Although colleges of education have been using TIM Tools for years, with the rollout of version 6.0, it is now much easier to manage any combination of research projects, grant evaluations, and intern observations in a single “district” version of the software. The ability to create roles with just about any combination of privileges makes that possible.
Research and Project Evaluation
Universities and colleges of education have purchased TIM Tools for faculty and doctoral students to conduct research using the TIM Tools as their technology integration measurement instruments. With a district license, the university can create a zone in which each researcher can manage his or her own school sites. There is no limit to the number of zones that can be created. Researchers will have access to all the data from the schools in their personal zone and can manage the membership and schools for their zone. They might, for example, want to break a school up into two schools within their zone—one “school” for the treatment classrooms and one “school” for the control classrooms. The site administrator can create roles within the system for each researcher with whatever combination of administrative privileges and data access is desired.
In addition to graduate student and faculty research, a single TIM Tools instance can also be used as a grant or project evaluation instrument. As above, various zones can be created for each project as needed. The TUPS survey administered at the beginning and end of a project provides valuable insight into changes in perceptions and classroom use of technology. The TIM-O (lesson observation) is used to document changes in observed practice. For large grant evaluations, the TIM-LP (lesson plan review) is a practical means of gathering a larger number of data points than would be possible with full classroom observations.
The school and zone structure provides a flexible means of grouping classrooms for formative and summative evaluation. There is no need to restrict the “school” grouping to a specific building or a “zone” grouping to a geographic area. Evaluators can use the school grouping level as an indicator of a specific type of training, tech initiative, or other treatment. The zone level can be used to separate completely different project evaluations running simultaneously.
Teacher prep programs in colleges of education and other institutions of higher education have many options for using zones. If a program places interns in several districts, then a zone can be created for each district and the component schools added to that zone. Zones can also be created to group schools by supervising faculty, class, major, academic year, or any other useful category.
The TIM-O provides a standardized means of observing technology integration within an intern’s lesson. In particular, the question-based option helps to ensure that a consistent standard is used across the entire teacher preparation program, regardless of the individual observing faculty. A TIM-O combined with a TIM-R (intern reflection) on the same lesson can provide the basis for a rich discussion between the intern and the supervising faculty member.
The ARTI tool (Action Research for Technology Integration) is also a part of the TIM Tools suite and can simplify and manage the introduction of action research into teacher preparation programs.
If you would like to know more about how TIM Tools can be used within your college of university, please do not hesitate to contact us at TIM@fcit.us. The TIM and TIM Tools were both developed in a college of education. We understand your needs and can help you get the most out of a TIM Tools instance. You may also wish to skim the TIM Tools Administration Guide to learn about additional features of this evaluation suite.
Roy Winkelman is a 40+ year veteran teacher of students from every level kindergarten through graduate school. As the former Director of FCIT, he began the Center's focus on providing students with rich content collections from which to build their understanding. When not glued to his keyboard, Dr. Winkelman can usually be found puttering around his tomato garden in Pittsburgh.
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