Professional Development Model
The Click2Science Professional Development Model is the process we recommend trainers and coaches use to improve the STEM facilitation skills of their frontline staff and volunteers.
Use a formal evaluation tool that focuses on program quality, your own observations, or staff feedback to identify a skill that your program needs to focus on. The purpose and objectives for each skill will help you determine where to start.
Staff begin the professional development cycle by completing a Self-Directed Web Lesson that corresponds to the skill you are working to improve. For example, if you've identified Encouraging Collaboration as the skill that staff need the most support in, staff would complete the corresponding lesson title It Takes Two! Encouraging Collaborative STEM Work.
Staff build upon the knowledge developed in their self-directed learning experiences through a hands-on, in-person training. Staff reflect upon the essence of the skill, what it looks like in practice, and how to use it during a STEM experience. The trainings are 60-120 minutes, include using the skill as part of a hands-on experience, and feature discussion around the video-based learning modules. These trainings are designed to be lead with a group of staff and/or volunteers, to encourage social learning and rich discussion.
Following the training, staff and volunteers are encouraged to practice using the skill while they lead STEM learning experiences with youth.
Following-up the training experience with a shorter piece of professional development encourages staff and volunteers to dig deeper into using the skill and discuss strategies as a group. These 15-60 minute professional development experiences are hands-on or discussion based and feature the video-based learning modules to encourage reflection on practice to determine what works and what does not work when using this skill during STEM activities. Meeting guides can be used in an in-person staff meeting or virtual meeting. These experiences meet the needs of social, experiential, and visual learners.
Staff and volunteers are again encouraged to practice the skill. Staff continue to practice the skill and reflect upon their practice to prepare for an in-person or virtual coaching session.
The trainer/coach supports staff and volunteers developing additional strategies for using the skills and setting improvement goals. The 15-30 minute coaching sessions use the video-based learning modules or videos staff and volunteers have recorded of themselves to reflect on their practice.
Staff and volunteers are encouraged to continue to practice as they continue to develop the skill or begin the cycle with a new Click2SciencePD skill.
After completing a series of on-going professional development experiences, evaluate the impact that these efforts have had upon staff and your program. You can use formal program quality evaluation tools like DoS or use Click2Science self-confidence instruments to measure your staff's confidence levels.