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Flavio Mendez

Senior Director

NSTA Learning Center

The NationalScience Teachers Association

NSTA’s Mission:To promote excellence and innovation in Science Teaching and Learning for All

The NationalScience Teachers Association

  • Membership, over 60,000

  • Professional Development

    • Conferences, 4/yr

    • NSTA Learning Center

  • NSTA Press

  • Advocacy

Present an overview of

NSTA’s new e-learning

Professional Development

Portal:A system-based approach to providing high quality PD resources

Purpose of today’s presentation

Looking at the Professional Development Landscape

How do you receive the majority ofyour Professional Development?

  • On-Site, 1-4 hour in-schoolin-service workshop

  • On-site, 1-2 day DistrictTraining Day

  • Summer, 1-2 Week Workshop

  • Online, 4-8 week University Short Course for 1-3 hours of Graduate Credit

Looking at the Professional Development Landscape

How many hours of PD did you receive last year?

  • 1-20 hours

  • 21-40 hours

  • 41-60 hours

  • 61-80 hours

  • 80+ hours

What Constitutes High Quality andHigh Impact Professional Development?

  • Time Span (on-going, not one shot opportunity)

  • Contact Hours (30-80 hours to change practice)

  • Emphasizes Active Learning and Collective Teacher Participation

  • Content-Focus

  • Coherence (individual plan for long term growth)

  • Linked to Systemic Reform and Teacher Input

    • Laura M. Desimone: University of Pennsylvania

    • Iris Weiss, Horizon Research, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC

  • Workshop for State Leader and Evaluators of Teacher Professional DevelopmentWashington, DC, April 24-25, 2008

  • Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice in Professional Development

  • Washington, DC Februrary 7-8, 2006

Bridging the Gap betweenResearch and Practice in PD

What we know—Local Systemic Change Core Evaluation: K-8 Weaknesses(75,000 data points)

“Teachers of Science” with less than 16 hours of PD in Science Education in last 3 years

  • What % at K-4 level?

  • What % at 5-8 level?

  • What % at 9-12 level?




Looking Inside the Classroom: A Study of K-12 Mathematics and Science Education in the United States—10 yr longitudinal national classroom observation study: Horizon Research, Weiss, 2003

The Research:Increased Content Knowledge

A positive correlation exists between student achievement and teachers’ content knowledge(Cochran-Smith and Zeichner, 2005; Darling-Hammond and Bransford, 2005; Goldhaber and Brewer, 1998; Goldhaber and Brewer, 2000; Grossman, 2005; Ma, 1999; Monk, 1994; Wenglinsky, 2002; Wilson, Floden and Ferrini-Mundy, 2001)

The Challenge:Accessible Content Knowledge

How to provide PD resources that are:

  • affordable

  • of “High Quality”

  • standards-aligned

  • content-specific

  • available on-demand

  • supports local curriculum

    to reach the nation’s 2.1 millionteachers of science?

My PD Plan & Portfolio




Online Affiliates




Regional/State Face-to-Face PD


Journal Articles

OnlinePD Catalog


TeacherPD Indexer


NSTA SciPacks and Science Objects




NSTAe-Books and

online Chapters

NSTA Symposia& PD Institutes


NSTA Web Seminars

NSTA OnlineShort Courses


2,900+ Professional Development Resources and Opportunities



Scalable, Sustainable, and Customized Professional Development

Nov. 2008 Collection: 2,900+ PD Resources and Opportunities Available

SciGuides [27]

Science Objects [56]

SciPacks [14]

Archived Web Seminars [104]

Web Seminars [30-40/yr]

Short Courses [3-4/yr]

Journal Articles [2206]

NSTA Press Books [230]

eBooks [23]

eChapters [453]

Symposia [10-13/year]

PD Institutes [10-13/year]

Over 850 resources and all tools FREE!

If District or State Partnership: Everything except books and online short courses are free to teachers @ $100 /teacher/year

Featured e-PDLearning Center Resources & Opportunities

supported by

Featured e-PD resourceswithin the Learning Center

  • 2 hour free online learningexperience in a particular topic

  • Interactive simulations of phenomena in an engaging way

  • Questions to promote interaction and learning via inquiry strategy

  • Based on science literacy goalsin science education standards

Featured e-PD resourceswithin the Learning Center

Sample Interactives and Multimedia from various Science Objects

  • Air Cart

  • F=ma

  • Make a Reef

Featured e-PD resourceswithin the Learning Center

A total of 56 one-two hour Science Objects arefreely availablenow at The NSTA LearningCenter. Topic Areas:

  • Force and Motion

  • The Universe

  • The Solar System

  • Gravity and Orbits

  • Energy

  • Coral Ecosystems

  • Resources and Human Impact

  • Earth, Sun & Moon

  • Coral Reef Ecosystems

  • Plate Tectonics

  • Rock Cycle

  • Ocean’s Effect on Weather and Climate

  • Science of Food Safety

  • Cell Structure & Function

  • Earth’s Changing Surface

Featured e-PDLearning Center Resources & Opportunities

supported by

Featured e-PD resourceswithin the Learning Center

  • 10 Hour Online and On-Demand Learning Experience

  • 3-5 Free Science Objects, plus

    • Pedagogical Implications component

    • Final Assessment

    • Individualized support via Content Wizard

NSTA’s Solution:Science Objects


Featured e-PD resourceswithin the Learning Center

Support Components for SciPacks

  • Auto System Check Wizard(detects and assists with necessary plug-ins)

  • Orientation/Navigation Support(how to navigate SciPack)

  • Technical Support Help Desk(issues accessing content)

  • Subject Matter Expert Wizard(intelligent coach via email)

SciPack High Level Production Cycle



5 weeks per SO20-25 weeks per SciPack

2 weeks/SO10 weeks/SciPack

2 weeks/SO10 weeks/SciPack

5 weeks/SO20-25 weeks/SciPack

2 weeks

8 weeks tocreate Scope

Process Repeats for each Science Object

Analysisand Design


Phase 1


Round 1


Phase 2


Round 2





  • Scope completed

  • Key Ideas and Evidences Identified

  • PI component for scope created

  • Evidences refined in light of PI content

  • PI for SciPack started

  • Writer creates content

  • Media storyboards created

  • Content Authored into LCMS

  • Content reviewed online

  • Reviews Conducted:end user, assessment, scope adherence, content

  • Revisions based on reviews

  • Media created and imported into LCMS

  • Content reviewed online

  • Reviews Conducted:end user, assessment, accessibility, content, and editorial

  • Content ported from development to public delivery server

  • Quality Assurance testing

  • Formative evaluation of SciPacks and SO’s

  • Analysis of captured assessment data

  • Analysis of Data collected through LCMS

~8 months to complete 1 SciPack

  • Participant Feedback: Confidence in teaching subject matter:

    • 7%: Very Confident Beforecompleting F&M SciPack

    • 60%: Very Confident Aftercompleting F&M SciPack

      98%: Found SciPack content relevant to their needs

      96%: Would recommend SciPack to their colleagues

      98%: Found interactive simulations worthwhile to their learning

  • Pre/Post Assessment and Final Assessment Results

    • Horizon Research Instrument: Positive significant gains in learning between pre/post test

    • Final assessment: 92% passed the final assessment

Evaluation of Online, On-Demand Science Professional Development Material Involving Two Different Implementation Models (Sherman & Byers)

Journal Science Education and Technology

February, 2008 (Vol. 17, No. 1)

Multiple District ScipackEvaluation Results

Featured e-PDLearning Center Resources & Opportunities

supported by

Featured e-PD resourceswithin the Learning Center

Valuable classroom resources for science

teachers interested in integrating the web

into their teaching

Each SciGuide consists of:

  • Approximately 100 standards-aligned web-accessible resources

  • Customized lesson plans using selected web resources

  • Teacher media vignettes describing and showcasing the lessons

  • Samples of student work

  • Interactives utilized in SciPack on same topic

Sample of Student Work from Organisms SciGuide

Third Party Evaluation

  • 90%: SciGuides are a valuable supplementalonline resource for educators

  • Written content very efficient in providing introductions to topics and suggesting resources

  • 100%: SciGuides are laid out in a logical fashion that is easy to navigate & consume from educator’s’ point of view.

  • 100%: SciGuides are effective resources that:

    • save educators time when searching for vetted URLs

    • assist in implementing the web by the accompanying lesson plans, media vignettes, and samples of student work

Featured e-PDLearning Center Resources & Opportunities

supported by


  • Interact with experts and colleagues from around the world

  • Since 2003 we have done over 200 free web seminars to over 6,500 participants

e-PD System Tools

  • My Learning Center 2.0

  • My Library and Notepad Tool 2.0

  • My PD Plan and Portfolio Tool 1.0

  • My Calendar Tool 1.0

  • My PD Indexer 2.0

  • My Transcript 1.0

  • State/District Accountability Admin tools 1.0

  • State Standards Alignment of Resources 1.0

My Library

  • Store and create collections of resources

  • Create notes for individual resources

  • Share your collections with colleagues

Professional DevelopmentPlan and Portfolio Tool

  • Create multiyear plan outlining your goals, evidences, and justifications for growth

  • Upload files to demonstrate completion of goals with reflections

  • Generate automatic PDF report with embedded URL links and images

Exploring the PD Indexer

Exploring the PD Indexer

My Transcript Tool

Track NSTA PD Experiences

  • Receive certificates

  • Generate PDF transcript report

  • Share report with administrators

Backend Administration District & State Reports

NSTA e-PDProducts and Services

Track Resource Preferencesand Usage

Which type and title of resources are in highest demand

What resources are added to libraries

AccountabilityTracking Reports

Track SciPack Progress

Frequency of Access

Percentage of completion

Final Assessment Results with Certificate

Pre/Post Assessment Results

SciPacks AdminTracking Reports

Export Administrator Data for Reports

You can export your teachers pre/post assessment data to an Excel spreadsheet to streamline your report requirements


Where We Are: Scaling Up ImplementationOver 28,000 Individual accounts with over 154,000 resourcesadded to users “My Library”

  • West Virginia Department of Education

  • New Hampshire Department of Education

  • Hawaii Department of Education

  • Vermont Department of Education

  • Nebraska Department of Education

  • Cincinnati Public School, Cincinnati, OH

  • Louisville County Public Schools, Louisville, KY

  • Gwinnett and Forsyth County Public Schools, Atlanta, GA

  • Lincoln County Public Schools, Lincoln, NE

  • Twin Harbors Science ConsortiumLASER Alliance, Mountain to Harbor Alliance, WA(Leadership & Assistance for Science Education and Reform)

  • Oregon Science Teachers Association

  • Florida Science Teachers Association

  • Zero-G Flight Initiative

  • Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL

  • Texas Education Service Center-36 TRC

  • University of Texas, Tyler, TX

  • Texas A&M University, Texarkana, TX

  • Towson University, Towson, MD

Over 20 State/District Partnershipsas of Nov 2008

Deployment: IHE Partnership for Graduate CreditWest Virginia Department of Education

  • Math/Science Partnership and21st Century Skills Initiative

  • Blended with Face-to-Face PD

  • Middle School and Special Education Teachers

  • Phase III roll-out in 2008 (~100 teachers/yr)

  • Marshall University awards graduate credit

Deployment: Leverage Statewide Systemic SystemTexas Regional Collaboratives in Science/Math

  • 36 TRC’s provide high quality PD f2f toteachers ill-prepared in subjects they teach

  • Two TRC’s and one Education Service Center utilize SciPacks to augment summer institute training (blended model), begin summer 2008

  • All TRC’s incorporating Learning Center, requirement: 1 SciPack and PD Plan Tool for 20 hours of 105 hrs/year (900 teachers)

Nine Step Deployment Model Example

Plan how fit into existing strategic science PD plan for district, and if desire evaluation partner

Identify first wave of teachers/curriculum leaders for pilot (champions, mentors, specialist, master educators)

Letter from home office informing about the value/purpose of rollout, followed-up with face-to-face discussion

Provide 1 day onsite orientation to support launch

All take identical SciPack for initial common experience

Provide appropriate incentives and penalties as complete SciPacks, link to facilitated moderated discussion/PLC

Admin monitor progress, usage, completion and pass rates

Conduct monthly/quarterly follow-up telecons with NSTA

Provide additional web seminars if/as needed

The NSTA Learning Center

Scalable, Sustainable, Individualized, andOn-Demand e-ProfessionalDevelopment

Flavio MendezSenior DirectorNSTA Learning Center

PH: 703-312-9250Email: [email protected]