ID Case Analysis – Spring Wells High School

Please see my VoiceThread at the link below.

ID Case Analysis – Spring Wells School

ID Case Analysis – Spring Wells High School

David Bernheim

Edtech 503

Boise State University

The case study I am tackling is Suzanne Garner, Allocating Multiple Resources to Meet Multiple Needs by Teresa Franklin from The ID Casebook: Case Studies in Instructional Design (Ertmer & Quinn, 2007).


Spring Wells High School, a low socioeconomic, urban high school in the Midwest, solicited my advice to help them best utilize grant funds awarded for teacher technology development. I find this to be just the tip of the iceberg, as like the Titanic, the school is in crisis. As in many instances of design, implementation and execution, all facets need to be explored, all options viewed, so a plan at each stage meets the needs of all parties.

Let’s meet the crew of our Titanic and see if I can rewrite history to keep them afloat.

Stakeholders – Professional Development Team

  • Terrence Oren is the principal. He hears the concerns regarding technology but fears the larger issue is proficiency scores. His computer is rumored to be a paperweight.
  • Alicia Graham is the curriculum coordinator. Developed a proficiency template for teachers to use on their computers to get immediate feedback on proficiency levels rather than waiting for yearly reports.
    • Terrence and Alicia want to spend the money on assessment and implementation of the curriculum standards.
  • Suzanne Garner is the technology coordinator and she is the grant author, and received $20,000 for her grant. She wants to spend the money on technology- training to encourage the integration of technology into the high school classrooms and state professional development standards on technology funding as written in her grant proposal and specified in the school’s award. She has had Instructional Design coursework; but is not demonstrating what she learned yet.
  • Sandy Green is the Lead Teacher Science Department and has 15 years experience using technology in her classroom. Her science scores are meeting state requirements. She might be a potential SME for the school.
  • Peggy Goodwin is the Lead Teacher English Department. And she is frustrated workshops aren’t planned. Wants concrete answers as to why the low reading and writing scores were occurring and how they might be improved. Seems intimidated by the Internet as she is restricting her new teachers from using it. She is unsure where to begin.
  • Bill Ellis is the Lead Teacher Social Studies Department. He does not think “innovative” workshops will do any good. He feels there are issues with the computers and the network functioning when needed.

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  • Phil Nelson is the Lead Teacher Math Department and is two years removed from retirement. Does not see the need to get the certification. Sees computers as playing games as opposed to needed computations.
  • Jeff Wilkins is the Lead Teacher Physical Education Department. He does not see the need for technology in his course. Objects to training after school and wants to take training during school to prevent coaching interruptions.

Four Areas of Critical Need (prioritized)

  • Teacher Technology training is in it’s 3rd year of a 3-year requirement to have 100% of the faculty @ Novice certification level and 75% of the faculty at Practitioner level. SWHS is currently 30 teachers short (75%) for Novice and 42 teachers short (40%) for Practitioner. If not accomplished by the end of this year school loses technology funding and the computers/equipment already purchased with those funds.
  • Proficiency scores for reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies are “in emergency.” SWHS has two years to improve state test scores to “continuous improvement” or lose control of the school.
  • The group needs cohesion and hope. The group is splintered and some of the teachers indicate feeling put upon rather than empowered. The leader appears to ignore technology and its role in moving forward. This reflects in their output and the students not feeling motivated. Students feel as disconnected as the staff.
  • Loss of active learning opportunities as teachers “teach the test.”

Available Resources (prioritized)

  • Suzanne secured a $20,000 grant to use to improve teacher skills and knowledge in providing new environments for learning.
  • The discretionary funds Terence has at his disposal from the Tech Equity Fund for professional development.
  • Current funding for technology is in place to insure equipment is maintained and the network operational.
  • Two computer labs w/30 computers each would be ideal to train staff quickly. Additionally each classroom teacher has three computers (one for teacher and two for students) at their disposal.
  • Sandy Green, a teacher on hand, would be a strong school resource as an SME on computer technology since she excels and has excelled in technology for fifteen years.
  • Alicia Graham would be a strong school resource to teach how to input objectives into the proficiency template she wrote.
  • The young teachers on staff already interested in the Internet already want to create change. For all I know they may hold Expert Certification. Instruments of change are much more powerful from within an organization.

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  • The schools where Suzanne visited would be resources as well. The teachers Suzanne observed using technology as a way of motivating students to excel in various areas of the required proficiency testing would be worthwhile on-line mentors and a source for curriculum material proven to invigorate learning with their students.

Existing Constraints (prioritized)

  • Time is a huge constraint:
  • The school has only 1 year left to retain their current technology funding and equipment through staff certification
  • The school has only 2 years to increase student proficiency to Continuous Improvement.
  • Time for training the teachers
  • Time to design and implement creative alternatives to the course as charted.
  • Leader does not appear to value technology and that trickles downward.
  • Older teachers appear resistant to change & seek leadership.
  • Teachers are fearful of losing their jobs.
  • I do not know if school is in-session or if these are the weeks prior to students reporting. Given Peggy Goodwin’s reaction, expecting that all in-service workshops would be already written and ready for action, indicates we are pre-student arrival.

My Plan

As I explored this over and over, I came to realize that attitudes would need to shift in order to move ahead. I explored the General Information Processing Analysis for Attitudes.

(post Information Processing graphic) The first two steps appear simultaneously as SWHS has to Evaluate the Situation and Consider Possible Courses of Action. Next, SWHS will Determine Valued Behavior, Choose Valued Behavior and Behave in a Valued Way. It does not matter how many times I look at the steps, until Terence looks at it, sees a successful program somewhere else and believes it can happen at his school, he will not change. However, the plan would be to get the teachers proficient in technology so they can input their curriculum objectives and see the action they need to take to revise and align their curriculum with proficiency objectives. Once they can see the problems on the paper specific to their classes, they can see the areas for change and will be more willing to explore new and innovative ways to reach the students.

Suzanne should familiarize herself with the Strategic Selling Concepts taught by Miller Heiman, or a similar sales performance company. If Terence and the Lead Teachers in the content areas do not start to make a change in attitude, no plan will work. Suzanne must help them become late adopters. Either SMEs from a school of late adopters now demonstrating success or a consulting firm like Miller Heiman should help teachers at Spring Wells begin to speak the common language of success. Suzanne needs to do a much better job of Instructional Design leg work as the analysis she can do and the connections she can make to success demonstrate the crucial differences she can make.

I would consider spending some of the money on making the technology proficiency classes self-paced and online and/or utilizing SMEs from successful schools. That would

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remove the after school training obstacle and may promote more interest as time could be used during a planning period to learn and advance.

Steps Required

  • The first step is to have a frank conversation with Terence to identify how the grant was written and specifically how the funds must relate to technology professional development with the goal of integrating technology into the high school classroom.
  • The next step still involves Terence. He must be put in contact (SKYPE, Google Hangout) where he can be in direct contact with a senior administrator from one of the successful schools Suzanne visited. She should target a school that has experienced a turnaround similar to what SWHS is looking to achieve. Hopefully Suzanne can find a successful school principal who is a late adopter of technology. This would be crucial to help Terence see someone who has affected change. Suzanne should have her counterpart on screen as well so that the four of them are chatting and keeping the conversation focused on their process to successfully integrate technology while improving the school climate and proficiency of the students.
  • Hearing Bill Ellis clearly, Suzanne should push Terence to utilize funds already in place to insure all equipment is up-to-date, maintained and the network operational so that teachers had what they needed when they needed it. Also, the Tech Equity funds are to be used for the maintenance and training of staff. Terence needs to release those funds to be used in this total project.
  • The SWHS staff should be surveyed over a variety of technology integration questions to explore their apprehension or ability related to technology. Teachers should also be incorporated into Google Hangouts with the other schools on Suzanne’s success list so those apprehensions can be shared with those who have persevered through similar struggles.
  • Suzanne should recommend Terence use one third of those funds to hire trainers to get the faculty certified. He has plenty of computers and could satisfy Novice level in very short order in one lab and make a huge dent in Practitioner in the other lab. He can supplement this third with his discretionary Tech Equity funds.
  • A successful teacher from one of the other schools can either directly influence the PE teacher or by showing him how other PE teachers have integrated technology into their school day. Other schools utilize technology for monitoring and enhancing the experience for players and coaches of all sports. Enhancing his program by using the FitDeck iPhone App (, or something similar, for creative exercise ideas, incorporating access to nutrition, diet and health monitoring programs during PE or management and training software for team sports will make his job easier, more successful, and benefit coaches and students.

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  • If they are not willing to work for free, Terence should consider hiring some of the SMEs from the successful schools to not just teach technology; but integration into content areas to invigorate learning. Suzanne should recommend another third of the funds be spent on hiring SMEs in each content area to help lead the exploration into technology integration. Suzanne and Terence should become familiar with Strategic Selling Fundamentals as presented by Miller Heiman, a sales performance company. If Suzanne and Terence cannot secure SMEs from other schools to help create a climate of change, they should consider bringing MH to the school to helps staff speak a universal language of success. Terence can offset this expense with his discretionary Tech Equity funds.
  • Terence can use the last third of the funds as an incentive to teachers who demonstrate change in their classroom. The measurement device exists as Alicia Graham the curriculum coordinator created the alignment assessment tool. The SMEs/student feedback/teacher feedback/proficiency scores could all be part of the evaluation for awards. This last third is crucial to our multi-use of the funds from the $20,000 grant. There must be evidence that all parts of our plan lead to this point of innovation. Parts 1 and 2 give the faculty and staff at Spring Wells High School the tools to achieve Part 3.

Terence Oren has training money from the School Tech Equity fund that not only provides for maintenance of the computers; but also, provides the professional development for tech certification of teachers and staff. He must be convinced to apply it here. Infusing this into my plan would mean more money would be available to reward innovation. Having the three parts in the plan are necessary to satisfy the innovation aspect of the grant.

Suzanne should utilize The PIE Method by Newby, Stepich, Lehman and Russell (2000) as the model to guide change of curriculum while monitoring the success and innovation. It relates well to technology integration, is fairly easy to understand, it only has three stages (Planning, Implementation, & Evaluation), and can be used by all the content departments. I explored other system models but their sophistication and need for the entire team to be trained in Instructional Design influenced my choice for the PIE Method. My other reason to choose this model is time-based. This model works well to take advantage of media already being used and adapting that media to work in this setting. Suzanne Garner’s background in Instructional Design would serve well here as she could help content area teachers seek out and find existing media solutions to their educational challenges.

This would satisfy the terms of the grant, as all parties would get what they want:

  • The school keeps their computers and retains control of the school by increasing proficiency and student achievement.
  • The teachers have clarity for exactly what change needs to take place in a timely package and how to continuously improve. Exposing them to a flipped classroom will allow them to spend more time mentoring to student computations.
  • The incentives will encourage the faculty to work outside their box and learn new skills late in their career.
  • The faculty will work more efficiently.

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  • Suzanne and Alicia feel validated because their skills and training are put to use to affect change.
  • Use of the grant money will have a direct correlation to the request.

What are the ethical issues related to the use of funding for assessment and curriculum alignment when the grant was originally written for technology professional development?

Grant funds are to be used for the purpose specified in the grant. To use them just for assessment and curriculum alignment would be fraud as it stands. However, training the teacher in technology proficiency in order to incorporate the technology to innovate the classrooms while at the same time providing up-to-date data on progress and proficiency satisfies the purpose of the grant. At the same time, it accomplishes the most for the dollar because assessment and curriculum alignment become an integral part of the package to keep Spring Wells High School operating afloat and full steam ahead.


Ertmer, P. A. (2007). The ID casebook: case studies in instructional design (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall. – General FAQs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2013, from

Grant Professionals Association – Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2013, from

Gustafson, K. L., Branch, R. M., ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology, & United States. Dept. of Education. (2002). Survey of instructional development models. Syracuse, N.Y.: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology.

Smith, P. L., Ragan, T. J. (2005). Instructional design (3rd ed.). Hoboken, N.J: J. Wiley & Sons.