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Independent Study #2

Creating Own Course Study

University of the Pacific 1, 2, 3 graduate level semester credits available

PDSI 9978 – Course Design with State Standards – Independent Study II

University of the Pacific, Stockton, California
1-3 graduate level credits
(15 documented educational hours per credit, travel time not included).

Event Description

In this independent study course, students will explore the techniques and skills aligned with the educational topic or professional goal of their choice.  This course is designed for teachers who want to increase their knowledge of a particular content or subject area yet are unable to attend a seminar or conference that covers this topic.  This course allows teachers to spend time learning intently about a topic of their choice, researching and gaining a targeted skill while earning graduate credits. This will include interviewing professionals in the field of study and/or research reading an approved book on the subject.  This is our most flexible and focused course option available.

For each graduate credit:

  1. Interview a professional in the field of study OR read a book(s) on the topic per graduate semester credit sought to earn.
    1. Write notes of interview(s) or book(s) in detail.
    2. In paragraph form, write what these notes mean to me, showing knowledge learned, describing how this information is relevant to your teaching position or goal.
  2. Keep an Activity Log, preferably a spreadsheet created on a Google Sheet, documenting 15 hours per credit, including dates, time logged and the activity that took place during this time, not counting travel time.  This can include the interview, reading books or online study directly connected with course topic of study. (See Example of Log Sheet below)
  3. Write 3 lesson plans, complete with learning objectives, evaluation measures and relevance to state-mandated learning targets.  Include summative testing and if possible, formative testing appropriate to the lesson.
  4. Submit a synopsis paper using questions listed on Summer Institutes Independent Study requirements:
    1. What new knowledge and information learned from this course that will enhance your current teaching style?
    2. Which connections were experienced that aligned with your specific teaching focus, content and population?
    3. How did this course increase your current level of professional teaching standards to reflect personal growth?
    4. What beneficial information could you share in your school community with others?
  5. Write a separate 2-3-paragraph reflection summary that provides a birds-eye view of what was gained through this study, how it will impact your teaching goal or its impact in your current classroom. This might include skills and concepts learned, including participant growth. It might also include the positives and/or negatives to studying independently. This can be written in a conversational format.

Work should be submitted in the following format.

  1. Create a Google Folder with your first and last name and the tite:
    Independent Study, with topic listed.
  2. Create separate forms for each of the items listed below.  Label each topic in order using Alphabet Labeling system. For example, notes written from interview or book review would be labeled as:
    1. Interview Summary
    2. Paragraph Summary response
    3. Activity Log
    4. Lesson Plans
    5. Synopsis Paper
    6. Reflection Summary

This type of labeling will allow for easier alignment with homework and checking the fulfillment of requirements.

The folder can then be shared with Summer Institutes and [email protected].

Earn Credit Hours through the University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific

Summer Institutes partners with the Center for Professional and Continuing Education (CPCE) at the University of the Pacific to offer professional development programming where students can earn graduate-level professional development units (PDUs) for successful completion of applicable coursework. Learn more

Independent Study #2

Choose from 1, 2, or 3 Credits

Research tells us that quality teacher practices and methods positively affect student achievement (Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2001; Hirsch, 2006). Professional development methods that enhance a learner’s understanding of knowledge and strategies, coupled with personal reflection and thought, leads to a greater change in practices in the classroom; thus affecting student achievement (Hirsch, 2006). Professional development design that includes knowledge, experiential learning, and a personal opportunity in which to transfer learning, may influence the implementation of new strategies and practices in the classroom environment (Dixon, 2010). Summer Institutes online is firmly anchored to these notions.


Learning Objectives

The relationship between professional learning and student results requires “standards-based professional learning, which creates and supports the changes in educator knowledge, skills, and dispositions, which effect the change in educator practice which in turn creates change in student results” (Standards for Professional Learning, www.learningforward.org).

Participants will:

  1. Expand leadership skills as teachers, coaches, principals, and members of a school community.
  2. Learn best practices and current research to support teaching, student learning, and leadership principles.
  3. Gain new course curriculum ideas from learning activities and conference discussion forums.
  4. Learn new techniques to develop positive relationships with students, parents, and staff.
  5. Gain a broad knowledge of interdisciplinary topics and how to implement interdisciplinary studies into the curriculum.
  6. Evaluate educational opportunities and be better prepared to develop lessons that allow for alignment with ever evolving state standards.
  7. Focus efforts and outcomes towards growth in the Professional Teaching Standards of: The Learner and Learning, Content Knowledge, Instructional Practice, and Professional Responsibility.

Course Assignments

1. Complete the Pre-Planning log sheet below:
Please indicate the appropriate number of hours (minimum two (2) hours) that you have devoted to the pre-planning portion of your conference experience. Acceptable activities include but are not limited to research and readings, activity coordination, setting of academic goals to achieve, selection of presentations to attend.

Date Activity Hours

Signature_______________________ Date___________________

Click here to download this log in Word format!

This activity log sheet will be sent to the Summer Institutes Staff at the conclusion of the conference. All paper work is due no later than three months after your conference. Failure to turn in paper work will earn the student an “Incomplete Grade.” Incomplete grades turn into a No Pass grade after one year. ALERT: Please do not procrastinate on getting your work done and turned in by post-marked date within three months of the completion of the conference. No refunds.

  1. Each participant will summarize each of the speakers or meetings that they are required to attend. A daily journal is required. Please log your hours of attendance, presenters, staff discussions & Professional Learning Community (CPLC) times & discussions. These may be meetings that are not on the conference schedule, such as breakfast meetings, luncheons, time spent in meetings with teachers sharing best practices, buzz sessions, personal sessions with peers, any of the forums on the schedule & breakout sessions
    1. For any of the speakers or meetings, the participant is required to indicate how the information they received will relate to their own academic program. Also, how will the participant implement the techniques, system(s) or style of transferring knowledge that they have learned into their own academic program?
    2. Write about each activity separately. Use the subheadings below to report on each activity. Label subheadings clearly.
      1. Activity Description: Describe each activity in detail, using narrative form (no bullets, no numbers, no incomplete sentences). List all materials that you and the participants used (e.g. handouts, books, props, etc.) Describe each activity thoroughly as if the reader were not familiar with the topic.
      2. Learning Objectives: Write specific learning objectives for each activity. Include what you wish to achieve and how you will accomplish it.
      3. Appropriateness of Activities for Targeted Students: Explain how the activities meet appropriate development needs of the participants/students.
      4. Correlation of Activities to the Conference: Discuss how the activities relate to the conference content.
      5. Self Evaluation: Write a self-evaluation of your own strengths and weaknesses as you developed and implemented these activities. Discuss what you would do differently next time and suggest areas for improvement, if any.
  2. Develop three lesson plans based upon the new information you gained from this conference. The plans must be typed.
  3. Type a three-paragraph summary that brainstorms the connections from this conference to classroom for implementation.
  4. Provide an evaluation outline that summarizes the skill and concepts learned, self-reflected exercises, evaluation created with session outcomes and the participant growth.
  5. Submit a synopsis paper. Paper shall answer the following questions about the educational conference you chose to attend:
    1. What new knowledge and information, from this online course, enhanced your current teaching style?
    2. Which connections were experienced that aligned with your specific teaching focus, content, and population?
    3. How did this online course increase your current level of professional teaching standards to reflect personal growth?
    4. What beneficial information could you share in your school community with others?