Change Project - Greg Noack

EDC 668 - Managing Learning Technology for Change

Melissa Anderson

Online Master of Arts in Educational Technology

Pepperdine University



Promote the development of common curriculum and assessments to be written and shared in an online space, such as a wiki or Moodle, in a school that has already begun a curriculum mapping process, with an emphasis on backwards design curriculum models


Opportunity for Change

Reagan Middle School has been mapping its’ curriculum during the past three years. It is a process which began in 2006. All teachers have been asked to map at least one of the content areas they teach. Mapping curriculum is critical for Reagan Middle School and it’s District, Dixon Public Schools, because the entire districts curriculum is not vertically aligned. Much of each grade levels’ curriculum has become redundant or repetitious of the grade levels preceding or following. Considering the importance of utilizing school time for student learning, one can see the need to make sure the districts curriculum is aligned.

Curriculum Mapping is a multi-step process. Reagan Middle School has not moved beyond the data collection phase. It is ready to move into the peer review phases. At the same time, teachers are RMS have been encouraged to develop Common Formative Assessments as their maps have begun to develop. However, the district has not made time or space either peer review of maps or common formative assessments to be created.

At the same time, RMS is undergoing a pedagogical shift in organizing the student population. Students at the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade level have been split into two teams, with four teachers on each team. Fifth grade teachers are split into four teams of two teachers. This shift creates a need for communicating between teams and within teams in a distributed manner.

All of these changes have come at a time that teachers are continuing to be asked to do more with less time. Meeting the standards in order to prepare students for state testing continues to dominate teachers’ time. Added to this, Illinois has become a Response to Intervention (RTI) state. Teachers now have the added challenge of testing and identifying students not meeting grade level requirements, progress monitoring, and creating interventions for them. At RMS, little support is being supplied in the way of intervention curriculum or materials. This means teachers must create them themselves. Teachers are feeling stressed concerning how they are going to meet the challenges of RTI.

All of these challenges point to a need for collaboration and sharing. Many of the needs outlined above could be fulfilled by teachers using distributed learning, sharing and collaboration tools, such as communicating in a forum, or posting and sharing materials online on a wiki. Yet, few teachers at RMS know of or use such distributed learning or collaboration tools.

Impact it will have at Reagan Middle School

The impact of using distributed collaboration and sharing tools at RMS would be profound. Teachers would collaborate on unit plans and assessments so that time could be saved to complete other tasks. This also has the effect of aligning curriculum horizontally, in preparation for aligning vertically.

Using a forum allows teachers to ask questions and share so that the knowledge is public and archived. Information is available to all on staff, and it is available for retrieval when needed, if forgotten, or when staff shifts positions or new staff is hired.

Using a backwards design model allows for the staff to take the Curriculum Maps already created to come to agreement when aligning curriculum. It is often not easy to come to consensus when discussing curriculum. Backwards design models allow for teachers to find autonomy in how they teach, after they have come to consensus on what to teach.

Teachers using distributed collaboration and sharing spaces will, over time, have the effect of creating a knowledge base for teachers, a common library of materials and lessons which will result in more time for teachers to complete the other demands on them.


Essential Questions:
  1. How can teachers use online web2.0 tools to collaborate and save time?
  2. How does a school create common goals and assessments and still allow for instructional autonomy in classrooms?

Stakeholders :
  • Faculty
  • Support Staff
  • Administration

Learning goals:
  • stakeholders will be proficient at using online sharing and collaboration tools
    • Google Groups
    • Wikispaces
  • stakeholders will create units from curriculum maps using backwards design model
    • Understanding by Design , Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

Learning and Collaboration Time:
  • monthly half-day in-services facilitated by administration and curriculum facilitators
  • weekly common planning time



Each faculty member requires a laptop in order to facilitate face to face collaboration time.
Approximate Faculty, 50
Total Cost:$50,000

Resource books
Total Cost: $2,300
  • Understanding by Design , by Grand Wiggins and Jay McTighe
    • Cost, $36 each x 50 = $1,800
  • Understanding by Design - Professional Development Workbook , Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins
    • Cost, $20 each x 50 = $500

Total Cost



Year One
  • Fall - focus on tools and design model
    • Inservice days and common planning time used for training
      • Groogle Groups
      • Understanding By Design , Wiggins and McTighe
    • Google Groups used to facilitate discussion Understanding by Design , Wiggins and McTighe
    • Feedback requested monthly via survey monkey questionnaire
  • Winter - begin writing curriculum
    • Continued training,
      • wikispaces
      • Understanding By Design , Wiggins and McTighe
    • Writing units on wikispaces
  • Spring
    • Training continued on an as needed basis during planning time
    • Monthly half-day inservices used to for peer review of units.
    • Teachers may begin teaching units

Year Two
  • Teachers Begin teaching units created
  • Half-day in-services used for peer review





1. Conversations : Informal and formal conversations with participants will give an idea of how the process is progressing.
2. Surveys : anonymous surveys sent our monthly will allow participants to provide feedback they might be unwilling to share face to face. It will also provide information on learning needs participants might have.
3. Data Collection : Data collection on usage of
Google Groups and Wikispaces.
4. Quality Control: Units will be peer reviewed by a panel. A Rubric will be written, agreed upon, and used for this review as well.
5. Wiki Review: As the wiki becomes active it will be monitored and organized for consistency and ease of use. For example, creating a front page with organized menus.


Some of the most important actions I can take are to make sure I keep open lines of communication with participants. It’s important for them to know that they are supported. I also will stay positive and ignore those who will resist change.

I think change management has to begin with understanding the participants, what their needs and abilities are, and how they want to progress, what the best process for them will be.

I see myself growing into the role of a change agent simply because I am taking action. Also though, I am putting aside my own cynicism and personal goals, and thinking first of the larger group.