May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Stanford University – MOOCs Supporting Innovative Assessment Practices

Posted: Friday, May 20th, 2016

Starting this fall, 2016, Stanford University is pleased to offer a set of free online courses (MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses) to help your state and local educators use innovative assessment practices – instructionally-focused formative assessment and curriculum-embedded performance assessments for deeper learning, with a focus on language that will support English Learners. The new forms of innovative assessments are rich with language and often require different forms of argumentation and justification to support student understanding and engagement with content. In these assessments that are embedded in instruction and the curriculum, the inclusion of academic language is integrated by design, connecting language to content and critical thinking. Information on the MOOCs are detailed below. 

Please mark next Wednesday, May 25 at 9:00 PDT/12:00 EDT for a webinar about these offerings, and how you might prepare your district staff to engage in these free resources. Over the years, Stanford University has developed considerable experience in supporting teacher professional development through these online resources, and has developed various collaborative arrangements with districts and states throughout the nation. In our webinar, we will also review some of the “best practices” from this experience, and address any questions you may have in utilizing them in your district or state.

Please use the information below to join the webinar, and read further for details…

Topic: Stanford University – MOOCs Supporting Innovative Assessment Practices

Time: May 25, 2016 9:00 AM (GMT-7:00) Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/804208475

Or iPhone one-tap:  16465687788,804208475# or 14157629988,804208475#

Or Telephone:

Dial: +1 646 568 7788 (US Toll) or +1 415 762 9988 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 804 208 475

International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=tDBc33d1BfqXPUAxe-IuRLn04r0jrDVv

Further details:

The MOOCs will focus on instructional improvement and student learning related to both the academic standards and the English Language Proficiency standards of your state. In this particular offering, we are especially targeting Oregon, Washington and Iowa because they share standards as well as annual summative assessments in both academic areas (in ELA and Math) and English Language Proficiency – i.e., they both use the SBAC and ELPA21 assessments. However, if your state has adopted similar standards that are college- and career-ready, these courses should easily translate to the needs in any setting.

Starting this coming Fall, we will offer MOOCs that address two related strands in which participants can develop competencies:

Strand A – Language as Formative Assessment: This strand will consist of two courses that build the capacity of teachers to observe student language as a formative assessment practice during instruction. One course will focus on student-to-student discourse, and the second course will focus on the language of argumentation. Both of these uses of language are part of the practice standards in the Common Core as well as essential components of the CCSSO/ELPA21 standards. In the MOOCs, the assignments will focus on obtaining samples of student language across disciplines (ELA, Math and Science), analyzing and sharing them with colleagues in the course, and learning different ways to extend and deepen the quality of the language.

Strand B – Building Performance Assessments:  This strand will build educators’ capacity to use and develop curriculum-embedded performance assessments that fit local contexts. Course activities include reviewing sample performance tasks and developing a performance task that is aligned and embedded with a specific curricular unit and performance outcomes. A second course will focus on improving the tasks by obtaining and analyzing student work samples from the performance assessments in relationship to student and community assets and funds of knowledge.

Each of the four courses (2 in each strand) will take approximately 35 hours of learning time. Successful completion of the assignments for each course will result in a “Statement of Accomplishment” which can be used by systems to recognize professional development units or, if graduate credit can be awarded, through the local granting institution.

These courses are based on highly popular MOOCs developed by Stanford University through Understanding Language and SCALE (Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity), with over 50,000 teachers registered. The courses support various aspects of English language development and performance assessment development.

Our experience shows that the most successful MOOC rates of completion are accomplished when participants collaborate in face-to-face settings in between the online sessions, such as in organized professional learning communities or during after-school meetings led by district coaches. In recognition of this fact, we will be offering a set of learning opportunities this summer to help familiarize potential facilitators with the content and the online platform. These opportunities will focus on the content of the MOOCs, managing the online MOOC platform, and facilitating skills for hybrid environments that combine online learning with face-to-face sessions. These will be offered in July-August, and will also be available throughout the course meetings.

Please forward this information to your districts or to anyone else interested in your state.

Thank you for your interest in our resources!

Kenji Hakuta
Lee L. Jack Professor of Education, Emeritus
Faculty Director, Understanding Language / SCALE

Ray Pecheone
Executive Director
Understanding Language / SCALE

Phone:  650-723-5620

Note:  These resources will be made free thanks to a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

2 Responses

  1. How does one register or sign up for the Fall MOOCs? Thank you,

    Dr Harris

  2. I recommend you contact them at 650-723-5620.

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the NGSS Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.