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

CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. 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 California NGSS k-8 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.