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Thesis Defense - Khan

The Central Role of Adaptation for Curriculum Enactment
Huda Khan
Computer Science PhD Candidate

Although educational digital libraries like the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) offer a multitude of pedagogically relevant digital resources, educators still require support in reusing these resources in their classroom teaching. This research emphasizes the role of curriculum adaptation as central to enabling resource 'reuse' and employs DLESE Teaching Boxes as examples of curricula supporting digital resource reuse. The questions guiding this research are as follows:

  1. What adaptation processes and strategies do experts utilize in their planning for enactment (i.e. classroom implementation) of curriculum?

  2. How can computational models of curriculum be designed to support these adaptation processes and strategies?

  3. How does the use of the Teaching Box Builder application influence or support educators' adaptation processes and strategies?

The outcomes of this work are a conceptual framework ENACT and the Teaching Box Builder application. ENACT ties expert educators' adaptation processes with general design requirements. These general design requirements inform the specific design features of the Teaching Box Builder application which supports educators' use and adaptation of Teaching Boxes. Teaching Box Builder utilizes the Federated Digital Object Repository Architecture (FEDORA) to model Teaching Box components and their relationships.

This research employs a two-phase methodology with each phase successively informing the design of Teaching Box Builder application design. The conceptual framework ENACT resulted from an analysis of (a) frameworks describing digital library resource use and educators' knowledge management practices and (b) expert educators' adaptation processes as describes in the literature review and observed in the Teaching Box workshops. ENACT described the general design requirements which drove the design and implementation of the first version of Teaching Box Builder. The second phase includes a verbal analysis helped to extend or validate the ENACT framework by exploring educators' adaptation processes during the last part of the DLESE Teaching Box workshops. This phase includes the design and implementation of the second version of Teaching Box Builder based on the adaptation tasks classified in the verbal analysis. Following implementation, an evaluation study takes place which explores educators' verbalizations and actions as they use the Teaching Box Builder to complete certain adaptations tasks.

Committee: Tamara Sumner, Associate Professor (Chair)
Hilda Borko, School of Education
Kenneth Anderson, Associate Professor
Katie Siek, Assistant Professor
Laura Moin, School of Education
Sandra Payette, Fedora Commons
Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:20)