EQUAL, SEPARATE, OR COMPLEMENTARY? CONTRIBUTIONS OF ONLINE MODULES IN A BLENDED GEOSCIENCE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
In order to probe the summer academy and online modules’ impact, TANS assessed online modules’ content at the beginning (pre-test) and the end (post1) of the summer academy, before the modules were assigned. Teachers were then assessed again (post2) following completion of each online module.
Our analyses of the online modules’ assessments revealed no significant change in teachers’ science content for the Weather module during the summer academy. However, significant gains occurred after the summer academy (post1) to the second module assessment (post 2)—once teachers completed the module. The Plate Tectonics module fared differently. There were significant gains from the incoming knowledge to the end of the summer academy, before the module was assigned. There was no significant gain from the end of the summer academy (post 1), to the completion of the module (post 2), although the trend was positive.
We suspect that teachers were more familiar with tectonics content, and the summer academy targeted many of the same concepts that were addressed in the online module. This would explain the significant gains following the academy, before the module was assigned. The Weather module most likely differed more in content from the summer academy instruction. However, our results indicate that online modules in a blended professional development program can be effective, and contribute to increased geoscience content knowledge.