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  1. Background: Researcher-practitioner partnerships (RPPs) have gained increasing prominence within education, since they are crucial for identifying partners’ problems of practice and seeking solutions for improving district (or school) problems. The CS Pathways RPP project brought together researchers and practitioners, including middle school teachers and administrators from three urban school districts, to build teachers’ capacity to implement an inclusive computer science and digital literacy (CSDL) curriculum for all students in their middle schools. Objective: This study explored the teachers’ self-efficacy development in teaching a middle school CSDL curriculum under the project’s RPP framework. The ultimate goal was to gain insights into how the project’s RPP framework and its professional development (PD) program supported teachers’ self-efficacy development, in particular its challenges and success of the partnership. Method: Teacher participants attended the first-year PD program and were surveyed and/or interviewed about their self-efficacy in teaching CSDL curriculum, spanning topics ranging from digital literacy skills to app creation ability and curriculum implementation. Both survey and interview data were collected and analyzed using mixed methods 1) to examine the reach of the RPP PD program in terms of teachers’ self-efficacy; 2) to produce insightful understandings of the PD program impact on the project’s goal ofmore »building teachers’ self-efficacy. Results and Discussion: We reported the teachers’ self-efficacy profiles based on the survey data. A post-survey indicated that a majority of the teachers have high self-efficacy in teaching the CSDL curriculum addressed by the RPP PD program. Our analysis identified five critical benefits the project’s RPP PD program provided, namely collaborative efforts on resource and infrastructure building, content and pedagogical knowledge growth, collaboration and communication, and building teacher identity. All five features have shown direct impacts on teachers' self-efficacy. The study also reported teachers’ perceptions on the challenges they faced and potential areas for improvements. These findings indicate some important features of an effective PD program, informing the primary design of an RPP CS PD program.« less
  2. CSforALL & SageFox Consulting Group (Ed.)
    Research-practitioner partnership (RPP) projects using approaches such as design-based implementation research (DBIR), seek to build organizational infrastructure to develop, implement, and sustain educational innovation [19]. Infrastructure consists of the practices and objects that support educational practice. Infrastructure constitutes human and material resources and structures that support joint work [18,29]. Although RPP literature has identified co-design as an infrastructure-building approach, to the best of our knowledge, specific techniques for managing co-design and other infrastructure building practices are still lacking [9,18,23]. Without such tools, RPP partners' varied backgrounds, workplace norms, and priorities can produce behaviors that may be normal in the context of a single organization but can impede communication, resource access, and innovation implementation in a collaborative context. The NSF-funded Computer Science Pathways RPP (CS Pathways) project's DBIR approach uses co-design of a culturally responsive middle school CS curriculum to develop infrastructure for providing high-quality CS education across three urban school districts. The curriculum focuses on developing mobile apps for social good and will be taught by teachers with varied CS experience in varied classroom contexts (e.g., civics, science). The purpose of this workshop paper is to demonstrate a technique, namely Manager Tools One-on-one meetings [15], adapted by CS Pathways partnersmore »to manage the co-design process. O3s have six features: they are frequent; scheduled; 15 to 30 minutes in duration; held with all participants working on a specified project; semi-structured; and documented by the manager or researcher. This workshop paper describes how to use O3s to engage teachers and researchers in developing collaborative infrastructure to promote shared exploration of feedback and build and sustain partnerships.« less
  3. The Gene Ontology (GO) is a comprehensive resource of computable knowledge regarding the functions of genes and gene products. As such, it is extensively used by the biomedical research community for the analysis of -omics and related data. Our continued focus is on improving the quality and utility of the GO resources, and we welcome and encourage input from researchers in all areas of biology. In this update, we summarize the current contents of the GO knowledgebase, and present several new features and improvements that have been made to the ontology, the annotations and the tools. Among the highlights are 1) developments that facilitate access to, and application of, the GO knowledgebase, and 2) extensions to the resource as well as increasing support for descriptions of causal models of biological systems and network biology. To learn more, visit http://geneontology.org/.