The Project Manager is a complete authoring environment for designing and publishing curricula in WISE. A designer can create new project steps, access WISE curricular tools, and link to evidence and content available on the Internet. It is also allows teachers and curriculum designers to customize existing WISE (Web-Based Inquiry Science Environment) curricula to local conditions in addition to creating original projects.
The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
There is evidence that a technology enhanced curriculum can scaffold student learning as well as introduce constructivist reform pedagogy (Scaffolded Knowledge Integration, SKI) into a teachers classroom (Linn & Hsi, 2000). However, a curriculum designed for implementation across a diverse range of teachers is often limited in its ability to address local content issues and student learning needs. The Project Manager allows teachers and curriculum designers to customize existing WISE (Web-Based Inquiry Science Environment) curricula to local conditions in addition to creating original projects.
However, Shrader et al. (1997) caution that localization designs often lead to lethal mutations that may make the curriculum unable to support the original design goals of an innovation. Therefore, a design environment should be flexible enough for users to adapt a curriculum to local needs while scaffolding adherence to original innovation design goals.
Context of Use:
The authoring environment is designed for use by teachers with experience teaching WISE projects and familiar with its pedagogy. Each component available in the Project Manager carries with it certain innovation affordances that help scaffold teacher use of the design environment that supports SKI design principles. The components must be arranged according to an Inquiry Map format that scaffolds student progress through each project.
The Project Manager has been used by students in project based design courses at UC Berkeley to contruct dozens of new WISE projects. Many of these projects have been run in classrooms. Additional teacher-designers are using the Project Manager to design and enact school science curricula as part of on-going research projects.
Linn, M. C. & Hsi, S. (2000). Computer, Teachers, Peers: Science Learning Partners (pp. 460). Mahway, NJ: Erlbaum
Shrader, G., Lento, E., Gomez, L., & Pea, R., (1997). Inventing Interventions: Cases from CoVis - An Analysis by SES. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, Illinois.