INSPIRE: Kreyol-based Cyberlearning for a New Perspective on the Teaching of STEM in Local Languages

PIs: Michel DeGraff, Vijay Kumar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Award Details

The focus of this project is on the creation and innovative uses of Open Education Resources (OER) for STEM learning at the post-secondary level with Haitian Creole (Kreyol) as the language of instruction. As part of their work, the PI and his team are creating a set of Haitian Creole-based, technology-enabled active-learning resources for STEM higher education in Haiti. Haitian public policy is to teach in French, a distinct disadvantage for the Kreyol-speaking public. In addition, there are few materials, and almost no on-line materials, available in Kreyol that can serve as resources. Interactive materials and resources created at MIT (STAR; Software Tools for Academics and Researchers) are being translated into Kreyol and embedded within the active-learning framework for learning science and engineering created by and used successfully in large classes at MIT (TEAL; Technology-Enabled Active Learning). Professional development materials for TEAL are being translated into Kreyol as part of the project, and Haitian teachers are learning to use an active-learning approach. A variety of fundamental research questions are being addressed, pertaining to (i) the effects, impacts, and challenges of creating opportunities to learn in one’s mother tongue, especially when it does not already contain relevant vocabulary (ii) the creation and diffusion of scientific and technical vocabulary in languages without technical words, called “language engineering”, (iii) technical and socio-technical issues in adapting and incorporating learning technologies into the learning environments of underserved populations.

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