eSTEP is developed based on current and developing cognitive theory about the transfer of conceptual knowledge to professional practice. It focuses on integrating facilitated forms of video lesson study with text-based instruction and lesson-design activities. Pre-service teachers study video cases to help them acquire patterns of perceptual knowledge about many different events they will encounter in classrooms. Through integrated study with text and other discourse forms, learners repeatedly mesh this perceptual knowledge with ideas associated with the science of learning. Conceptual knowledge is then applied in lesson-design projects in which students create, critique, and improve justified plans for classroom instruction. The goal is that new teachers enter classrooms with the ability to plan flexibly, using learning science concepts in ways that mesh with their perceptual environment. Teachers watch videocases of classroom practice and use the threaded discussion to present intitial hypotheses and ideas and then use the online whiteboard to discuss and reflect on their ideas. Their online interactions are complemented with face to face meetings so that they have a sense of a learning community with the other teachers they are interacting with. The combination of face to face and online collaborative tools and learning environments allows the teachers to mesh perceptual ideas (from the videocases and postings to the threaded discussion) with conceptual ideas (through peer interaction and reflection in the online whiteboard).
The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
Students learn through meshing the conceptual ideas of the learning sciences with perceptual information from the problems of practice. The important feature behind this meshing is that interaction of face to face and collaborative discussions to incorporate the meshing of ideas in their learning.
Context of Use:
The eSTEP system is an integrated online learning environment for teacher education that provides videocases of classroom practice, an online learning sciences hypertext, and a collaborative problem-based learning environment.
Students and facilitators contributions and reflections are anchored in a collaborative environment where their reflections are connected to planned activities and perceptual experiences. The hybrid meshing approach using both online and face to face interactions encourage the best student reflection because they could interact personally in the classroom and feel a sense of connection between one another but also collaborate asynchronously and have time to think about their contributions to the discussion in a private environment using the online whiteboard.
Hmelo-Silver, C., Derry, S., Woods, D., DelMarcelle M., Chernobilsky, E., (2005). From parallel play to meshed interaction:The evolution of the eSTEP system. Proceeding of the 10th Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (CSCL), The next 10 years, Taipei, 2005.