• BSCS ViSTA is an online, videocase based resource for teacher learning.
  • Each of the five available content-specific modules (Plants, Electricity, Water Cycle, Force and Motion, and Inquiry) features videocases that include student written work, student interview clips, and classroom video. Click the Program Tour link above to learn more about each of the modules.
  • BSCS ViSTA is designed to be facilitated and can be used in preservice teacher methods courses or inservice professional development programs.

Register for 14-Day Trial (Instructor/PD Provider) 
Course Registration (Instructor/PD Provider)
Student Registration  (Course code required)

BSCS ViSTA modules are online, videocase-based materials designed to support teacher learning in preservice teacher education courses or in-service professional development programs. Each module represents approximately 30 hours of learning time. Learn more about the five content-focused BSCS ViSTA modules (Plants, Electricity, Water Cycle, Force and Motion, and Inquiry) using the Program Tour link above.

Access to review one module for 14 days is free to instructors and professional development providers. To use a module, instructors and professional development providers need to register a course, and teacher-users pay $15 per semester for use of each module for one semester.






Videocase-Based Modules

The BSCS ViSTA modules deepen teacher learning using videocases for structured analysis of and reflection on science content. Each of the five BSCS ViSTA content-specific modules features content-focused videocases that include student written work, student interview clips, and classroom video. By focusing on one content area, teachers develop rich content and pedagogical content knowledge about that content – the kind of deep understanding science teachers need in order to effectively teach science.

Program Conceptual Framework

BSCS ViSTA uses a conceptual framework that focuses on two lenses that teachers typically do not use to analyze their own teaching (the Student Thinking Lens and the Science Content Storyline Lens) and on a limited set of core science teaching practices that support these lenses. By focusing on the two lenses and carefully selected key teaching strategies, teachers develop a depth-of-understanding of effective teaching practice and teaching analysis.

Learning Teaching Analysis

Just as K-8 students need to be explicitly taught about the practices of scientists, BSCS ViSTA provides the learning teachers need in order to be more analytical about their practice. Using the lenses and a clearly defined and taught lesson analysis process and protocol, teachers analyze BSCS ViSTA videos with carefully structured discussion tasks. 

Instructional Approach

Each BSCS ViSTA module is designed around situated cognition theory and features a coherent set of tasks that supports teacher learning across time. The structure of the modules scaffolds teacher learning and emphasize the importance of learning in the context of teaching. Teachers first learn about one of the teaching strategies simply by identifying it in a video clip, and then they analyze what student learning was made visible by use of the strategy. 


BSCS ViSTA is an accessible, scalable, and cost-effective teacher-learning program that can be used in a variety of contexts:

  • as a resource in a teacher education methods course,
  • as a stand-alone professional development course,
  • as an online seminar with small groups of preservice or in-service teachers, or
  • as part of a professional development program supporting a large number of teachers across an entire school district.

BSCS ViSTA Research Study

A research study of the modules involving 30 universities compared preservice teachers’ learning in methods courses where a ViSTA module was used with courses at the same universities where no VISTA module was used. The results showed that, compared with control teachers, preservice teachers using a ViSTA module showed greater pre-post course improvement in their science content knowledge and in their ability to analyze science teaching in terms of student thinking and the science content storyline. Click here to read the research study results, presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST).


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-0957996. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.