Projects

WGBH Teachers Domain: Engineering Collection Evaluation
2006 - 2007

Teachers' Domain harnesses WGBH's extensive broadcast, video, and interactive programming resources to support standards-based teaching and learning from elementary through high school. The website offers contextualized, rich-media materials in several content areas that teachers can access easily, free of charge, and use to enrich classroom activities with students as well as their own professional development.

WGBH has added a new collection within Teachers' Domain to both enhance teaching and student learning of the engineering design process in grades three through 10 as well as introduce students to engineering as a profession as a career option. To understand better and assess how well the program meets these goals, CCT conducted a set of case studies to learn more about the use of videos, interactives, textual backgrounders and resources housed within Teachers' Domain's Engineering Collection. The case studies, funded through the support of the Argosy Foundation, involved teachers working in urban schools at the upper elementary, middle, and early high school levels and focused on two key sets of questions.

How does the Engineering Collection impact the following?

  • Students' attitudinal shifts toward potential careers in engineering
  • Students' understanding of what engineers do and the kinds of engineering jobs available to them
  • Students' ability to describe and apply the engineering design process

How do teachers and students use Engineering collection resources?

  • In what ways do classroom practitioners integrate the resources into existing curriculum units related to core disciplines and lessons specific to engineering and the design process?
  • What is the usage pattern for video segments and interactives? For example, do users watch video clips entirely, watch in part, pause and play and/or rewatch?
  • How do users take advantage of the Teachers' Domain personalization functionality? For example, how long do users spend with each interactive, what pathways do they travel, and what are their habits with saving resources to folders, sharing them with others and adding annotations?

In conducting these case studies, CCT collected data related to the Engineering Collection overall with emphasis on the 30 resources that were newly added through support from the Argosy Foundation. Specifically, these new resources seek to provide content that is oriented toward the design process. They also seek to supplement the earlier resources that focused on civil engineering by covering topics such as robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.

STAFF

Lauren Goldenberg (PI)
Jennifer Schindel