Instructional Modules for Professional learning Responding to Opportunities and Valuing Educators (IMPROVE) is a peer-reviewed virtual professional development resource. Modules within the resource are collaboratively authored by candidates in their final semester of coursework in the EdD in Curriculum & Instruction at Gardner-Webb University and promote positive, data-informed, sustainable change in instructional practices or organizational structures to improve student learning at the K-12 level and beyond.
The learning cycle featured in the modules in this resource is based on the STAR Legacy Cycle developed by the IRIS Center (2013); http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/) and based on the work of Dr. John Branford and colleagues (National Research Council, 2000).
Leah Massey Huttlinger and Andrea Gardner Nordberg
This Professional Learning Module (PLM) was created for educators to learn more about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the negative impact trauma has on student learning. Participants in the PLM will learn about ACEs, the brain science related to trauma, behaviors associated with ACEs in the classroom, strategies to help mitigate the impact of ACEs in the classroom. Participants will have the opportunity to apply these strategies to real-life situations within the PLM. The PLM was meant to be completed independently, in small groups, or as whole-group faculty training. The option to submit a certificate for CEUs is provided upon completion of the PLM.
Rebecca Chapman, Heather Thomas, and Barbara Clarke
In this module we will explore many concepts supporting conceptual instruction of math from middle-elementary levels to lower-secondary level math. We help you teach not just how the math concepts work but why they work so students are empowered to engage! (Boaler, 2016)
Stacy Fuentes, Mary Newton, and Jennifer Reed
The purpose of this adaptive VPLM is to familiarize educators with how to design online learning to encourage student engagement. The VPLM is designed for secondary education or higher education professionals. The VPLM features three levels geared toward varying ability and comfort levels of educators with designing online learning. Glickman et al. (2018) highlighted the importance of offering differentiated choices to adult learners. Participants are encouraged to complete one or more levels based on their comfort and ability with designing online learning to improve their online learning environments and foster increased student engagement. Each level requires a different amount of time to complete, and the total number of hours for each level is reflected on each page. Participants can complete the VPLM at one time or in multiple sessions. The pre-assessment and educator scenarios are highlighted at the start of the VPLM to help participants determine which level to navigate first.
Timothy Adams, Jessie Kong, Mike Lefko, and Rachelle Peterson
This professional learning module was designed to help teachers of students with disabilities (SWDs) who are navigating the issues related to virtual learning. The authors have experience in being teachers of SWDs, administrators, and lead teachers. We witnessed the struggles teachers had during the pandemic in engaging SWDs and their parents in virtual learning. This module was designed to help teachers alleviate some of those struggles. Districts might find it beneficial to use this PLM in training all teachers about engaging SWDs virtually as the world of education is leaning in the direction of blended learning, virtual academies, and traditional face to face learning.
Kendra Alston, Tabitha Boyd-Collins, Lucia K. Jacobs, and Phyllis Marshall
This professional learning module is designed to lead educators through the process of successfully developing and implementing effective student-led conferences to improve student ownership in their learning and to increase family engagement. The goal is to determine what structures need to be in place in classrooms and schools, to define the key components of student-led conferences, and to explain the impact of implementing student-led conferences on the school community and overall school structure. The module presents current research and resources supporting student-led conferences in school. Resources include activities, videos, and assessments. Educators are presented potential barriers to student-led conferences and methods to overcome those barriers.
The purpose of this Virtual Professional Learning Module (VPLM) is to familiarize educators with what wise feedback is and how to provide wise feedback to students. It was created to offer professional learning to secondary English Language Arts (ELA) educators participating in a dissertation research study about the impact of wise feedback on students, teachers, and classrooms. Despite being geared toward educators in a 9-12 English Language Arts setting, wise feedback and the VPLM can be applicable to educators in other 9-12 content areas.
Mallory Bricker, Gwendolyn Johnson, and LaShaunda Plain-Mamon
This module was created to assist instructional coaches, curriculum facilitators, peer coaches, assistant principals, or anyone in a leadership position to help teachers grow professionally. You, the instructional coach or leader, have expertise in content, andragogy, pedagogy, and communication. However, as instructional leaders, we have all come up against the teacher unwilling to participate in the coaching process. According to Lancaster (2016), the challenges that instructional coaches encounter are "teacher resistance to coaching support, scheduling conflicts, ill-defined roles and responsibilities, lack of administrative support, and teacher reluctance to change" (p. 23). No matter the reason, through this module you will explore relationship building resources that will assist you in breaking through those barriers and improving not only your professional capacity as a coach but that of your coaches.
Anna Coats, Shaunee Howard, and Kevin Ward
The purpose of this PLM is to provide a conceptual framework for effective collegial feedback and to enhance the educational process. It was devised to empower individuals through building capacity in identifying possible obstacles to effective collegial feedback and to acquaint individuals with resources and strategies to overcome obstacles in collegial feedback. This PLM was designed for educators who have to provide feedback, including mentors, instructional coaches, and peer observers. Because it aligns with the adult learners’ ways of knowing, it is geared toward those who give feedback to adults rather than K-12 students.