S5-STEM4-1 - Engaging Pre-Service Teachers in Front-End Design: Developing Technology for a Social Studies Classroom

3. Research Full Paper
Bahare Naimipour , Mark Guzdial1, Tamara Shreiner2
1 University of Michigan
2 Grand Valley State University

This research full paper presents front-end design
activity with social studies pre-service teachers to inform the
design of data visualization technology tools. Data visualizations
are powerful tools that social studies teachers use to explore the
narratives they want their students to learn. They can serve as
evidence for historical arguments and prompts that start students
on a path of inquiry. The ability to analyze, interpret, evaluate,
and use data and data visualizations – known as data literacy – has
become an increasingly important component of K-12 social
studies education in recent years.

While there are many technological innovations that have been
developed to support engineering education in K-12 classrooms,
adoption of these tools has been low. Our hypothesis is that
adoption may improve if teachers are involved in the front-end
design process of technology intended for use in their classrooms.
This work describes the results of two Participatory Design (PD)
sessions about data visualization with pre-service social studies
teachers.

In our design sessions, thirty-two pre-service teachers
evaluated programming and non-programming data visualization
experiences, and then told us what they would like in future data
visualization tools. The Minimal Manual was used as a guide in the
design of the activity sheets to scaffold use of the tools. After each
PD session, we used conjecture mapping to process and analyze
the data.

Although there were minor design differences in the two PD
sessions, the pre-service teachers’ evaluations were surprisingly
different from one another. These results suggest that PD sessions
might be highly idiosyncratic, and we cannot reliably generalize
from just a single PD session. We found that secondary focused
pre-service teachers tended to be more interested in the data
visualization tools than elementary focused pre-service teachers.
Further sessions and analysis are necessary to make more reliable
conclusions about the characteristics pre-service social studies
teachers would like to see in a pedagogical tool they would consider
adopting in their classroom. Our work informs other researchers
who are considering PD for developing K-12 education
interventions.