instructional strategies online database (isod)

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I NTERVENTION IN SCHOOL AND CLINIC VOL . 42, NO. 4, MARCH 2007 ( PP . 219–224) 219 Instructional Strategies Online Database (ISOD) D ODI HODGES , L INDA HIGBEE MANDLEBAUM, C OLLEEN B OFF, AND MITCH MILLER E ducators frequently approach special educators for strategies that assist students because spe- cial educators are perceived to have a wealth of ideas, strategies, and tricks to teach all students (Cole, 1995). Even though special educators are trained to teach, accommodate, and adapt for individual students, they can find it difficult to maintain a toolbox of effective research-based instructional strategies large enough to meet the needs of every student because stu- dents need to use many instructional strategies to learn from the general education curriculum (Cavanaugh, Kim, Wanzek, & Vaughn, 2004; Montague & van Garderen, 2003; Wehby, Falk, Barton-Arwood, Lane, & Cooley, 2003). Teachers need to be able to easily locate, learn, and teach instructional strategies that can help students think and learn concepts. Unfortunately, teachers often do not have the time to search the literature for effective in- structional strategies. And even if they have the time, the resources are often not readily available. When a teacher needs an effective instructional strategy for a student the following day, waiting days or sometimes weeks to get a copy of an article is not an option. Even when they are able to find appropriate research articles describing in- structional strategies, teachers may find them difficult to understand due to the technical research language that is used. Perhaps the problem is that researchers tend to write for other researchers rather than for teachers (Morrison This article describes an online database of evidence-based learning strategies for students. The database is a quick re- source written in user-friendly language for teachers of all students but may be especially useful for teachers of stu- dents with disabilities.

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06. Hodges p219INTERVENTION IN SCHOOL AND CLINIC VOL. 42, NO. 4, MARCH 2007 (PP. 219–224) 219
Instructional Strategies Online Database (ISOD)
DODI HODGES, LINDA HIGBEE MANDLEBAUM, COLLEEN BOFF, AND MITCH MILLER
E ducators frequently approach special educators for strategies that assist students because spe- cial educators are perceived to have a wealth of ideas, strategies, and tricks to teach all students (Cole, 1995). Even though special educators are
trained to teach, accommodate, and adapt for individual students, they can find it difficult to maintain a toolbox of effective research-based instructional strategies large enough to meet the needs of every student because stu- dents need to use many instructional strategies to learn from the general education curriculum (Cavanaugh, Kim, Wanzek, & Vaughn, 2004; Montague & van Garderen, 2003; Wehby, Falk, Barton-Arwood, Lane, & Cooley, 2003).
Teachers need to be able to easily locate, learn, and teach instructional strategies that can help students think and learn concepts. Unfortunately, teachers often do not have the time to search the literature for effective in- structional strategies. And even if they have the time, the resources are often not readily available. When a teacher needs an effective instructional strategy for a student the following day, waiting days or sometimes weeks to get a copy of an article is not an option. Even when they are able to find appropriate research articles describing in- structional strategies, teachers may find them difficult to understand due to the technical research language that is used. Perhaps the problem is that researchers tend to write for other researchers rather than for teachers (Morrison
This article describes an online database of evidence-based
learning strategies for students. The database is a quick re-
source written in user-friendly language for teachers of all
students but may be especially useful for teachers of stu-
dents with disabilities.
220 INTERVENTION IN SCHOOL AND CLINIC
& Marshall, 2003). Furthermore, when teachers have their own extensive professional libraries of journals or files, they have to spend too much time searching the journals manually to locate articles and the strategies within the articles. Much of this frustration could be eliminated with an online database developed with teachers in mind. This article describes the Instructional Strategies Online Data- base (ISOD), which is easily accessible on the Internet (http://edhd.bgsu.edu/isod).
The ISOD Project
Special education teacher candidates taking a senior-level methods course in adapting curriculum and instruction at Bowling Green State University have developed an on- line database of instructional strategies. One of the re- quirements of teacher candidates in this course is to locate and summarize in clear language research-based instruc- tional strategies. These are not strategies to improve teacher instruction; they are strategies that students can use on their own to think and learn about course content using instructional strategies that have been demonstrated to be successful for other students.
The first task is for teacher candidates to locate in- structional strategies within the research literature. To assist in their efforts, a research librarian collaborates with the special education faculty to instruct teacher candi- dates on how to define the differences in popular, trade,
and scholarly journals; to effectively search the library re- search databases; and to write citations using the Ameri- can Psychological Association (APA) publication style. Teacher candidates locate scholarly journals to identify articles on instructional strategies that have been demon- strated to be effective for students. The criteria for se- lecting articles are as follows:
• The article must come from a journal that is consid- ered scholarly/academic. This can be verified using Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, to which the library sub- scribes.
• The article must come from a peer-reviewed journal. Author guidelines printed in the journal will usually ex- plain whether an article has been peer-reviewed or not.
• The article needs to have a reference list, possibly an abstract, and the author(s) used the scientific method as an outline.
The students read the articles to locate the descrip- tion of the specific strategy and how it is taught and used with students. In clear, easy-to-follow steps, the teacher candidate then describes the strategy and cites the resource.
Teacher candidates are asked to think about students who might not be able to use the strategy in the way it was developed. For instance, students with learning disabili- ties who also have a physical disability that does not allow them to use their hands may not be able to easily use the KWL strategy (Sampson, 2002), which assists students in the area of reading comprehension and can be used with
Figure 1. KWL chart.
VOL. 42, NO. 4, MARCH 2007 221
many different content areas. Completing the KWL chart (see Figure 1), although easy for most students, is not easy for students who are unable to use their hands. Adaptations for such students using the KWL chart might include using voice-activated computer programs. One of the requirements for the adaptations is that the student be able to use the strategy independently. Therefore, having someone write the student’s responses or match- ing a student with a peer for cooperative learning, though excellent ways of working with students with disabilities, is not acceptable as an adaptation for this assignment.
Once a teacher candidate identifies a disability that might challenge students to use the strategy, he or she suggests an adaptation. The description of the strategy is then edited by a faculty member, revised by the teacher candidate, and placed on an online database for use by teachers with access to the Internet.
When the teacher candidates were asked if they could envision using the database in their student teach- ing and then while teaching, the students responded most often with a definite “yes.” One student said, “I think people will definitely use it … they won’t want to take the time to look up those things.” Another student added, “My cooperating teacher has that [the ISOD URL] on her ‘Favorites’ list, actually.”
Database
The database contains the following information:
1. the number assigned to the strategy, 2. the content area(s), 3. the grade level(s) for which the strategy is appropriate, 4. a title for the strategy, 5. the Ohio standard(s) matched to the strategy, 6. the citation for the article from which the strategy
was taken, 7. the suggested adaptation, 8. a rationale for the strategy, and 9. the name of the teacher candidate who summarized it.
Even though the teacher candidates have matched the learning strategies with the academic content stan- dards for the state of Ohio, the standards can easily be correlated with other states’ academic content standards due to the similarity across standards.
This database is different from other databases be- cause it has instructional strategies that are used by the students specifically. This database is not designed to dis- seminate information about teaching methods or strate- gies for teachers to make instruction more informative or exciting. It is designed to be accessible for anyone with Internet access who works with children and to provide children with strategies for how to think differently, pro-
cess differently, or approach concepts differently than how they are taught in class. The instructional strategies are written in a manner that makes it as easy as possible for teachers to teach the students how to use the instruc- tional strategies. The descriptions include a list of mate- rials, procedures, and, frequently, a hyperlink for handouts and/or charts that may be used with the strat- egy. See Figures 2, 3, and 4 for examples of the hyper- linked material. This information is followed by the suggested adaptation. Finally, the citation for the instruc- tional strategy is given to allow others to easily find the journal article.
Figure 2. PLAN poster.
Figure 3. WRITE poster.
Figure 4. PLAN sheet.
Figure 5. Search page.
Locating and Searching the Database
As noted previously, the Instructional Strategies Online Database (ISOD) is found on the Internet (http://edhd .bgsu.edu/isod). The database opens at a homepage where the user can click on “Search the Database” to begin a search. ISOD is designed to be searched by (a) content area (e.g., math, reading, writing); (b) grade level—there is a drop-down menu to select from; and (c) keywords (see Figure 5). All three fields may be used to narrow the search, or just one or two of the fields may be used to broaden the search.
Once the user has accessed the content, he or she can then skim the rationale for the strategies or the iden- tified standards to more clearly match the instructional strategy with the needs of their students (see Figure 6).
For example, a teacher who searches for a vocabulary strategy could search for reading and then skim the stan- dards or the rationale to find strategies that specifically deal with vocabulary. An illustration of the search page can be found in Figure 5.
Another option for searching the strategies after pulling up a specific content area is to use the Control + F keys using the Windows platform or Command (Apple) + F keys using the Mac platform. A window will pop up and allow the user to type in a key word to find a partic- ular term within the strategies.
Conclusion
Due to the nature of the online database, teachers now have a way to access hundreds and eventually thousands
Strategy # 128
Title: PLAN and WRITE
Ohio Standard: By the end of the Grade 3–4 program: B. Determine audience and purpose for self-selected and assigned writing tasks. C. Apply knowledge of graphics or other organizers to clarify ideas of writing assessments.
Source: De La Paz, S., & Graham, S. (2002). Explicitly teaching strategies, skills, and knowledge: Writing in middle school classrooms. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(4), 687–698.
Materials Needed: 1. PLAN and WRITE poster for wall. 2. Pencil and paper. 3. List of topics on blackboard (i.e., My Favorite Holiday, A Place I Really Want To Go, The World’s Best Pet).
Procedures: Students will work individually. 1. Give overview of the purpose and description of the PLAN and WRITE strategy.
a. P Pay attention to the prompt—the topic you were asked to write about— and the way to develop it b. L List main ideas (at least 3) c. A Add supporting ideas (at least 3 details) d. N Number your main ideas in the order you plan to use them
e. W Work from your plan f. R Remember your goals g. I Include transition words h. T Try to use different kinds of sentences (long, short, questions) i. E Exciting, interesting words need to be in the composition.
2. Students choose a topic from the blackboard and write it at the top of their papers. 3. Students list 3 main ideas under topic. 4. Students list 3 details under each main idea. 5. Students number the ideas in the order they plan to write about them. 6. Students begin writing about their topic.
Adaptation: For students with LD, talk them through the process one-on-one; supply them with a PLAN worksheet to fill in the topic and main and supporting ideas in the appropriate spaces. Make available a list of transition words.
Rationale: The purpose is to write a good composition using preplanning.
Research adapted by: Belinda Lee
Attachment links: http://edhd.bgsu.edu/isod
224 INTERVENTION IN SCHOOL AND CLINIC
of research-based instructional strategies in several con- tent areas. The information on the database is ideal for use in the general education classroom, the special edu- cation classroom, for interventions during the prereferral process, during IEP meetings, and for 504 plans. Once students have learned the instructional strategies, they can use them on their own to learn more easily without teacher assistance.
As with many online sources, this one is continually evolving to improve the contents and usability. Sugges- tions from users for improvement in the database are welcome and may be sent through a link on the first page of the database.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Dodi Hodges, PhD, is an assistant professor in intervention services in the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University. She specializes in the area of high-incidence disabilities and accessing the general educa- tion curriculum for all students. Her research interests in the area of teaching all children also include integrating technol- ogy, collaboration, adapting curriculum and instruction, and reading. Linda Higbee Mandlebaum, PhD, is an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Develop- ment at Bowling Green State University. Her research interests include all areas of reading instruction. Colleen Boff, MLS, is an associate professor in university libraries at Bowling Green State University. She is the First Year Experience Librarian at
the University. Her research interests focus on the impact of in- tegrating library and information research skills at all educa- tional levels to improve critical thinking. Mitch Miller, MEd, is a coordinator at the Technology and Resource Center, Col- lege of Education and Human Development at Bowing Green State University. He specializes in classroom technology inte- gration and technology adoption. Address: Dodi Hodges, Bowl- ing Green State University, 451 Education Bldg., Bowling Green, Ohio 43403.
REFERENCES
Cavanaugh, C. L., Kim, A., Wanzek, J., & Vaughn, S. (2004). Kin- dergarten reading interventions for at-risk students: Twenty years of research. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 2(1), 9–21.
Cole, C. M. (1995). A contextualized understanding of teachers’ prac- tice, their collaborative relationships, and the inclusion of students with disabilities (curriculum adaptations) (Doctoral dissertation, In- diana University, 1995). Dissertation Abstracts International, 56, 09.
Montague, M., & van Garderen, D. (2003). A cross-sectional study of mathematics achievement, estimation skills, and academic self- perception in students of varying ability. Journal of Learning Disa- bilities, 36(5), 437–448.
Morrison, K. L., & Marshall, C. S. (2003). Universities and public schools: Are we disconnected? Phi Delta Kappan, 85(4), 292–298.