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Development and Validation of a Mobile, Web-based Coaching Tool to Improve Pre-K Classroom Practices to Enhance Learning

Primary Investigators:
Jules White
Douglas C. Schmidt
Caroline Christopher 

Brief Description of Project:
This project supports the development of a progressive web application (PWA) for instructional coaches and administrators who work with pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) teachers to promote high quality teaching practices. The Classroom Quality Real-time Empirically-based Feedback tool (CQ-REF) will guide users to collect observation data focused on eight specific classroom practices that are empirically validated and linked to children's academic gains (Farran, Meador, Christopher, Nesbitt, & Bilbrey, 2017). The CQ-REF will then provide instructional leaders with tools to visualize the data to see where teachers are exceling and where they could improve, as well as data-informed coaching techniques to help promote beneficial classroom practices and provide a foundation for “where to go from here” following a classroom observation.  This PWA will be designed to ask users (school system coaches) to collect very simple and key types of indicators of the eight classroom practices. Data collection will be in the form of tallying specific behaviors (e.g., the user will press a button every time s/he hears a teacher make a behavior disapproving comment) in order to have concrete information that the CQ-REF will then use to provide tips of how best to work with that teacher to improve classroom practices. This project will also include the development of a companion tool for teachers to view a subset of their data, communicate with their instructional leader, and implement specific data-driven coaching strategies in their classrooms.

Desired Qualifications:
React, JavaScript, React, Google Cloud, Database design and implementation
 
Nature of Supervision:
Student interns will be directly supervised by the principal investigators on the project. The student(s) will also work closely with other faculty and research staff across campus, allowing for interdisciplinary collaborations and additional mentoring opportunities.
 
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
To date, development work has involved designing and creating functional components of the PWA that include a landing page and login screen, classroom indicator selection page, and data collection pages for the first two of the eight targeted classroom practices. We anticipate having data collection, data visualization, and potentially beginning strategies for four of the eight classroom practices by the end of the Spring 2019 semester. Moving forward into summer, we will focus on internal calculation capabilities for summarizing data, output screens to display summarized data, a communication feature allowing coaches to send messages to teachers that they can access through the PWA, a training component so that users must be certified before accessing the data collection tools, and a calendar feature to allow for scheduling classroom observations.  Interns who work on this project will be involved in the design and development of these features. Summer internship will involve both front and back end work.

Number of Open Slots: 2
 
Contact Information:
Name: Jules White
Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Email: jules.white@vanderbilt.edu