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Scope of the Project (Abstract and Summary)

Page history last edited by Heidi Trotta 13 years, 7 months ago
Bridging the Gap: The High School - College Connection


Scope of Project
Instructional Designer:   Heidi Trotta
Faculty:                      Martha Schoene, Physics


Ridge High School:            Brian Heiniman, Technology Coordinator 

Using emerging technologies, it is possible to expand the local school community to become part of a larger collaborative educational system. Seton Hall University and Bernards Township Public Schools have worked together to create authentic problem based modules that are delivered using Lecture123 software. Students at the high school are given the opportunity to work with university level experts in an asynchronous environment in an effort to prepare them with skills necessary for college success, while bringing more rigor and relevance to the high school classroom.  
Details of Project:
In 2005 Bernards Township began a pilot program using Lecture123 software in its elective science courses at the high school level. Creating a rich virtual learning space, Lecture 123 combines powerpoint slides with voice and annotation. Easy to use, Ridge High School was the first K-12 environment to fully implement this software. From inception, this technology offered a natural medium to collaborate with other K-12 districts and higher education settings in an asynchronous fashion. Starting in 2006, Ridge High School began to collaborate with Seton Hall’s Teaching, Learning and Technology Center to find creative ways to engage the high school student in the further development of higher level cognitive skills necessary for college success through the use of authentic problem-based learning. Pilot modules were developed in the area of Environmental Studies (Rip Currents) with the focus on issues of concern and relevance in the state of New Jersey and to the high school/college student.
Students at Ridge completed this module in the spring of 2006 with students and instructors solicited for feedback. Results on the instructional side were positive with students demonstrating success on the embedded and post assessments. Some concerns were raised on the technology side that resulted from bandwidth issues in the district and from working on a wireless network. Students also made very little use of the question and answer system in Lecture 123 and it was felt that this would need to be improved as well in subsequent implementations to provide more direct interaction with the university content experts. Based upon feedback and continued administrative support, Seton Hall committed to continue to further develop and revise problem-based modules on other New Jersey environmental topics to implement at Ridge High in the 2006-07 school year. Winter Storms was created in the winter of 2007 with the emphasis on collaborative knowledge building and problem solving. One hundred and twenty students, juniors and seniors, used Winter Storms in the spring, closely followed by the use of River City, a virtual world learning environment created by Harvard University.
This type of partnership encourages collaboration, knowledge sharing and the creation of effective learning environments, bridging the gap between the high school and university. Projects such as this, demonstrate how experts in higher education can make an impact at the K-12 level in their areas of expertise while, most importantly, preparing high school students for college success. For K-12 districts, these initiatives allow schools the ability to mix expert content and instructional design expertise with the local knowledge and experience of the teacher in the classroom through the use of technology.
Special Note:


Funding for this project was for 2006-2007 only.


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