An Online Support System for Noyce Scholars and Teachers

  • NSF Noyce Award # 1439904
  • First Name Jerry
  • Last Name Dwyer
  • Email jerry.dwyer@ttu.edu
  • Discipline Math
  • Presenters

    Jerry Dwyer, Texas Tech University, jerry.dwyer@ttu.edu; Taryn Estes, Texas Tech University, taryn.estes@ttu.edu

Need

Beginning teachers often feel isolated when assigned to more remote school districts. The project benefits all teachers who have reduced opportunities to communicate with like minded colleagues. It also benefits preservice teachers who cannot attend campus seminars because of their student teaching placement.

Goals

The goal of the project is to provide a forum for discussion among preservice and inservice teachers who may not have the opportunity to meet face to face with colleagues who have similar teaching interests. The key activity is a weekly series of online postings on topics related to the teaching of mathematics.

Approach

A current teacher, who is a former Noyce scholar, acts as a moderator for the discussion board. Each week he posts a question and participants respond. A typical question might be: what kind of flipped classroom activities have you found to be most beneficial in your classroom? Most of the respondents are preservice teachers who are completing their student teaching placement. A small number of undergraduate math majors who are not pursuing a teaching degree also participate as part of a one credit seminar course.

Outcomes

About half of our current Noyce scholar recipients participated weekly in the forum. This number is lower than we would prefer. Participants indicated that they preferred this forum to a facebook hosted forum in previous semesters. It was notable that participants provided thoughtful innovative answers. It was also interesting that there was considerable overlap in the types of answers provided. As the current scholars begin their teaching careers we plan to provide the forum as a continuing support system for them as they move into positions and school locations that may be isolated.

Broader Impacts

The online forum has provided an opportunity for preservice teachers to interact and share ideas and plans about teaching. Undergraduate students outside the teaching area have also benefitted from the interaction. When further results are available and analyzed the findings will be reported at conferences and poster sessions.

Posted on July 4, 2018