The project consists of three main phases: (1) initial design of VIM modules and usability testing, (2) feasibility testing, (3) pilot randomized control trial to study efficacy. Iterative revisions will be made to the VIM modules throughout the study.
Usability testing was conducted with mathematics teachers and teacher educators with initial VIM modules. This feedback was used to improve the learner experience and content use. Participants indicated that the individual activities in the modules were useful and engaging. In particular, participants found two new design elements the most useful: the lesson graph and comparing solution methods. Participants also identified design elements that could be improved, which were incorporated into the next iteration of the modules. They suggested a more streamlined interface for the activities and fewer methods for inputting comments or work into the online interface.
The purpose of this feasibility study is to understand and provide feedback on how teachers and teacher leaders use the VIM modules for their own professional learning. Four different VIM modules are included in the feasibility testing, along with three different delivery formats. WestEd-facilitated groups will be use the VIM modules with colleagues, interacting asynchronously in the online environment and commenting on each other’s work, with a WestEd staff member facilitating the group’s engagement. Locally-facilitated groups will work with colleagues, interacting asynchronously in the online environment and commenting on each other’s work while completing the VIM modules. Individual users will use the VIM modules at their own pace.
Pilot Efficacy Study
The pilot efficacy study will investigate what teachers learn from participating in VIM modules, and how teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching and instructional practice have been changed, and how students’ performance is influenced as a result. Three groups of teachers will be included in this study: (a) Professionally-facilitated by an expert WestEd facilitator, (b) Locally-facilitated by a school or district leader, and (c) Independently alongside other teachers. This study aims to answer the following research questions:
What is the impact of the VIM facilitated cohort-based experience compared to the impact of the VIM group-paced experience on teachers’ MKT and teaching practice?
What is the impact on their students’ performance and practices?