Hi Tom, now that it has been a few more months, have you established an ideal number of participants for your faciliated courses for Elements PBA? For your faciliated material, have you used the facilitated materials offered on Intel.com/education/elements web site or did you create your own? Thanks for sharing.
Theresa - I'd like to share what the New York ITA is doing to promote Facilitated Intel Elements Courses, but first...
We've found the Elements courses work best with 15 to 18 participants and yes, we used Intel's materials from the Elements web site.
The materials are the foundation of our prototype Project Based Approaches Moodle. We embedded the syllabus, eLearning, action plan, resource documents, and discussion prompts. We added a few things to it; notably a policy and a road map. The policy states exactly what's required of participants. The road map "spells-out" exactly what participants will do during the course. Traditionally every online course we offer has a syllabus, policy, and road map. Road maps are always aligned to standards, but we have yet to tackle this task for Project Based Approaches. If anyone's interested in browsing the prototype Moodle, send an e-mail request and we'll set you up with an account to preview the course (firstname.lastname@example.org). We've used the prototype Moodle for four pilot courses. All four pilot courses were successes.
The New York ITA has high hopes for Facilitated Elements Courses. Funding and release time have had a major impact on staff development here in New York. We need new ways to reach teachers. Facilitated Elements gives us options. At the same time, we want to ensure Elements courses maintain the quality associated with the Intel Teach Program. We invited our best Essentials Master Teachers to participate in an online Elements Facilitation Course. Through a combination of Elluminate webinars and moodle activities the MTs reviewed Project Based Approaches': eLearning, action plan, resource documents and discussions from the four pilot courses. The facilitation discussions centered on best practices observed in the four pilot courses and suggestions to improve the "Elements experience". Most discussions focused on time requirements, keeping participants on task, feedback loops, and directing learners back to items they might have missed in the eLearning, action plan, and resource documents. (Interesting to note, the two learning objects the facilitators found most effective were: the dialogue between Abe and Maria and Abe's action plan.) Facititators were also trained in Moodle and Elluminate.
At the conclusion of the facilitation course the MTs were issued certificates as evidence they were trained and are ready to facilitate Elements courses. Facilitators have the ability to schedule trainings themselves and/or teach the course offered through New York State Teacher Center's Online Learning Academy. The Online Learning Academy provides real opportunity. We don't have to wait for an LEA or Teacher Center to get 15 teachers together locally. Whenever 15 teachers from anywhere in the state request training we can run an Elements course. Teachers get to take the course based on their own schedules, and we can reach the rural population. (Yes, New York has it's share of rural areas.)
Facilitators can offer Elements courses 5 ways:
2. Hybrid face-to-face and Moodle
3. Hybrid Elluminate and Moodle
4. Totally online with Moodle
5. Totally online with Elluminate
When Facilitators schedule a class they complete a Google form. The ITA then creates the moodle classroom, schedules Elluminate sessions and orders the eLearning CD ROMs if needed. At the end of the training facilitators report completion numbers. The ITA will report trainings to Intel.
We still have a couple tasks to complete. Most important is aligning Elements to the standards. Next is creating a promotional flyer. Maybe these things exist and We've over looked them? Maybe you've done these things and would like to share?
Speaking of sharing...I've already mentioned you welcome to preview the prototype Project Based Approaches Moodle. We're willing to share that Moodle. If you'd like a copy let us know. We'll send a CD ROM (The archived Moodle is rather large and doesn't transport well online). If you're an ITA and would like to run a pilot course or two, you're welcome to use our Moodle server.
We're looking forward to the next 10 years of Intel Teach!