Engineering an Online Course in Science Education

a. State the focus of the session and its relevance to the ASTE membership.
Note to reviewer: Various aspects of this course have been shared at ASTE in the past:

1. ASTE in San Antonio, January 2014: The presenters shared the very basics of the course, but mostly focused on the results of post-course research using follow-up interviews and surveys from teachers who took the MA-level course in summer 2013. The presentation was well received and many people in the audience asked for more information, mostly about the design and delivery of the course itself. There were email exchanges between the presenters and people interested in following up about the course.

2. ASTE in Portland, January 2015: The course was awarded two Blackboard (course management system) awards in the spring after the 2014 ASTE presentation. The course professor and instructional designer applied to present the various aspects of the course design at the 2015 ASTE conference. Two of the three ASTE reviewers questioned the benefit of a short 20-minute paper presentation. They were specific in strongly recommending this topic be an experiential session or a workshop. It was accepted as a paper presentation despite two reviewers suggesting it be in a more experiential format.

ASTE 2015: The presenters shared the content, delivery, and aspects of the course they found to have made it successful in winning the Bb Catalyst and Directors’ Choice awards. The presentation was in a large room and they were given 30 minutes to present due to there only being two presentations in that block. There was a large crowd, the reception was very good, and many ASTE members stayed after the presentation to ask questions. Many attendees gave the presenters their business cards and contact information asking for the Powerpoint and any more information that could be provided. When the primary presenter returned home, he spent 4-5 hours adding to the presentation PPT, inserting several screenshots from the course in addition to elaborating in the presentation notes for each slide. The updated PPT was emailed to all attendees who requested more information. Several recipients suggested a longer presentation in 2016, quite possibly an experiential session or a workshop.

This proposed workshop will focus on two concepts, 1) our struggles with designing a 100% online course for a science education class and 2) our design and implementation of an online course, focusing on engineering education for elementary and middle school teachers. The course was awarded two Blackboard (course management system) awards: a Catalyst Exemplary Course Award and a Director’s Choice for Course of Distinction .I worked with an instructional designer from our e-Campus Instructional Development Center. The instructional designer had no background in science education and I had no training in designing online classes. We will share our dynamics of working together and how it allowed our course design to progress. This may provide ideas for attendees should they be working with course designers at their universities.
A significant number of job description postings on the ASTE website refer to potential applicants having knowledge of, or ability to use, some type of distance teaching (fully online or hybrid). This presentation could possibly give the attendees some information regarding online teaching that may affect them in their job search endeavors in addition to their current teaching situations.

b. Outline
2 hours
• Brief Introduction (5 minutes)
• Hands-on activity modeling an engineering design challenge used in Module 1 of the online course (20 minutes)
• Walk through the syllabus and course timeline/points sheets, all of which will be provided (10 minutes)
• Share feedback from the Blackboard scoring guide, student feedback, and our own reflections regarding the aspects that made the course successful and aspects we changed the second time we taught the course the following year. (15 minutes)
• Online course walkthrough, module-by-module (five total) showing the course topics, sequence, assignments, pedagogical techniques, and tools we used that are available in Blackboard. Participants will be given generic login names, passwords, and 100% access to the course so they can walk through the course and modules as if they were instructors (seeing more than what a student in the course would see). We will also walk them through various types of technology we embedded in the course (such as wikis, blogs, Screencast, embedded video, Screenr, Google Forms, etc.), and we will introduce them to the idea of providing instructional materials in innovative, engaging ways using tools as simple as PowerPoint. (60 minutes)
• Wrap-up and questions (10 minutes)
c. List the learning objectives of the workshop, briefly describe the instructional strategies you will be using, and how you will judge the effectiveness of your workshop.

As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to do the following after the presenters lead them through the entire course:
1. Obtain information and skills to help them design a successful online course for a science education class (in the context of engineering for grades K-8).
2. Experience the topics, sequence, technology, and pedagogical techniques used on this course that was identified as a Blackboard Catalyst Exemplary Course and a Blackboard Directors’ Choice Course of Distinction.
3. Participate in discussions regarding how these topics can be applied to their own courses.
Judging Effectiveness:
d. The presenters will do the following evaluation to measure the effectiveness of the workshops objectives:
Objective 1: The participants will respond to 3-5 likert-scale questions regarding the effectiveness of the workshop and its application towards their own course needs. They will also respond to a short answer question with further questions they may have. The presenters will follow up with these questions in an email within two weeks after the workshop.
Objective 2: The participants will address items in the survey in which they rate their understanding and/or usefulness of the pedagogical techniques and tools to which they will be exposed as we lead them through the course documents and five learning modules.
Objective 3: Participants will be given a final short-answer question on their surveys to ask for clarification on any topics that may not be covered in the workshop due to time constraints.
I will definitely make myself available to course participants via phone or email should they have any questions. The instructional designer, the co-presenter for this workshop is equally interested in sharing any information participants would like to ask well after the workshop ends. We will leave the course open for exactly one month should the participants wish to look through its contents during the last weeks of holiday break and into the beginning of the spring semester.
e. Explain who within the ASTE membership would be most interested:
The following ASTE members would most likely be interested, and benefit from, this workshop:
• Professors of science education who are currently are, or will be, designing and teaching online courses
• Science education curriculum designers and coaches wishing to provide online professional development to teachers in their state or district
• Professors, providers of teacher professional development, and/or curriculum personnel wishing to implement engineering education in their own classrooms or in their outreach endeavors.
• Science educators wishing to learn more about teaching engineering to teachers in grades K-8

f. Describe the expertise/experience of the workshop presenters to present in the topic area.
Dr. Scott Townsend is an associate professor of science education at Eastern Kentucky University. He has a PhD in science education from Indiana University in Bloomington. His formal classroom experiences were in high school chemistry, physics, and physical science. His informal science teaching and outreach experiences span all grades from K-12, master’s level course delivery, and a multitude of teacher professional development outreach endeavors. He currently teaches elementary science methods, occasionally teaches middle school and secondary science methods, and teaches other MA-level classes for elementary and middle school teachers in a hybrid (online/onsite) format. He is also involved in many aspects of the local and state science education community, most recently providing outreach for the implementation of the NGSS for his state’s department of education.
Jennifer Perkins is an instructional designer for Eastern Kentucky University’s e-Campus, which provides fully online programs in a number of areas. She works primarily with the College of Education and the Master of Public Administration program, facilitating design and development of online courses via the Blackboard learning management system, building technology tools to aid learning, and advising instructors on best practices in online teaching and learning. Jennifer also provides instructional design and e-learning consultation services to companies and organizations outside the university setting.

g. Provide a budget for the workshop:
The presenters will ask for no fee for this workshop. The materials for the engineering design challenge used with the participants will be provided by the presenters. The participants will need to bring a laptop or a tablet (preferably a laptop) and be responsible for purchasing internet access at the hotel or convention center (if necessary). The most important aspect of this workshop will involve the participants walking through the course with the presenters.