – I’d be happy to direct you to some publications and/or to talk with you directly – jcentury@uchicago.edu.

     

     

  • Icon for: Feng Liu

    Feng Liu

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2019 | 09:29 p.m.

    Thanks so much for the detailed explanation about the study design, outcome measures and analytic approach, Jeanne. Yes, I would be interested in reading the publications based on this study.

  • Icon for: Nancy McGowan

    Nancy McGowan

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 09:57 p.m.

    Your collaborative efforts have produced a program that is changing the way students learn.  I am so impressed with the fluidity between programming and science as well as the integration of purposeful writing.  When a program works so smoothly and looks so effortless, you know a GREAT DEAL of work has taken place behind the scenes.  Thank you!

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Lisa Milenkovic
  • Icon for: DEBRA KELLY THOMAS

    DEBRA KELLY THOMAS

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 12:26 p.m.

    Thank you!  

  • Icon for: Michael Haney

    Michael Haney

    May 20, 2019 | 03:46 p.m.

    You are clearly well attuned to the teachers in the projects and have used their feedback as a basis for the revision process.  I’m more familiar with secondary schools where teachers sometimes take new ideas and techniques and apply them in quite divergent ways, maybe not always as intended and thus their implementations are hard to evaluate, let alone capture and share.  I’m curious about the contributions of the teachers in designing the materials.  Was that a reasonable expectation?   Of course, teachers involved in the creative processes and project leadership might help sustain the project beyond funding.  Doyou feel there will there be ongoing support from the school district going forward?  

  • Icon for: Lisa Milenkovic

    Lisa Milenkovic

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 04:28 p.m.

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for your feedback and questions!

    We began this project with a pilot/planning project that had teachers as the writers/designers. This helped us see what works and doesn't work with this approach. It does take a certain type of teacher who can clearly articulate a curriculum design that would be easily adapted by others. The upside of "teacher as designer" is the implicit buy-in for implementation, and as you mention - it is great for sustainability of implementation post-funding. We are leading this project from within the district and teachers/schools are encouraged to include computer science instruction, this work is providing the curriculum tools and pedagogical strategies to help teachers find time in their packed day. 

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.