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CPD Pipeline
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Continuing Professional Development Pipeline Project

CSTA is pleased to announce its partnership with Infosys Foundation USA to create a professional development pipeline. The pipeline provides value for teachers, districts, PD providers and students.  


The pipeline will:

  • Personalize learning plans that guide a teacher in selecting the PD pathway that best meets their current and future needs and interests.
  • Create PD-based communities that provide greater support for teachers who pursue or complete various PD programs.
  • Certify PD completion in the form of digital badging and certificates so that teachers can provide authenticated evidence to their schools regarding PD they complete. ·     
  • Track PD over time via a digital portfolio that further assists a teacher in selecting future PD options and manage their overall career development.


Core Elements:

  • Assess Individual PD Needs:  A developmental assessment to help teachers identify their strengths and weaknesses in computer science (CS).  The developmental assessment will be linked to the CSTA standards and other reference sources.  Teachers will receive feedback on their assessment.  The assessment tool is intended for developmental purposes only.
  • Personalized Learning Plans:  A personalized roadmap that helps teachers identify and pursue PD that best fits their needs, interest, and experience level.  This is part of creating pathways for teachers to continue to grow in their knowledge of CS and CS education.  Over time this will be linked to predictive and prescriptive analytics models so that we can make more effective recommendations based on data collected and informed by current research.  (e.g., we are already learning that new to CS teachers often do better if they learn “project­ based learning” pedagogy before or concurrently with CS content.)


  • PD-based Communities:  A platform that provides communities of support for teachers who participate in common PD programs.  This will be powered by our association management system.  We know from research that teachers are more likely to use PD knowledge gained in the classroom if they go through PD with a colleague. That is not yet always possible with CS PD, but we can help simulate that effect by creating PD ­specific communities so that once teachers complete a PD program they know there is a community to support them by answering questions, sharing ideas and lessons learned, or providing encouragement.


  • Certify PD Completion:  A digital badging model to record certificates earned or PD completed and socially share those accomplishments.  Digital badging is increasingly utilized in the Association environment to monitor training and professional development growth.  It introduces “gamification” concepts to professional development.  It is particularly effective with younger professionals and in the education community.  CSTA is looking at two tiers of badges.  Initially, we will focus on badges that certify that an individual teacher completed a particular PD program.  In a subsequent phase we will pursue and offer a second tier of badge that requires outcome assessments and demonstration of competencies acquired or mastered.


  • Track PD Over Time:  A digital portfolio to help teachers monitor and manage their PD over time, including finding possible gaps in their PD.  Through the utilization of data analytics and badging, the CPD Pipeline will help CS teachers track their growth and expertise over time.  The portfolio becomes a portable transcript linked to a common framework to enable teachers to manage their careers.


Strengthening Elements:

  • Outcomes Assessment:  Develop a model or resources to encourage and assist PD providers in the creation of competency and outcomes based assessments from PD experiences that help demonstrate not only that a course was completed, but some mastery/competency was gained in the process. This will be used to create the second and higher value set of badges.


  • Conduct Research: Utilize data analytics and other methods to improve various components of the CPDPipeline:improve the personalization of roadmaps; identify more optimized pathways for teachers based on background;provide PD providers with return information to improve their programs; and improve our ability to assess CS learning outcomes.


  • Certification Model:  Investigate the feasibility of establishing one or more teacher certificate programs laid against the CS Teaching Standards.  This could be a surrogate form of professional credential for those teachers in states that do not currently have a license or certification model for CS (still the vast majority).  This certificate may be banded by levels (PK­5, 6-8, 9-12) or specialty domains (e.g., cybersecurity, robotics, gaming, making).



More information about the CPD Pipeline will be available in the coming months.



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The Association for Computing Machinery founded CSTA as part of its commitment to K-12 computer science education