Integrating NSDL Resources and Inquiry Learning: A Professional Development Model for Teachers
Launched in 2002, the Instructional Architect Instructional Architect (IA.usu.edu) is a web-based tool in which teachers can quickly find interactive online learning and NSDL resources, and design activities for their students. Since 2005, almost 5,000 registered users have designed learning activities using over 40,000 resources. In the last year, the IA recorded over 250,000 visits.
Recent work has focused on developing a technology-oriented teacher professional development (PD) model using the IA, aimed at helping teachers find high-quality online learning resources and use them in designing effective inquiry learning activities for their students. The model uses problem-based learning (PBL) as its cornerstone inquiry approach.
To investigate the model’s effectiveness, we report results from two enactments of the PD model. In the first enactment, teachers learned PBL design skills concurrently with the technology skills, while in the second, the needed technology skills were presented prior to learning about PBL. Results are reported in terms of impact on teachers’ knowledge, attitudes, and design activities, as well as on the extent teachers designed PBL learning activities for their students.