May 5, 2011: Congratulations to CS faculty member Tom Moher on a new NSF (CISE directorate, IIS division) grant for $1.2 million

Congratulations to CS faculty member Tom Moher on a new NSF (CISE directorate, IIS division) grant for $1.2 million for 4 years entitled:

HCC: Medium: New Technology Supports for Learning in Embodied Science Inquiry Contexts

This project centers on the design of technologies than can help teachers and students to effectively enact the kinds of complex, challenging instructional designs that characterize modern science pedagogy. While considerable effort has gone into the development of technologies to support learners who are seated at computers, this project will address the largely unexplored domain of embodied, whole-class science inquiry activities that are largely unmediated by traditional one-to-one technologies. The project focuses on "embedded phenomena" instructional units in which elementary school students conduct investigations of persistent, room-sized simulated phenomena over multi-week periods. Through a series of iterative design studies, the project will build and evaluate technology-based supports for teachers and students addressing three critical goals: (a) improving students' abilities to conduct accurate and reliable scientific investigations, (b) ensuring the regular and meaningful participation of all classroom students in collaborative investigations, and (c) helping students to effectively integrate, manipulate, and represent the results of their collective scientific work. The new technologies developed in the project will serve as foundational building blocks for a flexible, sustainable learning technology infrastructure supporting ambitious STEM instruction.

Broader impacts: The project will help students and teachers, particularly in the elementary and middle school grades, to overcome barriers to engaging in innovative but complex pedagogical forms that have the potential to transform science education. It will promote high-fidelity enactment of science practices, help to ensure that opportunities for participation are distributed throughout classes of students, and inform the design of new pedagogical approaches. The tangible products of the project-including new technologies, new instructional units, and evaluations of their effectiveness in supporting STEM learning-will be made broadly available to teachers, learning researchers, and technology developers.

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