By: Lori Lee, Library Media Specialist at Zanesville City Schools, OELMA Director Liaison to Teaching & Learning Strategic Committee
This year Zanesville High School and Zane State College partnered to be part of a pilot study grant provided by Jobs for the Future called the 12th Grade Redesign program. It is a cohort of 25 high school seniors who fit in the middle third of the population, didn’t score particularly high on the entry exams and didn’t fall within the financial criteria for other programs. These students would take a prescribe coursework first semester at Zanesville High School. Then, second semester they would attend Zane State College with some additional supports.
During the first semester at ZHS these students took college developmental math and English classes. In addition to these courses, a developmental research class was created. I was thrilled to be asked to develop and teach this class. When coming up with the curriculum and the pacing guide I turned to INFOhio’s Research 4 Success modules.
The progression of these modules was the perfect guide for this semester-long class. The resources are well chosen and supported my students on their understanding of the research process. Even though Research 4 Success appears to be designed for students to independently work through the modules, it was very easy for me to adapt the modules into whole class lessons and/or individual lessons which could be used in a blended learning environment.
Each module is divided into three parts: Learn, Practice, Master. In the beginning, I took many of the lessons within these and created assignments to post in Google Classroom. Some of these might include watching a video and then practicing a skill, like developing good research questions. I would create a Google Doc with the instructions and post it in Google Classroom where each student had his own copy of the document. Students would complete and turn in the assignment and I would provide quick feedback. My goal was to have several assignments posted so that students could move at a more personalized pace.
As the semester continued, I began to think about the design of these modules as a hyperdoc. So, instead of creating multiple assignments in Google Classroom I created a larger hyperdoc with multiple assignments embedded within it. All of the resources from R4S were part of the hyperdoc and students could do tasks within it. I utilized Google Slides for my hyperdoc instead of Docs. This provided more of the “module experience.” I also incorporated other tech tools, like Padlet and Flipgrid which students could share and collaborate with classmates. The speaker notes in Slides were also used as a place for students to put responses to videos and such. Once students completed the entire hyperdoc it could then be turned in via Google Classroom; and because Classroom was used to push out the hyperdoc, I could monitor student work and provide immediate feedback as students were working.
Overall, I received positive feedback from students on this research experience. Students felt they were truly immersed in the research process and they felt much better prepared for their upcoming college research.
Moving into next year, Zanesville is planning on offering this research course to any senior. My plan is to adapt each R4S module into a hyperdoc with feedback from the INFOhio R4S team. If you are interested in more details on how I used R4S and hyperdocs please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.