Online Professional Development for Teachers of Science
If you are responsible for Professional Development for your school, district or
state, or a professor teaching pre-service teachers at a college or university (learn more about using
the Learning Center as an e-Textbook), the NSTA Learning Center contains
a variety of online learning experiences to fit any educator’s learning style
and content need and can be accessed by the teacher 24/7. NSTA is committed to providing
the very best online professional development to teachers who teach science. See
the Multimedia Overview
and impact (testimonials, awards, research and evaluation)
of the Learning Center.
Across the past three years, UMBC elementary science pre-service teachers, in my graduate and undergraduate elementary science methods courses, have been taking advantage of the learning opportunities provided in the Learning Center. I look forward to extending the experiences this year by having my students set professional development learning goals and provide evidences and reflections to include in their PD Plan and Portfolio. I encourage other university science educators to get their students involved in Learning Center activities. Our pre-service teachers deserve the opportunity to experience NSTA’s innovative, high-quality, online professional development learning experiences as these are the types of activities they will be doing as practicing science teachers.
Susan M. Blunck, Ph.D.
Associate Clinical Professor Science Education
Director UMBC Center for Excellence in STEM Education
See all Awards and Testimonials
- Convenience and Accessibility: NSTA’s Learning Center allows educators to
access excellent and engaging science content and pedagogical implications any time
of the day or night – 24/7 – to fit their schedule
- Fully Customized: NSTA’s Learning Center allows educators to evaluate their
content knowledge and teaching skills and choose a path designed specifically for
their PD needs and preferences for learning
- Accountability: NSTA’s Learning Center enables every teacher to manage their
PD plan, the training, track their experiences, and receive a certificate documenting
- Research-Based and Proven: NSTA Learning Center PD is research-based, proven
to significantly improve teacher science content knowledge and science-teaching
Core NSTA Online Learning Center Resources
- SciPacks are 10 hour highly engaging and interactive learning experiences
to explore and explain real world content and help teachers better understand the
science content they teach. A teaching strategies section that puts the science
content into the context of appropriate instructional strategies based on the grade
band being taught. A concluding assessment, which “if passed,” allows
for a “certificate” demonstrating mastery understanding of the content
addressed in the SciPacks. Unlimited email teacher support from a content expert
is also provided.
- SciGuides are online resources for teachers that assist in implementing customized
lesson plans that include over 100 pre-evaluated online resources, samples of student
work, media vignettes, and simulations from related SciPacks.
- NSTA Journal Articles from our 4 "award-winning" journals. All articles are
peer-reviewed and archived to be easily searchable by content area or teaching technique.
With an NSTA Learning Center subscription your teachers have access to thousands
of high quality lesson ideas and strategies.
- NSTA e-Book Chapters are assembled in easily digestible chapters available
from NSTA’s “award winning” science teaching titles. Your teachers
gain access to hundreds of e-Book chapters with an NSTA Learning Center group subscription.
Individualize and Customize the PD Experience
- The PD Indexer offer teachers a self-assessment to diagnose gaps in their content
knowledge and delivers recommendations to address those gaps. You may also use this
tool for capturing pre/post assessment scores for individual teachers after completing
- A number of integrated tools help teachers manage their PD experience and provide
their administrators with clear documentation of their accomplishments. My Professional
Development Plan and Portfolio, My PD Record and Certificates, My Notepad, My Library,
My Profile, My Community Forums, and My Calendar all work together to document
and enrich NSTA’s Online PD experience.
Accountability and Affordability
NSTA is now offering administrators and professors a special opportunity to access a complete set of resources in the NSTA Learning Center with a special suite of accountability tools built in - for one low annual subscription price per educator.
- Assist your teachers in designing their own professional development plan to meet their content and skills needs and your class, school, district or state’s unique needs
- Review ‘real-time’ reports of your teacher’s completed PD experiences as a group and as individuals for SciPacks, and via their own Professional Development Plan and Portfolio report, generated by the individual teacher on-demand into a PDF document.
- Review your faculty’s log-in and frequency-of-usage rates for SciPacks
- Review the overall number of faculty who have taken and completed SciPacks and view individuals who have passed SciPacks
- Easily build reports to document your teacher’s participation, progress, and performance of a series of SciPacks
- Review all online activity tracked by the educator’s activity points (forums posts, collections shared, resources reviewed, web seminars attended, etc.)
Research-Based & Proven
NSTA has been rigorous in the development of all Learning Center materials. External
research shows a STRONG POSITIVE impact on teachers who participated in NSTA online
Professional Development – both in terms of content knowledge and level of confidence
in teaching science concepts.*
As a state level administrator…NSTA equipped me…with robust reporting tools regarding
gains in teacher knowledge, understanding, including data regarding usage, course
completion, percentage gain scores, and teacher feedback... …the NSTA staff provided
a comprehensive solution to assist teachers in meeting the requirements for NCLB
and the data collection that is necessary for compliance with Title IIA funding.
Hawaii Department of Education
Awards and Testimonials
- Set-up Wizard: We help you set everything up – including unlimited online
technical help or live phone support.
- Unlimited Content Help: Access through your subscription to specialists to
help with any content questions, problems, or issues on content.
- Online Advisors: Assist users in finding resources, using tools, and with recommendations for best practices
NSTA Online Professional Development is a great value whether you are accessing
NSTA’s FREE PD Resources, or purchasing an annual subscription for a group of teachers
to the complete NSTA Learning Center.
If you are an administrator or a professor who wants to provide professional development for your pre-service teacher class, faculty at the state, district or school level, call to get information on our special group rates and highly valued administrator management tools.
Call 800-722-6782 or, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
*All NSTA materials have undergone extensive testing, content and pedagogy expert
review, and efficacy research. Formative research was conducted by independent experts
to ensure scientific accuracy and credibility.
External Research shows a STRONG impact on teachers who participated in NSTA online
- Before their NSTA PD experience: Over 91% of respondents in the study identified
themselves as somewhat confident (64.6%) or not confident (27.8%) teaching the science
concepts addressed before participating in NSTA Learning Center PD
- After participation in NSTA Learning Center PD, 0% identified themselves as “not
confident” in their ability to teach the science concepts addressed and 60% of the
participants felt “very confident” in their ability to teach the science content
- Teachers who participated in NSTA Online PD also showed significant content knowledge
gains. A pre-and-post test instrument developed and administered by Horizon Research,
Inc., found significant gains in teacher knowledge after taking the Force and Motion
SciPack. These research results are published in an article in the Journal of Science
Education and Technology titled “Evaluation of Online, On-Demand Science Professional
Development Material Involving Two Different Implementation Models, Volume 17-No
1, February 2008, Sherman, Byers, Rapp.
NSTA was supported in the development of these professional development resources
by the generous funding of NSF, NOAA, FDA, US Dept of Ed, DOT, NSTA Press, Sally
Ride Science, and National Science Digital Library.