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Design and Implementation of Immersive Representations of Practice

Sponsor: Kent State University

Karl Kosko [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Richard Ferdig (Co-Principal Investigator)
Cheng-Chang Lu (Co-Principal Investigator)


Various researchers have documented that a large proportion of preservice teachers (PSTs) demonstrate less sophisticated professional knowledge for teaching both fractions and multiplication/division. Use of representations of practice (i.e., video, animation), and accompanying annotation technology, are effective in improving such professional knowledge, but PSTs continue to demonstrate a lack of precision in attending to or noticing particular mathematics in classroom scenarios. Fortunately, a new technology, 360-degree video, has emerged as a means of training novices for professional practice. This project will address the potential positive and negative impacts of using 360-degree video for bridging the gap between theory and practice in mathematics instruction. Specifically, PSTs demonstrate difficulty in synthesizing explicit knowledge learned in the college classroom with tacit professional knowledge situated in professional practice. The initial pilot of the technology resulted in PSTs demonstrating specific attention to the mathematics. The purpose of the project will be to investigate how PSTs’ tacit and explicit professional knowledge are facilitated using immersive video technology and annotations (technologically embedded scaffolds). To do this, the project will examine where and what PSTs attend to when viewing 360-degree videos, both at a single point in the classroom and through incorporating multiple camera-perspectives in the same class. Additionally, the project will examine the role of annotation technology as applied to 360-degree video and the potential for variations in annotation technology. Findings will allow for an improved understanding of how teacher educators may support PSTs’ tacit and explicit knowledge for teaching. The project will make video experiences publicly available and the platform used in the project to create these video experiences for teacher educators to use, create, and share 360-degree video experiences.

The project will examine how representations of practice can facilitate preservice teachers’ professional knowledge for teaching fractions and multiplication/division. The project will: examine the effect of single versus multiple perspective in PSTs’ professional knowledge; examine how PSTs use annotation technology in immersive video experiences, and its effect on PSTs’ professional knowledge for teaching fractions and multiplication/division; and design a platform for teacher educators to create their own 360 video immersive experiences. Using an iterative design study process, the project team will develop and pilot single and multi-perspective 360-degree video experiences in grade 3-5 classrooms including developing a computer program to join multiple 360-degree videos. They will also develop an annotation tool to allow PSTs to annotate the single and multi-perspective 360 video experiences. Using a convergent mixed methods design, the project team will analyze the quantitative data using multiple regressions of pre-post data on mathematical knowledge for teaching and survey data on PSTs reported immersion and presence in viewing the videos to compare single and multi-perspective 360-degree video data. They will also qualitatively analyze heat maps generated from eye tracking, written responses from PSTs’ noticing prompts, and field notes from implementation to examine the effect of single versus multiple perspectives. The team will use similar methods to examine how PSTs use the annotation technology and its effect. The results of the research and the platform will be widely disseminated.

The Discovery Research preK-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools. Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects.

AwardsFuture of Learning iHubMovement Thinking

Closing Gaps: Connecting Assessment and Culture to Increase Achievement

Sponsor: WestEd
Sharon Nelson-Barber [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Matt Silberglitt (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jonathan Boxerman (Co-Principal Investigator)

This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students’ motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by investigating ways to make science assessment and science instruction more culturally relevant to Native Hawaiians. Closing Gaps: Connecting Assessment and Culture to Increase Achievement, a three-year design and development study, opens new doors for understanding how technology can enhance teaching and learning. The project focuses on ways in which technology-rich learning environments can improve instruction and assessment practices for diverse indigenous students. It combines two innovative learning technologies — SimScientists and FieldScope — that support STEM teaching and learning through the practices of science. Teachers in the Na Lei Na’auao Native Hawaiian Charter School Alliance use these innovative technologies in their classrooms and on ecosystems-themed field trips. Project researchers will study how features of each technology can foster learning and enhance assessment. The project addresses a persistent limitation of STEM learning: students’ lack of access to connected and familiar experiences that can help build foundational knowledge. Although new technologies to support STEM learning are available each year, many deliver inaccessible information because the context of the information is unfamiliar and does not relate to children’s own experiences and intuitive knowledge. This promotes fragile understandings rather than the kinds of knowledge valued by NGSS and in work environments. This project explores how to design educational learning tools that can be adapted to a local context yet be standardized enough to align with state and national guidelines. Findings may prove critical in improving test development practices for diverse populations. Testing in diverse indigenous communities is underexplored; little is known about how assessments can be adapted to serve the dual role of assessing content and practice standards while attending to specifics of the local context. This project intends to enhance the educational advancement of all students in STEM areas.

This project intends to advance the field of educational technology to maximize benefits of cultural and contextual diversity in technology-rich learning environments. It addresses four research questions: (1) Can features of two learning technologies be customized to be both contextually relevant and aligned with standardized learning goals?; (2) Can technology-rich learning environments be used to make salient connections between instruction and the culture in which learning is situated?; (3) Can assessment embedded into technology-rich learning environments be responsive to ways of knowing and demonstrating understanding unique to an indigenous culture?; and (4) Can assessment embedded in technology-rich learning environments support inferences about student understanding of the practices, core ideas, and crosscutting concepts of science with appropriate and sufficient evidence? In Year 1, the project will conduct initial feasibility studies with students and teachers to inform revisions to existing SimScientists modules and reflection activities. In Year 2, the project will revise existing modules to enhance their cultural relevance and then conduct small-scale usability and feasibility testing with the revised modules. In Year 3, the customized modules will be piloted with 12 teachers. Data collection and analysis strategies include: (a) design charrettes; (b) focus groups and usability testing; (c) cognitive labs for cultural relevance, construct validity and innovation impacts; (d) pre/posttest of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) items; (e) benchmark assessment data; (f) teacher surveys; (i) case studies; (j) classroom and field trip participant observations (k) differential item functioning; (l) analysis of covariance; and (m) analysis of variance on posttest scores (outcome variable) to compare the means across student groups (by intervention mode) and their prior science achievement levels to measure the technical quality of the assessments. Project success means students will make personal connections between the knowledge they gain throughout the course of their lives and the knowledge that is important in STEM fields, offering additional ways to see the value and possibilities of STEM careers.

AwardsFuture of Learning iHubMovement Thinking

Transforming STEM Education at a Research 1 University through Multi-Level Action Teams

Sponsor: University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc
Paula Lemons [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Sarah Covert (Co-Principal Investigator)
Erin Dolan (Co-Principal Investigator)
Marguerite Brickman (Co-Principal Investigator)
Tessa Andrews (Co-Principal Investigator)


A well-prepared workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a national priority that underpins progress in science, the advancement of national health initiatives, and overall national prosperity in an increasingly technical economy. To educate this future STEM workforce, colleges and universities need to accelerate the adoption of effective teaching and learning practices at scale. This project at the University of Georgia aims to implement the University’s new core commitments to designing high-quality, more effective educational experiences for STEM students by: developing clear and measurable learning outcomes, basing educational decisions on evidence, collaborating on undergraduate education, fostering continuous teaching improvement, and promoting inclusion and diversity. To achieve these goals, this project will develop teams to design and implement the necessary changes at the course, department, and institutional levels. If successful, this project could provide an example of how to make sustainable institutional change that increases the quality undergraduate education, and broadens the success of students in STEM fields.

Grounded in social cognition and cultural change theory, this project will develop and coordinate action teams at the three organizational levels: the course level, the department level, and the institutional level. At the course level, instructional action teams, involving 84 faculty in biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, and statistics, will revise courses to achieve foundational learning outcomes. At the department level, a leadership action team, involving twelve department heads, will meet regularly to reconsider department policies and practices, including the way that departments evaluate and recognize teaching for promotion and tenure. At the institution level, strategic action teams comprised of faculty, department heads, and deans will work to revise institutional practices, such as the teaching evaluation system, which currently interferes with the quality of education at the University. Longitudinal data will be collected from all action team participants to investigate the extent to which the multi-level action teams produce shifts in assumptions, values, and beliefs, and result in new policies and practices. Data sources will include interviews, surveys, teaching observations, course-based assessments, audio-recordings of action team meetings, and artifacts revealing departmental and university policies. All data will be analyzed according to standard qualitative and quantitative protocols. Results will be disseminated through publications, conferences, press releases, and other avenues, with attention to situating the project results in context of related findings from other research-intensive institutions. This strategy can enhance the potential that similar institutions will be able to adopt or adapt successful institutional change models to accelerate improvement of their learning environments.

AwardsFuture of Learning iHubInventXRNSF

Aligning the Science Teacher Education Pathway. A Networked Improvement Community

Sponsor: California State University, East Bay Foundation, Inc.
Michele Korb [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Award Number: 1908900


California State University will study the activities of a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) as a vehicle to bridge gaps across four identified steps along the science teacher training and development pathways within local contexts of 8 participating universities (NIC sites). Networked Improvement Community (NIC) will co-create a shared vision and co-defined research agenda between university researchers, science educators and school district practitioners working together to reform teacher education across a variety of local contexts. By studying outcomes of shared supports and teacher tools for use in multiple steps along the science teacher education pathway, researchers will map variation existing in the system and align efforts across the science teacher education pathway. This process will integrate an iterative nature of educational change in local contexts impacting enactment of the NGSS in both university teacher preparation programs and in school district professional training activities and classrooms.

The overarching goal of the project is to strengthen the capacity of universities and school districts to reliably produce teachers of science who are knowledgeable about and can effectively enact the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), although prepared in varied organizational contexts. The project will accomplish this goal 1) leveraging the use of an established Networked Improvement Community, composed of science education faculty from eight university campuses and by 2) improving and studying coherence in the steps along the science teacher education pathway within and across these universities and school districts. The project will use a mixed methods approach to data collection and analysis. Consistent with Improvement Science Theory, research questions will be co-defined by all stakeholders.

The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools. Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Please report errors in award information by writing to: [email protected]

AwardsFuture of Learning iHubInventXRMovement ThinkingSuperintendents

Democratizing Access to the Technology of Neuroscience

Sponsor: University of Chicago
Narayanan Kasthuri [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Terrence Sejnowski (Co-Principal Investigator)
Herbert Levine (Co-Principal Investigator)
Peter Littlewood (Co-Principal Investigator)


The success of the BRAIN initiative will depend on widespread access to the technological advancements, computational tools, and data sets created by the initiative. However, there are no existing mechanisms for providing national access to the increasingly technologically and computationally oriented investigations of the brain. The barriers to entry are both financial and structural: not only is technologically intensive neuroscience costly, it requires an investment in physics, engineering and computer science beyond the scope of individual laboratories. This prevents the community’s efficient utilization of current technological capabilities and limits the questions and hypotheses that will drive the next generation of innovation. Thus there is a need to counteract the widening gap between the small fraction of laboratories developing and utilizing the most recent technology and the remaining majority of neuroscientists. The successful removal of the gap will require a sophisticated national clearing house to ensure that the correct physics, engineering, and computer science tools are vetted and freely accessible for measurements of brain structure and functions. Successful accomplishment of these goals will require an iterative process whereby specific needs of the neuroscience community will be identified and either paired with the appropriate scientific, technological and computational resources or pipelined for potential future innovation. The model for the operation of this project will be a user facility, housed at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and leveraging the existing resources of their science facilities. This award provides funding for seed grants for infrastructure development, conferences, education, and outreach.

The team will enlist the Physics of Living Systems community, most specifically the young scientists therein, to join the neuroscience research effort by connecting to the graduate research network led by the NSF Physics Frontier Center for Theoretical Biological Physics. In order to engage and train a broad community, several annual conferences will be held that will cover a broad range of topics in imaging and quantitative neuroscience. The team will augment the program run by the UC Neuroscience Institute to teach Neuroscience to local 7th/4th graders. Almost all of the students in the target schools are African American and live in the local South Side community. ANL will partner with this endeavor by support through its own educational programs, but for the first time broaching the technology of neuroscience.

AwardsFuture of Learning iHubThe Research University

Searching for Connections between Teacher Program Applicant Information and Selection, and STEM Teacher Retention and Effectiveness to Inform Teacher Recruitment and Education

Sponsor: American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences
Award Number: 1950030
Dan Goldhaber [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
David Slavit (Co-Principal Investigator)
Amy Roth-McDuffie (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jennifer Dechaine (Co-Principal Investigator)
Roddy Theobald (Co-Principal Investigator)


This project aims to serve the national need for high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers. To do so, it will look for connections between information from potential teacher candidates, such as test scores and STEM grades; their admittance to and enrollment in STEM teacher education programs; and their later retention and effectiveness as STEM teachers. There is intense interest in improving the quality of the U.S. STEM teacher workforce. However, surprisingly little is known about whether information in applications to teacher education programs predict or do not predict STEM teacher retention and effectiveness. This study is designed to generate empirical evidence about admissions into teacher education programs, the crucial first step to influencing the quality of the nation?s STEM teacher workforce. The specific research questions to be investigated include: 1. Are specific types of applicant information predictive of STEM teacher retention? 2. Is applicant information predictive of STEM teacher effectiveness? 3. Is applicant information differentially predictive of retention along the effectiveness distribution? 4. Is applicant information differentially predictive of retention and effectiveness in high-need educational agencies? Answers to these questions may reveal connections between applicant information and teacher outcomes. Such information could inform decisions about recruitment and admissions into STEM teacher education programs. As a result, the project has the potential to improve the nation?s overall strategy for ensuring a high-quality STEM teacher workforce.

This project is a collaboration between the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at the American Institutes for Research, Washington State?s Education Research and Data Center and five Washington State universities that prepare STEM teachers (Central Washington University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Washington, Washington State University, and Western Washington University). This research study is made possible by statewide data about students and teachers in Washington that include: 1) data from all high-need educational agencies in the state; 2) college transcript data about STEM teacher candidates enrolled in public colleges and universities in the state; and 3) data about admissions processes and admissions from the five collaborating Universities. These sources of quantitative data will be combined to permit regression-based analyses of the attributes of college applicants that are correlated with STEM teacher effectiveness and retention. The project will also collect qualitative data from faculty at collaborating universities to better understand what faculty in STEM teacher education programs value in prospective teacher candidates and whether what they value is related to admission and enrollment in the participating universities. The project is informed by economical and socio-cultural theories. The economical theoretical basis places teacher education program operations within a public labor market in which applicant information is filtered by decision makers? backgrounds, experiences, and social contexts. Given the breadth of potential relevance of this work, project results will be disseminated not only through academic journals, but also through national and state conferences, project websites, and a project conference with stakeholders from around the state. This Track 4: Noyce Research project is supported through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (Noyce). The Noyce program supports talented STEM undergraduate majors and professionals to become effective K-12 STEM teachers and experienced, exemplary K-12 STEM teachers to become STEM master teachers in high-need school districts. It also supports research on the persistence, retention, and effectiveness of K-12 STEM teachers in high-need school districts.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

AwardsFuture of Learning iHubInventXRMovement Thinking

Integrating Biotechnology and Applied Engineering to Meet Emerging Advanced Technological Workforce Needs

Sponsor: Johnston Community College
Leslie Isenhour [email protected] (Principal Investigator)


The rapidly expanding biomanufacturing industries in eastern North Carolina have a growing need for skilled technicians. For example, over the next eight years, Novo Nordisk plans to invest in a $1.8 billion production facility and to hire 800 employees, approximately 500 of whom will be maintenance and process technicians. In addition, Grifols plans to invest $375 million in production facility upgrades and plans to hire approximately 500 technicians. This project will help meet these workforce needs by blending concepts and skills of applied engineering and biotechnology into two existing Associate of Applied Science programs. To this end, four new courses will be developed in close partnership with two biomanufacturing companies. These courses will integrate applied engineering topics into the Bioprocess Technology AAS program and biotechnology topics into the Applied Engineering AAS program. In addition, both AAS programs will be enhanced by the addition of certification in the industry-standard DeltaV distributed control system software. At project conclusion, it is expected that the first cohort of approximately 15 students will have completed the biotechnology/applied engineering programs, completed internships, and be ready for work as biomanufacturing technicians. Approximately 75% of all of North Carolina’s biomanufacturing is located with one hour of the central Johnston Community College campus, making the College an ideal location for this project. Thus, this project has the potential to directly contribute to the national need for a highly-trained advanced technical workforce.

The project will pursue three goals: 1) develop and implement a new curriculum that integrates biomanufacturing and applied engineering; 2) develop a multi-skilled talent pipeline from college to industry; and 3) provide hands-on education in a simulated drug manufacturing environment at the College’s Workforce Development Center. With support from two local biomanufacturing companies, this facility will be enhanced with additional automated machinery and an updated design to create learning environment that simulates drug production using DeltaV industry software to control equipment, similar to that of a modern biomanufacturing facility. Students on the Applied Engineering track will learn to troubleshoot and repair production equipment in these facilities, and students on the Bioprocessing Technology track will learn to manufacture life science products by monitoring conditions such as pH, temperature, and drug concentration during production. By practicing in this environment, students will gain better skills in mechanical and biological techniques. The project coordinator will provide students with career coaching, engage in outreach to high school students, and work with industries to develop internship opportunities that will ensure employment upon program completion. By blending applied engineering and biomanufacturing, this project could provide a transferable model to better prepare students for skilled technical positions in modern biomanufacturing. This project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program that focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.

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