SEED Grant Participant Information

Table of Contents:

SEED Study Overview

The UTeach Institute has partnered with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to conduct a rigorous, national research study of the UTeach Computer Science Principles (CSP) Advanced Placement (AP) course curriculum and professional development. This work is funded by a U.S. Department of Education Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant.

This project aims to 1) increase the number of highly qualified computer science teachers in schools and 2) broaden participation of underrepresented students in CS through the project-based curriculum. The study will provide information to participating districts about the effectiveness of the UTeach CSP curriculum with training and support, and it will help districts expand CS course offerings to high school students by providing free CSP curriculum.

There are two groups of high school teachers in this study: a “control” group which will receive the College Board-endorsed UTeach AP CSP curriculum and supporting materials, and a “treatment” group which will receive the same curriculum and materials plus virtual professional development in summer 2020 and access to the UTeach professional learning community throughout the year. 

One column reads - Control AP CSP Curriculum and Materials; the second column reads - Treatment AP CSP Curriculum and Materials + Virtual PD

Graphics thanks to Vectors Point and Gregor Cresnar from the Noun Project

With the treatment and control groups, the study is designed to answer the following research questions:

  1. What is the impact of the UTeach CSP professional development and supports on teacher project-based learning instructional practices and fidelity to the UTeach CSP curriculum?
  2. What is the impact of the UTeach CSP professional development and supports on student non-academic outcomes, such as interest and engagement in CS courses and careers?
  3. What is the impact of the UTeach CSP professional development and supports on student academic outcomes, such as AP CSP exam scores?

To answer these questions, AIR will collect and analyze teacher and student administrative data (including student AP CSP test scores if students elect to take the test), teacher and student survey data, and teacher interview data.  

Please email uteachseedstudy@gmail.com with questions or inquiries about the study. 

Clarification on Support for Teachers in the Control Group:

  • In 2020-21, teachers in the control group may ask questions about course logistics or AP requirements through the support tab in Canvas. In 2021-22, teachers in the control group will also receive professional development, individual coaching, and access to our professional learning community on Facebook.

Support for Teachers in Both the Control & Treatment Groups:

  • Getting Started Module: The "Getting Started" module at the beginning of the curriculum guides teachers through everything they need to know before starting the course, so we recommend working through that module before school begins. 
  • Remote Teaching GuideWe have compiled a remote teaching guide on our website to review the resources available in the UTeach CS curriculum and provide additional suggestions for external tools to help teachers prepare for a variety of learning environments.
  • Webinars: We will offer a few webinars throughout the year for all teachers, regardless of whether they are in the control or treatment group. Teachers can view the recording of our webinar on "Adapting UTeach CS to Your Virtual or Hybrid Classroom" and will be able to register for additional webinars throughout the year.
  • Remote Teaching Video Series: We have started a new video series on Remote Teaching Strategies for all teachers, regardless of whether they are in the control or treatment group. View the playlist and subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch more videos as they're released.

Support for Teachers in the Treatment Group:

  • In 2020-21, teachers in the control group will receive professional development, individual coaching, and access to our professional learning community on Facebook. Teachers will continue to access this ongoing support in 2021-22. 

Study Timeline and Teacher Incentives

As a thank you to our participating teachers, both treatment and control teachers will have access to the curriculum for free for two years (2020–21 and 2021–22), even though the research study will take place for one year (2020–21). At the end of the study (summer 2021), control group teachers will have the option to participate in professional development free of charge. Teachers who participate in all study activities will receive up to $1,000 in stipend money.

To earn incentives, teachers will participate in study activities that occur during the 2020–21 school year. The timeline of study activities, and incentives tied to each activity, is as follows. Due to COVID-19, we may need to change these plans. Please check this website for updates.

Fall Timeline

Month/Year Study Activity Who is Responsible Description Incentives
August 10 and August 14, 2020 Data Webinars District Data Contacts Webinars were held for the district data points of contact to learn more about the data that will need to be collected as part of the study. The webinar recording, slides, and handouts are available in the "Student Data Collection Information" section below for those who were unable to attend.
August/September 2020 Teacher Beginning-of-Year Survey Teachers Teachers will take an electronic survey during the first two weeks of the school year. $200
August/September 2020 Student Beginning-of-Year Survey Teachers Teachers will administer an electronic survey to students during first two weeks of the school year (90% of students must complete the survey). $200
October–December 2020 First Student Data Upload  District Data Contacts District data points of contact will upload student course enrollment and demographic data to a secure site.
October-November 2020 AP Exam Registration and Ordering Deadline Teachers, AP Coordinators Teachers should encourage all students to register for the AP CSP Exam by October 2020. AP Coordinators must submit their school’s exam orders by November 13, 2020 (deadline for full-year and fall-only courses).
October–December 2020 Teacher End-of-Unit Surveys Teachers Teachers will take a brief electronic survey following each unit in the fall semester. Surveys (total of 3 for the fall semester) should be completed within one week of the unit’s end. $100

 

Spring Timeline

Month/Year Study Activity Who is Responsible Description Incentives
February/March 2021 Teachers Interviews* Teachers A random subset of teachers will be asked to participate in a 30-minute phone interview. $100
March 2021 AP Exam Spring Ordering Deadline Teachers, AP Coordinators AP Coordinators must submit any changes to their school’s exam orders and order exams for spring-only courses by March 12, 2020. $100
February–May 2021 Teacher End-of-Unit Surveys Teachers Teachers will take a brief electronic survey following each unit in the spring semester. Surveys (total of 3 for the spring semester) should be completed within one week of the unit’s end. $100
May/June 2021 Teacher End-of-Year Survey Teachers Teachers will take an electronic survey during the last month of the school year. $200
May/June 2021 Student End-of-Year Survey Teacher Teachers will administer an electronic survey to students during the last month of the school year (90% of students must complete the survey). $200
July 2021 Second Student Data Upload District Data Contacts District data points of contact will upload student CSP AP exam scores, and any updates/revisions to fall student data upload, to secure site.

*AIR will only ask a small subset of teachers to participate in interviews. Those selected have the chance to earn an extra $100 above the $1,000. Teachers not selected may still earn the full $1,000 by participating in research activities.

Student Data Collection Information and Webinars

Attention: District Data Points of Contact
Webinars were held on August 10 and August 14 for the district data points of contact to learn more about the data that will need to be collected as part of the study. The webinar recording, slides, and handouts are available below for those who were unable to attend.

Webinar Recording for Data Contacts
Webinar Slides for Data Contacts
Handout: Data Contact Roles
Handout: File Sharing Instructions

SEED Study Communications

Please email uteachseedstudy@gmail.com with questions or inquiries.