CTL: Insightful design, research, and evaluation of innovative learning environments and assessments
Broadening Student Participation in Secondary Computer Science Through Principled Assessment of Computational Thinking

Broadening Student Participation in Secondary Computer Science Through Principled Assessment of Computational Thinking

As part of the NSF-funded Principled Assessment of Computational Thinking (PACT) projects, SRI Education has been working with curriculum authors and teachers, assessment experts, and computer scientists to develop assessments for Exploring Computer Science (ECS). ECS is a new high school curriculum that focuses on developing students’ problem-solving and computational thinking skills.

ECS was designed to support the creation a more diverse pipeline to computer science education and careers by targeting urban high schools and expanding the participation of traditionally underrepresented students in introductory computer science. The goal of this effort is to increase the enrollment of women and minorities who remain underrepresented in those attaining computer science degrees and entering computer science careers.

The ECS curriculum is spreading rapidly in response to demand from school districts nationwide. Teachers implementing the curriculum need high-quality assessments of student learning so they can understand their students’ computational thinking skills and help students learn those skills. The SRI PACT team designed and developed assessment tasks that elicited students’ problem solving and inquiry skills in authentic contexts and gave them opportunities to represent their skills in their own words and ways. Continue reading about PACT and the ECS assessments.


Incorporating the Vision of the Next Generation Science Standards into Instruction and Assessment

Incorporating the Vision of the Next Generation Science Standards into Instruction and Assessment

Center for Technology in Learning (CTL) senior researcher Christopher Harris along with Joseph Krajcik, Director of the CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University, were invited to co-lead two professional development workshops this past summer to support the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in California. In July, Harris and Krajcik were invited by the National Science Teachers’ Association to present a full day professional development workshop – Implementing NGSS in Secondary Science Classrooms – to an audience of over 200 science teachers and district leaders in Anaheim, CA. In August, Harris and Krajcik were invited by the California Science Project to present a two-day professional development workshop, Implementing NGSS Instruction and Assessment, at a convening at California State University, East Bay, in Hayward, CA. Participants included California State University faculty regional directors for the California Science Project, representatives from county offices of education, and district science leaders and teachers representing K-12 science. In both workshops, Harris and Krajcik shared insights from their NSF-funded work focused on supporting teachers in implementing instruction and assessment to help students achieve the ambitious learning goals of the NGSS.


Innovative Pedagogy 2015

Innovative Pedagogy 2015

Every year since 2011, the UK’s Open University has released a report called "Innovating Pedagogy" on important educational trends for teachers and policymakers. The 2015 edition of this widely followed report was developed through collaboration between researchers at the Institute of Educational Technology in The Open University and the Center for Technology in Learning. Innovating Pedagogy 2015 introduces ten pedagogies—methods and practices for teaching—that already influence educational practice or offer opportunities for the future. By ‘innovative pedagogies,’ we mean theories and practices of teaching, learning and assessment for the modern, technology-enabled world. The report has already been downloaded 20,000 times. Learn more and get your free copy.


Research on Media-rich Science and Literacy Learning at Home

Research on Media-rich Science and Literacy Learning
at Home

CTL researchers, with long-time partners at EDC’s Center for Children and Technology, will conduct a suite of innovative formative and summative evaluation research studies for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) under the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready to Learn program. CPB and partners will develop new television and multimedia resources to prepare children to succeed in school by engaging preschool and young elementary school children and their families in science and literacy-themed learning at home and in community settings. SRI and EDC researchers will conduct studies that inform the development of new resources and measure their effectiveness. Learn more about prior RTL research results.


Mathematica and SRI selected to run Rapid Cycle Technology project

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology selected Mathematica (prime) and CTL in a highly competitive process to conduct Rapid Cycle Technology Evaluations of educational software applications (apps) in K-12 settings. The primary goal of this initiative is to build capacity in schools and districts to make evidence-based decisions on apps, taking into account the specific needs of their students and local context. Apps can address a variety of goals and audiences, ranging from specific academic skills (e.g., math, science, ELL) to social emotional learning and teacher professional development. The project aims to establish a high standard for low-cost, quick turnaround evaluations by providing sites with models, tools, and resources that they can use to guide their own testing. These resources will be piloted and then field tested in at least two cycles from now through early 2017, with an optional two-year extension period.

Blog Post: Examining Research Support for a Digital, Blended Learning Mathematics Curriculum

Blog Post: Mentoring Girls in Computer Science

Report: A Framework for Evaluating Implementation of Workforce Education Partnerships and Programs


Don't miss our February Research Update!

Learn about the CTL staff invited to White House events and the NSF forum CTL co-produced with EDC: Next Generation STEM Learning for All.



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