TELS Partnership Design

Partnership Design Model

Teachers, administrators, and students universally agree that modeling and visualization are essential aspects of scientific literacy. Yet students often find simulations and visualizations difficult to understand and epistemologically complex. To meet this challenge, we collaborate with teachers in our partner schools to identify science topics that perplex students, align with standards, and can benefit from powerful visualizations and simulations.

In the original TELS project, we selected at least two topics for each middle school discipline: life science, physical science, and earth science, and two topics for each high school discipline: biology, chemistry, and physics. To measure baseline knowledge of the topics, we designed benchmark assessments that measure integrated understanding and administered them in participating schools. We then formed multidisciplinary partnerships (consisting of teachers and TELS researchers) to design inquiry activities for each of the topics. The partnerships reviewed student performance on the TELS benchmark assessments and designed activities intended to help students develop more integrated understanding about the TELS topics.

Our subsequent TELS Community research projects follow a similar partnership design framework for developing curricula.

Curriculum Design Review
The TELS Community has developed a design review process to ensure that projects created by the partnerships take advantage of prior research. TELS software and simulations enable researchers to make precise comparisons between alternative versions of instructional materials.