Syllabus 646

1/25    2/1    2/8   2/15    2/22    3/1    3/8    3/15    3/22*   3/29*   4/5   4/12   4/19   5/3   5/10   5/17  

*No class on these dates

: Norman Herr, Ph.D.
phone: 818 677-2505
offices:  ED 2138;  W.M. Keck Science Education Lab ED2105
office hours:  Tuesdays, 1-4 (please email first)

Time: Wednesdays, 7:00-10:00 PM

COURSE DESCRIPTION - This course focuses on the design, development and use of computer-based curricular resources for the teaching of science.  Topics include computer supported collaborative science, continuous formative assessment, interactive simulated experiments, curricular apps and online instruction, computer-assisted instruction, geospatial information analysis, online data collection and analysis, videomicroscpy, scientific editors, curricular games, scientific spreadsheets and databases, robotics and more.  This course includes a review and analysis of research on the use of technology in science education.

  • Website development
    • Masters Program Website - Continuing development of a website to house all resources developed during the masters program
    • CSCS Website - Continuing development of a website to house all computer supported collaborative science (CSCS) investigations and activities developed by teachers and their colleagues.
    • Classroom / Teaching Website - Continuing development of a website for use in teachers' secondary school classrooms. This website is linked to the CSCS website and provides an opportunity to present curricular resources and to deliver and collect assignments, projects and student work.
  • Professional Development
    • Conferences & Field Trips - By participating in professional conferences related to STEM education, as well as field trips to places of significance for STEM education, teachers will have the opportunity to share their best practices with colleagues and acquire ideas and resources to improve their own instruction.
    • Editor / Participation - Each teacher in this class will serve as an editor for one of their colleagues.  Through a mutual editing process, teachers will provide ideas for how to improve their colleagues websites and cloud-based resources, while simultaneously gaining insights in how to improve their own.
  • Data Analysis & Interpretation
    • Spreadsheets, Graphing, Data Analysis -  Collaborative cloud-based spreadsheets provide an opportunity to collect, analyze, and present data from entire classes. Teachers will develop CSCS activities that incorporate collaborative forms and spreadsheets to collect and instantly analyze experimental data through instant graphs and plots.
    • Sensors, Probeware - Mobile technologies and traditional desktop and laptop computers provide numerous avenues to collect data (accelerometers, anemometers, barometers, blood pressure sensors, charge sensors, gas sensors, colorimeters conductivity probes, current sensors, EKG, energy sensors, flow rate sensors, force sensors, dynamometers, heart rate sensors, radiometers, respirometers, salinity sensors, sonometers, spectrometers, spirometers, thermometers, turbidity meters, voltage meters, etc.).  Teachers develop lessons to use such sensors and probeware to engage their students in research. 
    • Images, Microscopy, Video Analysis - Digital photography, in its various forms, provides excellent opportunities to observe, analyze, and record natural and man-made phenomena.  Teachers learn how to use digital photography to record such phenomena (digital microscopy, digital telescopes, slow motion analysis, time-lapse analysis, stop-motion, frame-by frame analysis) 
    • Mapping, GPS - Global positioning systems (GPS) resources are used by many apps that have direct application to teaching science.  GPS tagging of photographs, for example, allows teachers or students to map the occurrence of any items (organisms, geological structures, etc.) to uncover patterns in distribution.  Teachers learn how to make maps of various phenomena and use such geospatial data to help their students understand patterns and  principles of cause and effect. 
    • Simulations - Teachers develop lessons using online simulations to investigate scientific phenomena that can not practically or safely be investigated in the secondary school laboratory. 
  • Collaborative Resource Development
    • Collaborative Presentations -  Teachers learn how to engage their students in the creation of collaborative presentations, bulletin boards, diagrams, slide shows, mind maps and other resources, and to use these in a variety of STEM lessons.
    • Engineering Design - The advent of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has brought engineering into the secondary science curriculum.  Teachers develop engineering lessons to engage their students in engineering-thinking by defining problems, designing solutions, and optimizing those solutions.
    • Instructional Video - Teachers collaborate in the development of instructional videos to teach and assess learning of various scientific and engineering principles.  
GRADING - Student work is graded holistically, considering issues of content, presentation, and technical expertise. It should demonstrate proficiency in the skills introduced in the class to create an educational resource that is useful, accessible and appealing. Although students should incorporate all resources introduced in class, excellence in certain aspects may compensate for deficiencies in others. All work should be reviewed by your editor before submitting.

(1-3) Websites (30%) 

    • (1) Masters Program Website  - Continue developing your masters program website which includes all work performed in all courses in your masters degree program.
    • (2) CSCS Investigations Website - Develop a CSCS (Computer Supported Collaborative Science) website which includes all of the CSCS activities performed in class, as well as personally developed CSCS activities that involve collaborative data analysis, collaborative resource development and continuous formative assessment. 
    • (3) Classroom Website - Develop a website to be used in the teaching a scientific discipline  Your website should include all of the interactive features discussed in the class.  It must include a minimum of 80 pages, including a variety of resources s, including, but not limited to, the following: Interactive State Content Standards;  links to useful resources, syllabi, semester plans, assignments, letter to parents, calendars, FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), Department & school contact lists, Curricular material, class handouts, sample projects (student reports, artwork, lab reports, projects, posters), homework assignments, problem solutions, links to relevant resources, web quests, glossary (key words, root words, etc.), study guides, help, department standards, interactive resources, wiki, blogs, academic- social networks, questionnaires & surveys (for formative assessment, gathering student data, etc,), multimedia teaching resources, animations, movies (procedures, activities, interviews, etc), diagrams, graphic organizers & concept maps, photos for use in class instruction (photos related to the subject you teach), Interactive documents, interactive maps.  Your website should include analytics that allow you track usage.
    • Attend a professional conference related to the teaching of science.  Write a paper describing the event, specific things you learned, and a summary of the benefit to you as a science educator.
    • Visit a site of scientific interest (e.g. California Science Center, Long Beach Aquarium, Jet Propulsion laboratory, etc.) and develop a mobile app to engage students in learning specific concepts and ideas while attending the venue you have selected.
    • Provide continuous feedback regarding the status and quality of the websites developed by your editor.
    • Respond to all editorial comments made by your editor on your work.

(6-13) Projects (50%)
    • Assignments do not have the same value as each other. The point value of a project is dependent upon the difficulty of the assignment and time required. The assignments are described in detail on the website, but include the following:
      • Spreadsheets, Graphing, Data Analysis
      • Sensors, Probeware
      • Images, Microscopy, Video Analysis
      • Mapping, GPS
      • Collaborative Presentations
      • Engineering Design
      • Instructional Video

93% A , 90% A- , 87% B+ , 83% B , 80% B- , 77% C+ , 73% C , 70% C- , 67% D+ , 63% D , 60% D- , below 60% F 

OBJECTIVES - While addressing all five of the program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), this course focuses most strongly on two. Students are expected to demonstrate: 


SLO #4 Educational Awareness by knowing current discipline-based and general educational issues and how those impact schools; 

SLO #5 Leadership by influencing policy and practice in educational communities through advocacy and example.   


In this course, students are expected to develop innovative science experiments, demonstrations, investigations and other activities. Students demonstrate an awareness of issues related to science education, and demonstrate leadership by developing new science teaching resources and sharing these resources by publishing them on the web and by providing training for other science teachers in the use of these activities. In particular, students are expected to: 

  • Develop website resources for use in the teaching of the sciences 
  • Develop innovative science experiments, demonstrations, investigations, and activities  
  • Develop resources to assist pupils in the collection, analysis and interpretation of pooled data 
  • Gain skills to develop cloud-based lessons that help pupils develop collaborative based resources  


    Herr, N. & Cunningham, J. (1999). Hands-On Chemistry Activities with Real-Life Applications. West Nyack, New York, Jossey-Bass (Prentice-Hall). 638 pages. 

    Cunningham, J. & Herr, N. (1994).  Hands-On Physics Activities with Real-Life Applications. West Nyack, New York, Jossey-Bass (Simon & Schuster), 670 pages.


  • Yoon, S. A., Anderson, E., Koehler-Yom, J., Klopfer, E., Sheldon, J., Wendel, D., ... & Evans, C. (2015). Design features for computer-supported complex systems learning and teaching in high school science classrooms.

    Zacharia, Z. C., Manoli, C., Xenofontos, N., de Jong, T., Pedaste, M., van Riesen, S. A., ... & Tsourlidaki, E. (2015). Identifying potential types of guidance for supporting student inquiry when using virtual and remote labs in science: a literature review. Educational technology research and development, 63(2), 257-302.

    Wang, T. H., & Yang, K. T. (2016). Technology-enhanced science teaching and learning: Issues and trends. In Science Education Research and Practice in Asia (pp. 461-481). Springer Singapore.

    Cheung, A., Slavin, R. E., Lake, C., & Kim, E. (2016). Effective secondary science programs: A best-evidence synthesis. In annual meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC

    Chiu, T. K., & Churchill, D. (2016). Adoption of mobile devices in teaching: changes in teacher beliefs, attitudes and anxiety. Interactive Learning Environments, 24(2), 317-327.

    Campbell, T., Longhurst, M. L., Wang, S. K., Hsu, H. Y., & Coster, D. C. (2015). Technologies and Reformed-Based Science Instruction: The Examination of a Professional Development Model Focused on Supporting Science Teaching and Learning with Technologies. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 24(5), 562-579.

    Barrett, T. J., Stull, A. T., Hsu, T. M., & Hegarty, M. (2015). Constrained interactivity for relating multiple representations in science: when virtual is better than real. Computers & Education, 81, 69-81.

    Isiksal-Bostan, M., Sahin, E., & Ertepinar, H. (2015). Teacher Beliefs toward Using Alternative Teaching Approaches in Science and Mathematics Classes Related to Experience in Teaching. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 10(5), 603-621.

    Gu, J., & Belland, B. R. (2015). Preparing Students with 21st Century Skills: Integrating Scientific Knowledge, Skills, and Epistemic Beliefs in Middle School Science Curricula. In Emerging Technologies for STEAM Education (pp. 39-60). Springer International Publishing.

    Rutten, N., van der Veen, J. T., & van Joolingen, W. R. (2015). Inquiry-based whole-class teaching with computer simulations in physics. International journal of science education, 37(8), 1225-1245.

    Cheng, M. T., Chen, J. H., Chu, S. J., & Chen, S. Y. (2015). The use of serious games in science education: a review of selected empirical research from 2002 to 2013. Journal of Computers in Education, 2(3), 353-375.

    Ross, K., Lakin, L., McKechnie, J., & Baker, J. (2015). Teaching secondary science: Constructing meaning and developing understanding. Routledge.

    Butcher, J. (2016). Can tablet computers enhance learning in further education?. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 40(2), 207-226.

    Herr, N. (2013). Everyone in the Pool! Collaborative Data Analysis in the Science Classroom. HP Catalyst Academy. (

    Herr, N., & Rivas, M. (2014). Using Cloud-Based Collaborative Resources to Conduct Continuous Formative AssessmentProceedings of the 12th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education. 5-8 January, Honolulu, HI: HICE.

    Herr, N., & Rivas, M. (2014). Engaging Students in the Science and Engineering Practices of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS).Proceedings of the 12th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education5-8 January, Honolulu, HI: HICE.

    Foley, B., Reveles, J., Herr, N., Tippens, M., d'Alessio, M., Lundquist, L., Castillo, K.,& Vandergon, V. (2014) . Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS): An Instructional Model for Teaching the NGSS.Proceedings of the 2014 International Meeting of the Association for Science Teacher Education. New York: Springer-ASTE.

    Herr, N., Rivas, M. (2014). Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS): Engaging Students in the Science and Engineering Practices of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS). Proceedings of the 2014 International Meeting of the Association for Science Teacher Education.

    Herr, N., & Tippens, M. (2013) . Using scanning apps on smart phones to perform continuous formative assessments of student problem-solving skills during instruction in mathematics and science classes. In T. Bastiaens & G. Marks (Eds.). Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2013 (pp. 1138-1143). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

    Herr, N., Rivas, M., Foley, B., d'Alessio, M. & Vandergon, V. (2012) . Using cloud-based collaborative documents to perform continuous formative assessment during instruction. In T. Bastiaens & G. Marks (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2012 (pp. 612-615). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

    Herr, N., Rivas, M., Foley, B., Vandergon, V., d'Alessio, M., Simila, G., Nguyen-Graff, D. & Postma, H. (2012). Employing collaborative online documents for continuous formative assessments. In P. Resta (Ed.),Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2012 (pp. 3899-3903). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.