Digital Promise Research Project to Focus on Large-Scale Digital Learning – LE Journal

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Digital Promise Research Project to Focus on Large-Scale Digital Learning

Educational innovator Digital Promise has launched a new network to inspire research into large-scale digital learning in primary and tertiary education. SEERNet is a five-year program whose model differs from the traditional research approach. Rather than starting with small collections of data from local groups of students, SERNet will start with data generated on learning platforms already in use by 100,000 or more students.

The project is funded by the US Department of Education’s Institute for Educational Sciences, under its competitive grant program “Research Networks Focusing on Critical Issues of Policy and Practice”.

This particular network will be led by Jeremy Roschelle, Executive Director of Learning Sciences Research at Digital Promise.

The network will consist of five platform teams, each led by its own principal investigator:

  • Arizona State University team to develop digital learning network platform with the ability to connect, access and review undergraduate student data and courses as part of ASU Online , encompassing both online courses and digital classrooms.

  • Instructure team to produce Terracotta, a plugin for Canvas that allows a teacher or researcher to collect informed consent, assign different versions of eLearning activities to students, and export data anonymized studies.

  • An OpenStax Learning Platform team will build OpenStax Labs, a rapid iteration and test learning environment integrated with the OpenStax digital open educational resource platform, enabling faster research at scale, by focusing on ideas for improving outcomes that lead to equitable student success.

  • A team for MATHia, a digital learning platform to support middle and high school math education, will integrate MATHia with UpGrade, an open source platform that supports fair and rigorous randomized field trials which compare innovative practices to current approaches.

  • A team from the ASSISTments digital learning platform will expand its infrastructure to enable researchers to conduct studies using OER within ASSISTments.

SEERNet will receive $ 3 million; and each of the organizations that make up the network will receive $ 2 million.

“Research on learning during the pandemic clearly shows that today’s large-scale digital learning is not fair. For example, black college students, Latino college students, and low-income college students faced greater barriers to learning math before the pandemic, and this has only intensified during the pandemic, “Roschelle said, in a statement.” To achieve fair digital learning, we not only need to scaling up evidence-based learning technologies, but also shifting the attention of researchers away from designing new but small-scale technologies, to finding out how we can improve learning at scale. scale of digital platforms that students already use frequently. “

“We hope that this work will increase the relevance of the research questions asked, increase the potential for improving educational practices and, most importantly, lead to improved learner outcomes,” added Mark Schneider, director of the Institute of Education Sciences.

Digital Promise will also work with Empirical Education, a research and development company that will bring expertise in research, data analysis, engineering and project management to the project.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a contributing editor for educational publications at 1105 Media The newspaper, Campus technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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