Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Contract

Title: The Learning Element: A Lesson Planning and Curriculum Documentation Tool for Teachers
Center: NCER Year: 2010
Principal Investigator: Cope, William Awardee: Common Ground Publishing, LLC
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2.5 years Award Amount: $850,000
Type: Fast Track Award Number: EDIES10C0018

Purpose: When this project was funded in 2010, school-level curriculum design and instructional delivery often did not incorporate highly interactive, multimodal social media technologies where users generate content to provide feedback for learners and to support formative assessment. This project developed Web 2.0 social networking technologies to enable collaborative content design among teams of teachers, easy dissemination of instructional content to students, and rapid, responsive formative and summative assessments of student work. The product, the Learning Element 3.0, connects learning design, learning content delivery, learner activity, and learning assessment.

Project Activities: The project used an iterative development cycle of research, refinement, and testing. The team first developed a functional beta version, including a formal iterative process to elicit feasibility feedback from a target sample of users on initial versions of the prototypes and an advisory panel, composed of key experts from the teaching profession. Then the team then developed supporting professional development materials and products necessary for implementation. To demonstrate the usability of the product, the feasibility of the product's implementation, and the ability of the product to affect student outcomes, pilot research occurred in six middle school language arts and science classrooms over six weeks with 120 students. The pilot study demonstrated the usability and feasibility of the product, that teachers were able to integrate the product into common practices and revealed that the product supported students in self-assessing their writing.

Product: The Learning Element 3.0 is a product for teachers to reconfigure traditional curriculum design and instructional roles. The product consists of three interconnected online spaces, which users can choose to view separately or juxtapose in side-by-side panes presenting parallel views. These spaces include: 1) a 'teacher resource' space in which lesson planning occurs; 2) a 'learner resource' space in which this plan is translated into student-accessible text for independent or semi-independent learning; and 3) a 'learner workbook' space in which students undertake activities in the 'learner resource' space that build on scaffolded reading activities completed in the 'learner resource' space. The technology supports multimodal text delivery (text, image, video, audio) and can be used across multiple content areas.

ERIC Citations:  Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.