The Advanced Learning Technologies Lab is often looking for passionate educators who are interested in participating in ongoing research. In virtually all cases we provide free access to cutting edge Educational Technologies and the support you need to use them effectively.
Check out the invitation video below, then scroll down to learn more about studies we are planning for Fall 2018. If you see any that interest you, click the action buttons to fill out a short form and we'll be in touch! Thanks and have a great day.
Our current K-12 Research focuses on the power of technology-assisted peer-assessment to support development of core transferable skills
To respect the time of educators, it is critical that new educational technologies be evidence-based at the highest level. From our perspective that means two things
First, the technology should deliver educational processes that have a research base supporting their efficacy when used on their own. That is, the educational processes upon which the technology is built must be evidence based
Second, the technology itself should then be subject to research assessing both its efficacy and usability.
We have created a technology termed peerScholar which brings together three evidence-based educational processes; peer-assessment, self-assessment and the formative provision and reception of feedback. These processes were woven into a large process that was designed, based on education theory, to support the development of transferable skills like critical thought, creative thought, and clear effective communication.
The efficacy and usability of peerScholar has been established at the Higher Education level, and we have also established the students with the K-12 system like using and see its potential value, but we feel more direct research on efficacy is needed at the K-12 level.
We would like to invite you to participate in this research. We have provided two simple experimental hypotheses and designs below. We are looking for passionate educators willing to try peerScholar in the context of one of the stated designs. We will provide free and unlimited access to the technology for a year, and will also provide support for on-boarding and during its implementation. If either of these designs interest you, then please use the application form below to indicate your interest. Thank you!
Learning From Repeated Use
These experiments simply require a teacher to use peerScholar multiple (2 or more) times within a given class. By examining how closely student ratings of quality match teacher raters we can measure learning and, more specifically, the development of critical thought and metacognition,
With vs Without Peer Assessments
If two interested teachers are teaching in the same area and level we can "pair up classes" and try given activities either with (for one class) or without (for the other) peer-assessment to gauge student and teachers perceptions of ease of use and learning value associated with using peer-assessment
Peer Assessments & The Arts
When teaching in the Arts using grades to guide learning is problematic. More useful is feedback that highlights areas where a student should focus their learning to best improve overall performance. Might peer-assessment provide a powerful support for this kind of learning?
Our Research Partners in K-12
Higher Education Research
Measuring Learning Outcomes at Scale: The Potential of Peer Assessment
At the higher education level we are about to begin what we hope is a very wide reaching study thanks to support from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The research is focused on showing that core transferable skills, like critical thought, creative thought, and clear effective communication, can be developed AND MEASURED at scale via the appropriate combination of peer-assessment and rubrics developed specifically with these transferable skills in mind.
Here is the pitch: If you teach at the higher education level, and you either currently use some sort of technology-enabled peer-assessment tool, or you are willing to try one that we provide, then we'd love to work with you. We could guide you through the use of peer-assessment in general, but specifically we also ask that when your students assess the work of their peers that part of what they do is score each peer composition using one of the VALUE Rubrics developed by the Value Institute of the AAC&U.
Note that our goal is to include classes from all disciplines and at all levels, and we are willing to provide free unlimited access to peerScholar (for you and all colleagues at your university) as well as providing support for its use. The peer and self-assessment steps of the peerScholar process can be added to nearly any assignment you already use to help develop critical thought and strong communication skills in your students.