Development and assessment of a multiplayer, cloud module for teaching population genetics with badge incentives

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Awarded Grant: $35,400 Principal Investigator: Katharina Dittmar, University at Buffalo Regarding technology use, we learned from a previous IITG grant that among all mobile devices, tablets were vastly preferred over smartphones. Importantly, tablets were reported to be overwhelmingly used at home, or in the library with access to course materials, and with friends. These findings suggest crucial points to consider in the context of mobile, online education delivery outside the classroom: Not all mobile devices are equally suited, and learning environments with the capacity for interaction matter greatly, especially for higher level, conceptual learning. Based on the clearly positive role of mobile-device instruction, we recognize the need to better capitalize on the ability of tablets to serve as an interactive teaching device. Currently, Pop!World is delivered as a single player virtual game. We here propose to take this to the next level, and accomplish the following goals: Implement Pop!World in a multiplayer mode, with player interaction and user incentives (badges). Use emerging cloud gaming technology to implement this in a platform and hardware independent fashion, that is scalable and lag-time resistant. Assess the technology in the context of user adoption, and badge incentives (see Assessment Plan for details). Co-PI’s and Key Partners: Bina Ramamurthy, Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo Jessica Poulin, Clinical Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo

iPads for Music Making and Music Teaching

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Awarded Grant: $10,000 Principal Investigator: Jill Reese, SUNY Fredonia This project will provide the opportunity for undergraduate music education majors to develop their abilities to effectively use technology to scaffold and encourage the music creativity and expression of all learners (regardless of age or ability). The related projects include partnerships with local schools, childcare programs, retirement and rehabilitation centers, and multiple student associations on campus. This grant will help us meet the standards for teacher preparation set forth by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).   Through these projects, our students will have the opportunity to contribute to the local community, enhance local opportunities for music expression and collaboration in the community, and develop the skills required to interact and teach in a digital society. Co-PI’s and Key Partners: Matthew Wilson, Visiting Lecturer of Music Technology, Lab Coordinator of School of Music Technology Lab, SUNY Fredonia Reports and Resources: Project outcomes report Project website Mid-project report Project outcomes report V2.0 Creative Commons License:   

Development and Assessment of Mobile Device Instruction in STEM Education at K-21 Level

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Awarded Grant: $10,000 Principal Investigator: Katharina Dittmar, University at Buffalo This proposal builds on an ongoing NSF Cyber-Infrastructure project, which seeks to develop a cloud-deployed, scalable, virtual tool for the instruction of theory and practice of population genetics in K-21 settings. We pursue two aims by expanding this tool to mobile devices: Aim 1) Technology Development, and Aim 2) Strategic Assessment. One outcome from this project will be a stand-alone app (Google Android and Apple IOS platforms) that will further expand flexibility of course completion for undergraduate students at UB, SUNY, and other institutions across the country. The other outcome will be the systematic assessment of the pedagogic/educational effectiveness of mobile device instruction in STEM education through controlled qualitative and quantitative research on a large scale. Co-PI’s and Key Partners: Bina Ramamurthy, Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo Jessica Poulin, Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo Reports and Resources: Final Grant Report, reports on mobile apps that were developed, their distribution, as well as assessment outcomes: IITG_Grant_Final_Report.pdf Installation Guide for apps: Popword-Installation-Guide.docx Project Website: Pop!World app for iPad: Project outcomes report Creative Commons License:

Eternal France: An Interactive Historical Simulation for College History Classes

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Awarded Grant: $10,000 Principal Investigator: Edward Bever, Old Westbury This project prototyped a solitaire computer game for use in Western Civilization and European history courses. In it, students guide the development of France over historically significant periods of time: in one scenario 60 years (480-540 CE); in the other, 300 years (975-1275 CE). The game models the historical processes involved — from population growth through cultural change — with students making decisions reflective of the government’s expanding purpose and power. The game is designed to foster students’ historical understanding both implicitly, through the gameplay itself, and explicitly, through instructional exercises integrated into the course of play. The game was tested in two survey classes, and the results indicate that it has significant potential to motivate students and foster their understanding of history. However, the tests also suggest that the concept and execution require further refinement before it can be expanded to the full simulation of French history originally envisioned. Reports and Resources: Project overview Overview demo and assessment data Clovis Scenario – This is a short (60 year) scenario. It has a few historical glitches, like a tendency for the Eastern Roman Empire to take over Russia, but they are peripheral to the player’s experience, which centers on Western Europe. On the whole the scenario is well balanced and simulates the Frank’s historical situation reasonably well. However, it does not include all the player activities of the full game or the didactic exercises integrated with it, and it requires an immediate aggressive military effort for the player to be successful that limits its usefulness as a teaching tool. High Medieval Scenario – This is a longer (300 year) scenario. It include the full range of player activities and didactic exercises intended for the final, full-length version of the game, and the slow-moving historical development of the French monarchy in the first century it covers creates a relatively forgiving initial situation that makes the scenario more suitable for use with a class. However, it has a significant number of historical glitches that impact not only peripheral phenomena, but also core player activities, so its employment in its current state as a course material is not recommended. Project source code Project outcomes report Creative Commons License: