Abstract: Schroeder-Girbino Masters in Learning Technologies Practicum
This practicum project entailed creating an instructional product for Laurie Campitelli, a seventh and eighth grade science teacher at Athens City School District. The learning problems presented by the client involved three main components: a) lack of student engagement with content; b) a content area gap between sixth grade standards and eighth grade standards; and c) meeting the needs of all learners. The design solution included creating a collaborative, computer-supported learning experience utilizing the client’s existing LMS, Google Classroom, in addition to creating a separate blended-learning website on WordPress. The completed unit encompasses four weeks of instructional time and is aligned with both ODE state standards and 5E instructional pedagogy. In both platforms, science students are given choices on the sub-topics they will investigate, and in WordPress, they are given final project choices with ample instructional supports. Odom and Bell (2015) found in their study that “demonstrations provide insufficient opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the processes of science or to make use of procedural knowledge in developing conceptual understanding” and that there is “a strong positive association of attitudes toward science and frequency of student-centered teaching practices with science achievement” (p. 93).