Online Short Courses for Teachers

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About the LAT Short Courses

On this page are links to all of the components that comprise customizable, modularized, TPACK-based online “short courses” that are designed to help elementary and secondary teachers learn to plan technologically enhanced, curriculum-based lessons, projects, and units. The content is divided into brief, sequential modules that help teachers to build their TPACK while learning to design technologically enriched instruction. Each module begins with an overview and learning goal for the segment, and is presented as video-based content that includes narrated slides, interviews with practicing teachers, imagery, and additional online resources. Each of the videos ranges from 2-13 minutes in length, and includes verbatim closed captioning. In addition to the video segments, the modules also offer editable student learning guides that scaffold each step of the learning, and regular prompts for in-class or online discussion with colleagues and mentors. The modules can be used as a supplement to face-to-face courses or as a completely online learning experience that might span two-three weeks. We have created different versions of the short course for elementary and secondary preservice teachers (with versions for experienced teachers forthcoming in fall 2016) so that we could customize the examples included to maximize relevance for the learners.

As we designed and developed these online short courses, we did so intending to offer the materials to the larger teacher education community as Open Educational Resources (OERs). (We gratefully acknowledge an OER minigrant awarded by Swem Library at the College of William & Mary in 2015-2016 that supported this work.) In so doing, we worked to anticipate the needs of a wide range of teachers with varied experience in teaching, working in differing contexts and cultures, as much as possible. We consciously erred on the side of the materials being perhaps too prescriptive and detailed for more experienced and/or advanced learners, since we suspected that it would be easier for other users to remove some of the content than to have to create additional supports.

We acknowledge, however, that despite our efforts to create content and structure in the short courses that could be used productively in many different teacher education programs, providing options for other teacher educators to customize, amend, and append the modules and supporting materials offers the most flexibility for using these materials.  Therefore, we offer the course materials here in three forms, to provide instructors with options for how to use them to best fit their needs.

  1. The courses can be used “as-is” through an open Web site.
  2. Users can also download a learning management package file to import into a number of different learning management systems. Once imported, users can modify the content, prompts and materials to most effectively meet their needs.
  3. For those that would prefer more customization options, we also offer all the materials for download, including the video files, PowerPoint slides, Word document versions of the scripts and student materials. These materials can be modified, remixed, and used in any course format.

The Creative Commons BY-SA license under which these short courses are released stipulates only that the original authors (and later contributors) are attributed in all succeeding derivatives of the work, and that those derivatives are released under the same BY-SA license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/). In addition, we request that all derivatives of these short courses be sent to us at the email addresses listed below so that we can post them here for other instructors to use and adapt. We hope that our efforts will catalyze more widespread sharing and adaptation of TPACK-based learning materials among teacher educators.

Mark Hofer & Judi Harris (mark.hofer@wm.edu & judi.harris@wm.edu)
School of Education, College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, Virginia USA