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An Assessment Framework For A Large Scale, Web Delivered Resource Project For Middle School Teachers Of Math, Science, And Technology

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.177.1 - 11.177.21



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Paper Authors


Dale Bremmer Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dale Bremmer is a professor of economics in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana. He has taught at Rose-Hulman for the last eighteen years, specializing in applied econometrics. Bremmer has also taught at Arkansas State University and Indiana State University. He received his bachelos and mastes degrees in economics from Arizona State University while he earned his doctorate in economics from Texas A&M University.

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Patricia Carlson Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Patricia Carlson is a professor of rhetoric in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a long-time advocate of writing in engineering education. Carlson has been a National Research Council Senior Fellow for the U. S. Air Forcer, as well as having had several research fellowships with NASA (Langley and Goddard) and the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground. She has also been a research fellow at NASA’s Classroom of the Future located in Wheeling, WVA. Her primary research area – computer-aided tools to enhance writing in engineering education – has been funded through two NSF grants.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Assessment Framework for a Large-Scale, Web-Delivered Resource Project for Middle School Teachers of Math, Science, and Technology Abstract

Methods for determining a treatment’s efficacy are continually evolving and improving, yet challenges clearly exist. Even now, assessment of large-scale, multi-dimensional, web-delivered programs brings with it a host of difficulties. We describe a framework for measuring the impact of PRISM (Portal Resources for Indiana Science and Mathematics), a digital resources library and a “community of practice” for Indiana teachers of middle school mathematics, science, and technology. Our presentation consists of three parts: (1) a description of PRISM as a learning hub, (2) an overview of the assessment methodology, and (3) a report on results obtained from a regression analysis.

1.0 PRISM and Educational Change

PRISM 1 is a free, web-delivered “window” on digital resources for middle school teachers of science, mathematics, and technology (SMT) in Indiana. The project is hosted at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute). Funding for this innovative approach to teaching and learning comes from the Lilly Endowment, Inc, Office of Educational Programs.

Our emphasis on improving SMT learning stems partly from the natural fit with Rose-Hulman’s core competencies and partly from growing concerns about national deficiencies and their long-term consequences. The increasingly interdependent global economy and the demands of the American workplace require robust science and mathematics abilities in the workforce. Yet reports both from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)2 and from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)3 continue a thirty-year history of lackluster student performance.

In improving SMT instruction, we have identified middle school as the target population because the transitional years of grades six through eight prove critical for students who lose interest and lack success and thus do not take the type of courses in high school that makes them competitive, either in the workplace or in pursuing a college degree in science, mathematics, engineering, or associated technologies.

1.1 PRISM as a Learning Hub for SMT Middle School Teachers

The PRISM gateway creates a “community of practice” for middle school teachers across Indiana to share experiences and to harvest the remarkable opportunities for improved SMT learning through web-delivered simulations, visualization, modeling, access to live data, and by enabling new collaborations, interactive learning, and alternative pedagogical approaches. The five-person PRISM team members -- hired through the grant -- serve as partners to the classroom teachers by providing ongoing advice, hosting special web-conferences, and authoring learning modules.

Accomplishing change in education must start where learning begins: with the classroom teacher.

Bremmer, D., & Carlson, P. (2006, June), An Assessment Framework For A Large Scale, Web Delivered Resource Project For Middle School Teachers Of Math, Science, And Technology Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1108

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