Design: Supporting Exhibits
This section provides a wide range of documents to support the broad sub domain of Design expertise. Examples will draw from my last seven years at NSTA where I serve as Assistant Executive Director of e-Learning and Government Partnerships. I will also upload files from my Ph.D. experience from my behavioral science and distance education coursework, and supervisory files from my science supervisor internship in Chesterfield County in the near future.


NSTA SciPacks Business Plan
Business Planning and Implementation Start Up
This comprehensive document was our earliest efforts to "map out" the entire SciPack/Science Object effort from a business development point of view. I reported directly to the Executive Director of NSTA as Project Director under the banner of the NSTA Institute. I contributed to the market and competitive analysis sections of the plan, as well as the product description, and quality control sections. I helped draft several sections within the appendices related to the ADDIE production model, e-Learning strategies, LCMS selection requirements, and production costs for a single SciPack given current cost of iterative multimedia production. We reworked this proposal and secured $800,000 from the Hewlett Foundation. It got us off the ground and running.

The following documents from top to bottom are:

  1. Original Business Plan for SciPacks--called Science Content Modules initially (PDF)
  2. SciPack production cost based on production model and roles--both internal FTE's and external consultants (PDF)
  3. Cost of e-learning production from Brandon Hall (Word)
  4. Hewlett Proposal (PDF)
  5. Response to Hewlett Review Questions (Word)


Target Audience for SciPacks
Learner Characteristics
We reviewed the current NSES reports discussing the large number of educators teaching out of field (or their area of expertise) and confirmed the low level of PD support elementary teachers receive. Elementary teachers comprise the largest population of educators in the country, but receive the least amount of PD or science content preparation during their pre-service training. From this information I drafted a document that clearly articulated our target audience. We also had rich internal discussions about creating SciPacks specifically for elementary, middle or high school teachers.

Given our model "unpacked" the content standards based off the Atlas for Science Literacy, which is what every high school student should know upon graduation, we kept the integrity of the SciPack as a unified and coherent set of concepts "for all," but differentiated the Pack when we discussed the pedagogical implications (PI) for each content area. The PI component assimilates the research for the best practices, known mis/pre-conceptions and what is cognitively appropriate to teach related to the science content addressed within the SciPack.


Production Process Built from Scope Documents with Expert Review Team and Templates
Instructional Systems Design and Strategies
The development production process for SciPacks draw from Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998), the criteria developed by Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for the analysis of instructional materials (Kesidou & Roseman, 2002), and online instructional systems design principles (Dick & Carey, 1996; Sullivan & Higgins, 1983). Best practices in e-learning design are applied to ensure the pace, sequence, and interactivity are compelling and effective (Hall, 1997; Horton, 2000; Rossett, 2002; Rosenberg, 2001; Weiss et al, 2000). The overall process also incorporates iterative reviews by experts and end-users during the formative stages (Tessmer, 1998). From our uber scope document that look across all the standards, topic are sequentially selected for production based on national need and funding. An initial scope document for a particular area is created, which begins the iterative design and development process. Expert from the areas of content knowledge, pedagogy, national standards, instructional design, course development, media acquisition, and accessibility, etc. all work in concert to produce a SciPack and its related Science Objects. We also now use the same scope document to guide the creation of SciGuide as well in a co-production system.

The documents from top to bottom:

  1. Uber Scope Document outlining the complete list of topics for SciPacks/SciGuides (Word)
  2. Universe Scope Document sample (Word)
  3. SciPack Iterative Production Process (PPT)
  4. Section 508 Design Parameters for Sim Compliance (Word)
  5. Accessibility Review for Force and Motion SciPack (PDF)
  6. SciPack Production Timeline (XLS)
  7. Eight Interactive Elements within LCMS (Word)
  8. SciPack Design manual (PDF)

Simulation Design Considerations: Cognitive Load, Visual Representations
Message Design
My team has created "style guides" drawn from literature for "best practices" in web layout that significantly reduce the density and volume of text on the screen. We look to "chunk" it into more legible and easily digestible nuggets. It is also critically important if not paramount to inculcate the literature regarding simulation design with respective to cognitive load. Similar to the notion of field dependence, as a learner attempts to work through a simulation, it is critical to scaffold the availability of features/options to avoid overwhelming the learner so he or she is unable to make connections between the variables under examination. I have aggregated a rich collection of full text articles in this regard and made it available to our design production team.


Deployment of the NSTA Learning Center and SciPacks
Implementation and Evaluation
Once materials are opportunities are designed, they are ready for public consumption. I oversaw, designed, implemented and now have instantiated numerous formative evaluation protocols to help ensure our SciPack remain compelling and effective. This is easier said then done.

As the Learning Center is deployed in state and district partnership, if the administrator desires, he or she can capture pre/post assessment data and require teachers to submit a PD Plan document that accounts for teacher learning. We continue to employ best practices for large scale deployments, and are experimenting with their levels of support for smaller districts. We have also partnered with Edvantia to provide a rigorous evaluation should we be awarded one of several NASA grants now under consideration.

The documents from top to bottom:

  1. End User Review Template (PDF)
  2. Expert Review Template (PDF)
  3. First Focus group Summary (PDF)
  4. Second SciPack Focus Group Report--Wisconsin (PDF)
  5. Three District SciPack Pilot (PDF)
  6. Force and Motion Scipack Usage Report: NASA Kennedy Summer Workshop (PDF)
  7. Third Party Evaluation of WV SciPack Pilot (PDF)
  8. NSTA Online Short Course Third Party Evaluation (PDF)
  9. NSF Metatagging Grant Third Party Evaluation (PDF)
  10. Symposia and Web Seminar Third Party Evaluation (PDF)
  11. NASA K12 Competition Grant Proposal with Edvantia (PDF)
  12. Learning Center and SciPack State and District Deployments (PDF)