The study design included interviews with key instructional leaders in each of the four primary science course strands (i.e. Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science). Four of the instructors interviewed taught more than one course; two were university science faculty members, one was a university education faculty member, and two were representatives from K-12. Interview questions fell into the following broad categories: prior experience with notebooks, perceived purpose of the notebooks, presentation or introduction of the notebooks to teachers, how the science notebooks were used as an instructional tool, how the science notebooks were used as an assessment tool, how the science notebooks were used as a self-reflective tool to inform their own teaching. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with at least one member from each content team chosen based on which team member had the most responsibility for implementing the science notebooks during the course.
Subsequent to the interviews, a random sample (10 from each course strand) of notebooks was analyzed to ascertain the common characteristics (greater than 50% of the sample) that illustrated expanded teacher content knowledge. A case analysis was utilized to examine the notebooks and patterns were noted by the research team.