Susan Hereth's Project Portfolio

Go to the mini-course: The Hudson River as the Context for Learning


Needs Assessment/Learner Analysis

Intent: In the work that I do as the education coordinator for a regional organization, there is a great deal of flexibility that I have in terms of shaping programs that I deliver directly as a “non-formal educator” to students as well as for teachers to help them build confidence in the content they deliver directly to their students through place based education approaches. My needs assessment intent is to gain a better understanding of the baseline information teachers have on place based education and the use of the Hudson River as the context for learning.

Educator Survey: I created a 10 question survey on Survey Monkey that I sent to all of my teacher contacts. In addition, I posted the survey link on two Facebook pages: 1. Scenic Hudson and 2. Teaching the Hudson Valley. I had a response of 35 participants to my survey.

Opening statement of survey: For a graduate course on Instructional Design, I am working on the following Design Project Proposal: A mini course using the Hudson River as the context for learning using a place based education approach. This professional development framework is aimed at giving teachers the tools they need to implement place based learning by bringing the Hudson River into their classrooms and the classrooms to the Hudson River. Project purpose: A professional development program/experience for teachers to become familiar with place based learning using the Hudson River and surrounding landscape as the context for learning. Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey. Your feedback is essential and appreciated!

Here is a link to the survey: [1]

Survey questions:

1.What academic discipline and/or grade level do teach? 2.Do you incorporate topics on, or related to, the Hudson River and/or surrounding Hudson Valley into your classroom teaching? 3.If you use the Hudson River or Hudson Valley as content in your teaching, how do you incorporate it? 4.How often do you incorporate teaching about the Hudson River, Hudson Valley or local topics/areas into your teaching? 5.Are you familiar with the term or concept of "place based education" (PBE)? 6.How do you incorporate PBE into your teaching? 7.What resources or further knowledge would you like to be aware of in relation to teaching about the Hudson River and/or Hudson River Valley using place based education methods? 8.What format would you be interested in for professional development opportunities related to the Hudson River, surrounding environs and/or place based education? 9.Do you have suggestions for professional development topics based on place based education, the Hudson River and/or the Hudson Valley that you would be interested in? 10. What incentives encourage your participation in professional development?

Task Analysis

Learning Outcomes:

To successfully complete this mini-course, participants will be able to:


• Describe the pedagogy of Place-based Education

• Identify resources to help with lesson plans and professional development related to Hudson River Valley based programs

• Describe aspects of the natural history of the Hudson River

• Incorporate a lesson plan(s) using Place-based Education pedagogy into their curriculum planning using the Hudson River or Hudson Valley as the context for learning.


Essential Prerequisites:

To reach learning outcomes, participants must know how to:


• Access the internet and use search engines to find information

• Determine the most appropriate resources for information

• Apply pedagogical knowledge to instruction

• Develop lesson plans


Supportive Prerequisites:

For ease in reaching learning outcomes, participants should:


• Be willing to try new educational approaches such as Place-based learning

• Understand how to connect state learning standards to lesson plans

• Understand curriculum content standards and how to create interdisciplinary lessons

• Understand how to use find professional development opportunities

• Explore outside the comfort zone of the traditional classroom

• Have an interest in exploring more in-depthly into the natural history and multidisciplinary opportunities of the Hudson Valley and Hudson River

Instructional Map

Instructional Curriculum Map