The DIIMSA® Model
The Digital Imagery as an Instructional Mode for Student Achievement (DIIMSA) Model was developed by VR Program educational leaders to provide teachers with the skills and resources needed to maintain students’ interest in science and bolster their academic achievement. DIIMSA is a technology-based teaching and learning model that synergistically integrates: Conceptual Teaching; Collaborative Learning; and Enabling Technologies in classroom teaching that can be demonstrated as students perform campus-based, field excursion, laboratory and case study experiences.
This 3-tier integrated solution allows teachers and students to work together to successfully reach the end goal of bolstering student achievement, while increasing teacher enhancement. With DIIMSA, participants: (1) Gain the PBL and PBS pedagogical methods and IT skills needed for successful implementation of activities, methods, strategies, lessons and projects for increased student achievement; and (2) Acquire instructional materials, equipment and curriculum frameworks for implementing activities, methods, strategies and projects designed for the Digital Generation Learner. Ultimately, DIIMSA stimulates a better learning environment by activating more senses – sight, sound, touch – during learning, which increases retention and provides teachers with an effective way to increase student achievement to a high level. Students are then able to move to the next level of learning in a leveled playing field regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status or background.
DIIMSA Curriculum Integration
DIIMSA is a Curriculum Integration Framework with the goal of improving the life and success of students, teachers, professors and staff in the use of digital imagery for long-term learning, high stakes assessment successes and overall student achievement. As a flexible Curriculum Integration Framework, DIIMSA works in conjunction with curriculum guides, e-Learning toolsets, textbooks (hardcopy/virtual), grant directives and research tools. DIIMSA activities, methods, strategies and projects coincide with National and State standards for grades K-12 spanning across Life, Physical and Earth Science with strong linkages to Scientific Practices and Processes. The VR Program professional development also satisfies the 30-hour teaching training requirement (counts towards 45 hours required for the Gifted and Talented Level I Awareness Certificate in the area of creativity and instructional strategies).
DIIMSA Results Highlights
In addition to the less tangible but critical outcomes of increased student enthusiasm and involvement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning, all of the VR program’s efforts yielded a surge in student achievement across the board from initial pilot projects to current program efforts. The DIIMSA model continues to evolve using science concepts and digital imagery integration into classroom teaching to engage learners in science, while linking other content areas.
DIIMSA Provides a way to: (1) Meet the needs of diverse student populations; (2) Insure sustainability through supports that includes modeling, coaching and specific problem-solving; (3) Stay current on real and relevant content through recent research; (4) Enhance communication; (5) Offer differentiated learning opportunities; (6) Show results during professional development that leads to achievement for all students; and (7) Promote continuous learning.