Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Top-Science (a.k.a ''Protocol") measures technology integration in science classrooms
The Technology Observation Protocol for Science (TOP-Science, a.k.a “Protocol”) captures the quality of technology use in high school science classrooms (Parker et al., 2019). According to the researchers the developed the tool, TOP-Science addresses well the quality use of technology in high school science classrooms. It is intended to offer specific insights on how teacher use technology to teach scientific learning concepts to students.
The Protocol builds upon four pillars of theoretical learning: 1) type of technology used, 2) science and engineering practices, 3) student-centered pedagogy, and 4) contextualizing relevance for student learning. Accordingly, the theoretical predispositions of this tools are especially relevant as they define meaning of high-quality technology integration in high school science classrooms.
The Protocol consists of four areas: 1) Pre-observation teacher questions to understand the intent of technology use in the classroom, 2) observation sheets for field notes to use during observation, 3) post-observation teacher questions to collect and help teachers reflect upon their own teaching practices, and 4) a summary sheet of codes used during observations to provides a multidimensional assessment of technology integration.
Part One offers opportunities to teacher to set classroom goals and objectives for technology integration in science classrooms. Part Two is observation description covering evidence of technology integration and its coding approach to areas it measures. Part Three provides an opportunity for teachers to reflect on their teaching practice how well goals and objectives of technology integration are met effectively as expected. Part Four is a summary sheet of codes that helps compile results across 10-minutes intervals, while taking into consideration teacher’s pre- and post-questions for classroom technology integration.
While the Protocol is an effective tool of assessing high quality technology integration, it fails to account for the speed of technological changes. The tool is merely built around a framework of established technology integrations that is likely to evolve overtime. Although the Protocol offers insights on teacher’s practices, ultimately students’ achievements are the litmus test of technology integration in science classrooms. Consequently, it is an aiding tool to establish a benchmark for technology integration that warrants further validation. Nonetheless, the Protocol establishes well and within desired statistical means its relevance and effectiveness for measuring high quality technology integration in high school science classroom.
Parker, C. E., Stylinski, C. D., Bonney, C. R., DeLisi, J., Wong, J., & Doty, C. (2019). Measuring Quality Technology Integration in Science Classrooms. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 28(5), 567-578. doi:10.1007/s10956-019-09787-7