At a Glance
The administration and faculty at Lawrence County Career and Technical Center (LCCTC) used the open-source learning platform Moodle (https://moodle.org/) to participate in an interactive book study on Integrating Differentiated Instruction with Understanding by Design.
During the 2015-2016 school year, LCCTC administrators and instructors participated in a year-long professional development initiative focused on differentiating instruction. To steer their learning, they engaged in a virtual book study facilitated by Administrative Director Leonard Rich. This opportunity provided participants the chance to explore and share differentiated instruction strategies, questions, and opportunities as a learning community.
The school provided the book at no cost to teachers. Time was given to teachers to participate in the professional development; if additional time was needed to complete a task, they did so on their own. To continue the conversation on differentiated instruction, administrators and instructors followed the online book study with collaborative conversations during in-service time.
Origin / Implementation
Mr. Rich decided to focus the professional development book study on differentiated instruction to help instructors become more proficient is using this high-quality instructional strategy after observing a lot of one size fits most instruction. By using the Moodle platform, the administrators and instructors could readily share ideas and concerns and explore exactly what differentiated instruction should look like at LCCTC.
All LCCTC instructors were required to participate in the book study. They received Act 48 hours for completing the professional development.
Results / Impact
Every member of the LCCTC teaching staff participated in the professional development initiative. Their online postings were logged and time stamped and could be reviewed by the administration.
Since the book study was conducted, teacher portfolios now include evidence of differentiated instruction. Mr. Rich believes the book study helped increase the extent to which teachers differentiate instruction.