M-Learning (Thesis Volume 3.2: Project Design – Procedure)

A number of Ocean Institute programs are grant funded; many with the requirement of dissemination.  One platform of dissemination has been to highlight the programs on weekends for public visitors to talk to students and view their work.  This process has provided the Ocean Institute with positive feedback and appreciation from visitors, parents, teachers, and students.  The concept of OIPP was that podcasts can provide similar feedback, while elevating the education for both the students and visitors to another level.  From this original concept, grant proposals were written to fund such a program; the idea was to find a small grant to develop a pilot program.  Once the pilot was completed and if found to be potentially successful, attempts to receive larger grants would be desired.  Once the funds were in place the design process began.

  • Step 1:  Potential improvements for the weekend open house were identified.
  • Step 2:  An investigation of various technology platforms to present educational information was conducted.
  • Step 3:  The demographics of the target audience were identified.
  • Step 4:  Both student and program objectives were identified.
  • Step 5:  Assessments were identified to correlate with the objectives.
  • Step 6:  Partnerships with the Orange County Stellar Technology High Schools were developed.  A meeting with members of the high schools was held to brainstorm content, delivery, and other aspects of the program.
  • Step 7:  The field trip and program content was developed.
  • Step 8:  Through out the instructional design process, a series of tests performed to measure the usability and progress of the program.  The tests were performed at the middle and end of the instructional design process.  The tests were completed by Ocean Institute program developers, Ocean Institute instructors, Ocean Institute student volunteers, and teachers from participating schools.
  1. Exploratory Testing: The first test performed was the exploratory test. This test took place in the middle of the instructional design process and was completed by both Ocean Institute program developers and instructors.  The test instruments included an invitation to participate in the test, a test script explaining the purpose of the test, sample podcast, program assessment questionnaire, and group exit interview.  At the end of the testing, modifications were made by the recommendations of the staff.  The test exposed flaws in instructional design, directions, time allocation, and general problems that may arise.
  2.  Assessment Test: At the end of the instructional design, an assessment test was completed by a few of the participants that completed the exploratory tests along with Ocean Institute student volunteers.  The test instruments included an invitation to participate in the test, a test script explaining the purpose of the test, sample podcast, program assessment questionnaire, and group exit interview.  The results obtained from completing the program, along with the program assessment questionnaire, and exit interview provided direction for program modification prior to the validation testing.  Again, testing exposed flaws in design, equipment, directions, and general issues that may arise.  The podcasts developed from the assessment test provided excellent examples for students participating in the program in the future.  The test instruments included an invitation to participate in the test, a test script explaining the purpose of the test, program assessment questionnaire, and group exit interview.
  • Step 9:  Once the content was developed, the appropriate platforms for delivery were identified and developed; this included the program website, flash videos, PDF files, online tests, and other resource links.
  • Step 10:  An eight hour professional development seminar was designed; the process will not be addressed due to time constraints and thesis focus being on the actual Ocean Institute Podcast Program and not on the professional development course.
  • Step 11:  Professional development was held to review the program curriculum, introduce and navigate through the software, and podcast were produced by teachers.  A validation test would be conducted at the end of the seminar.
  1. Validation Test: The final test distributed was the validation test.  This test provided input by people not associated with the Ocean Institute.  Teachers participating in this program had an opportunity to take the validation test providing the final input before the program was finalized.  The teachers represented grades 6th through 12th in various school districts.  The validation test helped verify that the program met all needs required by teachers, and encouraged them along with other teachers to participate in the program.  The test instruments included an invitation to participate in the test, a test script explaining the purpose of the test, sample podcast, and program assessment questionnaire.
  • Step 12:  Suggestion, comments, and the results of the validation tests during the professional development were analyzed; changes were implemented where deemed necessary.
  • Step 11:  Program surveys were designed for participants for data analysis.
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