PIs: Sadhana Puntambekar, N. Narayanan, Clifford Shaffer
University of Wisconsin-Madison
This is an EAGER proposal supported under the SAVI initiative that is conducting research on knowledge organization techniques for visualizing and presenting STEM content digitally so as to engage students and engender deep learning. The PIs are applying the results of their research (in an iterative fashion) toward the development of new presentation, interaction, and navigation techniques for digital STEM content, and then evaluating these digital artifacts in the context of an inquiry-based pedagogy designed around dynamic digital text. In the long term, the team envisions a cloud-based service architecture that allows anytime, anywhere, and as-needed access to dynamic digital content covering an extensive set of topics for school and college level STEM education that is integrated with a proven pedagogy that makes effective use of digital STEM content. Collaboration with researchers in Finland is a key component of this work, as the team is testing its theoretical framework for dynamic digital texts with content in science and computing, for middle school and college, in Finnish and English. As such, this project is a first attempt to systematically evaluate the use and utility — across multiple content domains, learner levels, and cultures — of dynamic digital texts founded on concept map-based organizations of domain knowledge. In keeping with the spirit of the EAGER mechanism, this project is exploratory in nature; and while its multi-faceted nature presents risks in execution, there is a potentially transformative payoff to this work in that it can lay an excellent technological foundation for dynamic digital texts of the future.