Implementation and Monitoring
The ability of teachers to successfully implement this instructional case depends upon their ability to work collaboratively as a team to build and implement the key components of the instructional model. Teacher Teams should have the opportunity to identify key elements of this instructional process and then develop and use tools that will provide them with feedback about the degree and quality of implementation of selected elements of this process.
For example, the teachers might ask students the key question: "What enables your selected water test to work successfully in a remote and hostile environment such as Mars? Describe the specifics of how your water test is designed to make it suitable for this environment." The students would work in teams answering the questions and enter the answers into their online lab notebooks. The teacher would provide a rubric for assessing the responses and each team of students would assess and provide comments to another team of students.
The teachers would share the responses of their students with one another. Using a Looking at Student Work (LASW) protocol, they would provide feedback to one another on the responses of their students and suggestions for improving instruction based on the students' responses.
Another excellent online system for carrying out this work can be found on the ACOE Web site and is called the Student Work Profile (SWP). Teachers could select a sample of 5 student responses and upload these samples to the SWP site. Teachers could then visit this site and assess the student work using the mutually agreed upon rubric. The site would automatically provide data about the consistency of assessment a long with each of the teacher comments. Teacher teams could then use this information to calibrate their use of the rubric as well as their expectations for student performance.
Importantly, implementation of the key elements of the instructional case will also engage teachers in planning and carrying out action research projects that continuously inform the improvement of the instructional cases as well as the implementation of the instructional cases. This work parallels the work that teachers and students are doing in collaborating with CSU and NASA scientists to conduct real science inquiry.