Chelsea Brown


EDU 7701 Research/Development in Instructional Strategies

Frank Smith, Ed.D.

Course Description

Research and Development in Instructional Strategies focuses on the emergence of 21st Century systems for instruction and for professional development to strengthen that instructional system. The perspective emphasizes the role that values play in the conflict over a community’s definition of the “good” school and its instructional system. There is one central question: can people learn to be good teachers? If not, what do administrators do to promote good instruction? If so, what do teachers learn and how do they learn it in the 21st Century? (Smith, 2010)

Course Synthesis

What an amazing journey this course proved to be.  As it was my first experience with Moodle, it provided me an opportunity to use Moodle and be able to share my experiences with my colleagues who had embarked on the same journey within my district this year.  Moodle is an open-source community-based tool for learning.  This hybrid class combined technology knowledge, class collaboration and the instructor facilitated the entire process. 

    We focused on several topics.  Our first research was on the cohort’s definition or understanding of instructional leadership.  During a post/critique/re-post cycle, the cohort individually completed questions and assignments.  Once posted, we took the opportunity to read other posts and comment.  We gave critical and supportive feedback.  We were able to question responses to help create a cohesive understanding of the topic.  Once we completed that, we re-posted our thoughts.  This proved to be an extremely rewarding experience.  While I was able to focus on each colleague’s response, I began to see the similarities and differences in each of his/her approach.  The delay time (different from immediate response as in the past when we had our discussions and debates in the classroom), allowed me the opportunity to formulate thoughts and provide the critical feedback for each member.   

   During this time, in addition to Moodle, we set up Skype accounts.  These accounts allowed us to work from different locations and communicate with our groups.   It allowed flexibility in collaboration and added yet another dimension to the technological world we continue to be consumed in.

    Another topic we discussed and research was “What is good teaching?”  This led us into, can good teaching be taught?  I struggled with this concept and once again needed to suspend judgment and allow for a more technical and deeper understanding of idea that good teaching CAN be taught.  Culminating this class was the final project of creating an effective professional development policy.

    This class proved to be challenging and exciting because of the new forms of technology we used as well as the in-depth discussions related to the topics.


Skype - A free web-based form of video-chat, telephone, and instant messaging.


Moodle - A course management system (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).  It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites (, 2010)


Our group paper that created our understanding of the cohorts instructional leader definition:

bullet Key Elements of Instructional Leadership

Our group's edited version of the New Age Supervision Policy, a policy that serves as a design system that facilitates the work and growth of the school community, primarily the professional staff of the school:

bullet New Age Supervision



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Clever people master life; the wise illuminate it and create fresh difficulties.

~Emil Nolde