Main Menu Summer 2013

Research / Grants

College research supported by external grant awards and designated gifts. Listed projects are currently active or have been within the past 12 months. Identifies principal investigators, funding source, project start and end dates, brief project summaries, and links to project web sites, where available.

Assessing Complex Performance: A Postdoctoral Training Program Researching Students Writing and Assessment in Digital Workspaces

William Cope, Principal Investigator
Educational Policy Studies
Hua-Hua Chang, Co-Principal Investigator
Educational Psychology
Sarah McCarthey, Co-Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Katherine Ryan, Co-Principal Investigator
Educational Psychology
Institute of Education Sciences

Mar 2011 - Sep 2015
$659,375

The Postdoctoral Fellows Program provides a breadth and depth of research-related experiences to prepare fellows for full engagement in academic professional life. Senior faculty/project members will provide mentoring. Researchers will train four Postdoctoral Fellows for 2 years in this program. The research opportunities offered include: (1) innovations in formative and summative assessment; (2) development of methods for assessment of complex performance; (3) disciplinary practices of discipline areas captured in written reports and essays; and (4) exploration of the affordances of social media for peer-to-peer learning. Fellows will select a research project for concentrated involvement.

Qatari students' Interest in, and Attitudes toward, Science (QIAS)

Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
College of the North Atlantic-Qatar

Aug 2010 - Jun 2014
$301,463

Drawing on a national probability sample of precollege students, science teachers, and schools in Qatar, QIAS aims to; (1) assess students’ interest in, and attitudes toward, science, and the ways in which these variables change during the school years; (2) identify factors that impact students’ interest and attitudes, including their dispositions toward pursuing college science and scientifically-based careers; (3) characterize the prevailing modalities of science teaching in the various types of precollege Qatari schools; and, (4) examine the relationship between students’ interest and attitudes and their science learning experiences. QIAS will make significant contributions to Qatar research, policy, and practice.

Stord Professorship

Liora Bresler, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Hogskoken Stord/Haugesund

Sep 2007 - Aug 2014
$123,247

Dr. Bresler counsels and teaches on research and development issues for Hogskoken/Stord/Haugesund (HSH) staff and students, in particular the different research projects and programmes connected to different profiles in the Master Programme ICT in learning. The field of work engaged is related to the different profiles of the Master degree program on ICT in Learning at HSH; national, international and local seminars and conferences; and research and development guidance and advice. The work is performed as physical visits to Stord/Haugesund, online seminars, and on-demand consultations via internet.

ECR: Strategic Integration of MOOCs into Graduate and Professional STEM Programs in 21st Century Research Universities

William Buttlar, Principal Investigator

Wen-Hao Huang, Co-Principal Investigator
Education Policy, Organization and Leadership
Sarah Lubienski, Co-Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
National Science Foundation

Sep 2013 - Aug 2015
$299,985

This funding supports the development of a capacity building designed to advance the strategic integration of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) into graduate and professional STEM programs in 21st century research universities by setting the stage for robust research studies. A workshop will be conducted to examine pedagogical issues such as the effectiveness of flipped classrooms merged with MOOCs through a rigorous experimental design, data collection, and analysis process. The workshop will provide a platform for thought leaders and key stakeholders, including employers, to discuss paths for incorporating these emerging educational portals and platforms into the existing fabric of universities. The broader significance of this workshop will help identify research questions about technology, pedagogy, widespread implementation, and specific implications for graduate education.

Enhancing Student Financial Education at Illinois

Debasish Dutta, Principal Investigator

Sarah Lubienski, Co-Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Council of Graduate Schools

Jul 2013 - Jun 2015
$40,000

This grant was awarded as part of the council’s Enhancing Student Financial Education project, co-sponsored by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), a leading financial services organization. The aim of this project is to identify best practices for preparing undergraduate and graduate students to make informed financial decisions.

CAREER: Noticing and Using Students' Prior Knowledge in Problem-Based Instruction

Gloriana González, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
National Science Foundation

May 2013 - Apr 2018
$860,508

The project’s goal is to advance knowledge of professional development experiences that help teachers notice and take into account students' prior knowledge. The project involves the creation of a study group session that incorporates elements from Lesson Study and combines opportunities for geometry teachers to examine videos from their own classroom and animated vignettes of classroom instruction with the purpose of increasing teachers' attention on student thinking. Results of this study, as well as the protocols and instruments developed during the research project, will improve professional development initiatives by connecting instructional decision-making more explicitly to research on student learning.

Noyce: Preparing Excellence and Diversity in Secondary Mathematics Teachers for Illinois' High Needs Schools [STIMULUS FUNDING]

Rochelle Gutierrez, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Joseph Miles, Co-Principal Investigator
Mathematics
National Science Foundation

Jun 2009 - May 2014
$900,000
http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0934901

This project trains preservice mathematics teachers committed to teaching in high needs schools. In Phase I, students learn and apply the latest theories and practices for supporting marginalized students to learn mathematics. The program provides summer internships for recruitment of diverse and qualified preservice teachers, the Noyce Seminar, ongoing mentoring with an experienced Chicago Public School teacher, and access to the particularly rich and diverse array of summer enrichment programs operated by the University of Illinois. Results will improve STEM education among marginalized populations across the nation and successfully increase teacher placements in high needs Illinois schools.

InfoWriter: A Student Feedback and Formative Assessment Environment for Writing Information and Explanatory Texts

Stafford Hood, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Institute of Education Sciences
Common Ground Publishing LLC (contractor)

Jul 2013 - Dec 2015
$209,588

This award supports the participation of a research team from the College of Education and the Beckman Institute to develop a prototype of InfoWriter to support students in writing informational and explanatory texts. InfoWriter combines two educational functions, not previously brought together in the one learning software environment: a) an online concept or information mapping tool that highlights the thinking underlying student writing or exemplar reading texts, and b) use of these info maps for the purposes of learner feedback and formative assessment of writing and subject knowledge represented in writing.

Preliminary Efforts to Evaluate SC Community Programs - Initial Evaluative Information from the Broader Engagement Program

Stafford Hood, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated

Nov 2012 - Dec 2013
$20,000

Planning and Developing the Evaluating Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in the Classroom Project: A Developmental Grant Proposal

Stafford Hood, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
The Spencer Foundation

Mar 2014 - Jun 2014
$60,859

Advancing Arctic Paleoecology: An Integrative Approach to Understanding Species Refugia and Population Dynamics in Response to Late-Quaternary Climate Change

Feng Sheng Hu, Principal Investigator
Plant Biology
Barbara Hug, Co-Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
National Science Foundation

Aug 2014 - Jul 2018
$6,828,512

Project NEURON (Novel Education for Understanding Research On Neuroscience)

Barbara Hug, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
National Institutes of Health

Aug 2009 - Jun 2014
$1,438,319
http://projectneuron.illinois.edu/

Project NEURON brings together the University of Illinois’s Neuroscience Program, the College of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Office for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education and local teachers to develop and disseminate curriculum materials linking cutting-edge science with national and state science standards. This project creates professional development opportunities for teachers and graduate students, includes a formative and summative evaluation and a dissemination mechanism. Project goals include: (1) developing and disseminating curriculum modules for use in secondary science classrooms; (2) improving instructional practices of secondary science teachers; and, (3) improving student engagement in and learning of science.

Eco

Barbara Hug, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Institute of Education Sciences
Strange Loop Games (contractor)

Jul 2014 - Dec 2014
$337,631

Metaphor-Based Learning of Physics Concepts Through Whole-Body Interaction in a Mixed Reality Science Center Exhibit

Robb Lindgren, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Guy Garnett, Co-Principal Investigator

National Science Foundation

Sep 2013 - Aug 2015
$574,210

This project aims to investigate the effects of whole-body interactions with immersive science simulations in informal learning environments. The principal platform for this project is a room-sized floor simulation of planetary astronomy where students are able to embed themselves within the system and make predictions with real-time feedback. The simulation, called MEteor, has been installed at two science centers in Florida, and multiple studies with several hundred middle school students have been conducted to date. Findings from the project are helping both the understanding of embodied learning as well as effective interactive exhibit design in museums and other informal spaces.

Embodied Explanatory Expressions for Facilitating Science Reasoning and Enhancing Interactive Simulations

Robb Lindgren, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
David Brown, Co-Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Dan Hoffman, Co-Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
National Science Foundation

Aug 2014 - Jul 2018
$1,447,193

The objective of this project is to characterize how embodied activity supports students’ explanations of unobservable mechanisms (e.g., molecular interactions) that underlie observable phenomena in science. The project seeks to identify types of body motion that support causal explanations for observable phenomena, what are referred to as Embodied Explanatory Expressions (EEEs). Project partners at Concord Consortium will adapt their existing science simulations to incorporate EEEs and allow middle school students to interact with them utilizing newly available motion sensing input devices (e.g., Leap Motion). Findings from this project will help us understand the embodied foundations of science reasoning and push the frontiers of interactive web-based learning simulations.

DIP: Developing Crosscutting Concepts in STEM with Simulation Theaters for Embodied Leanring

Robb Lindgren, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
José Mestre, Co-Principal Investigator
Educational Psychology
National Science Foundation

Sep 2014 - Aug 2018
$1,349,504

This project aims to cultivate a new genre of technology-enhanced interactions for education with the development of “simulation theaters for embodied learning” that target critical, crosscutting themes in STEM. With our partners at the Illinois Informatics Institute and NSCA we will be creating a new system for gesture recognition that can detect body movements for communicating abstract concepts such as magnitude/scale and rates of change. These movements and associated concepts will be applied to a suite of relevant science learning simulations (e.g., an Earthquake simulation and a acidity/basicity simulation that both operate on a logarithmic scale).

UIUC Postdoctoral Research Training Program in Mathematics Education

Sarah Lubienski, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Arthur Baroody, Co-Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Joseph Robinson-Cimpian, Co-Principal Investigator
Educational Psychology
Institute of Education Sciences

Mar 2010 - Feb 2015
$654,825

This program prepares researchers to conduct rigorous research that is relevant to mathematics education. The program provides fellows with a rich set of experiences and skills needed to conduct mixed-method and quantitative research that will improve U.S. mathematics teaching and learning with diverse populations. Fellows work with a range of faculty who conduct classroom-based research and analyze large-scale mathematics data (including ECLS-K and NAEP). The postdoctoral program at UIUC helps fill the national need for scholars who have a blend of expertise in mathematics education, research design and data analysis.

University of Illinois Writing Project: 2014-2016 NWP SEED Teacher Leadership Development Grant

Sarah McCarthey, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
National Writing Project

May 2014 - Aug 2016
$20,000

This project supports teacher leaders as they develop and disseminate knowledge related to the teaching of writing to a diverse population. The aim of this project is to cultivate teacher leaders who bring expertise and enthusiasm for writing into their own classroom and provide excellent professional development for their colleagues. Participating teachers have opportunities to demonstrate their own best practice and classroom successes, study writing theory and research, experience the writing process by writing and sharing their writing in small groups, learn about digital literacy and video as a rhetorical medium through hands-on training, and publish their work online.

Partnership for Implementing the Framework for K-12 Science Education (PIFSE)

George Reese, Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Illinois State Board of Education
Champaign School District Unit 4 (contractor)

Jan 2013 - Sep 2014
$143,019

This funding provides professional development for science teachers through a two-year program. Training includes a two week summer institute followed by after school follow-up meetings with science teachers throughout the year, as well as partner classroom visits and partner consultation throughout the school year. The program will promote student academic achievement through professional development designed to strengthen the quality of instruction, create partnerships that expose students to and prepare them to be college and careers ready in the STEM career pathways. An upward amendment to the project budget for summer 2014 supports the production of professional development videos for teachers implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Entrepreneurial Leadership in STEM Teaching & Learning (EnLiST)

Mats Selen, Principal Investigator
Physics
Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Co-Principal Investigator
Curriculum & Instruction
Patricia Shapley, Co-Principal Investigator
Chemistry
National Science Foundation

Jan 2009 - Dec 2014
$3,964,036
http://enlist.mspnet.org/index.cfm/

Scholarship in social and entrepreneurial leadership and distributed leadership frame EnLiST’s efforts to build and sustain a state-wide Illinois community of highly qualified science teacher leaders, transforming K-12 science teaching and learning through intensive professional development and innovative school projects. Teacher leaders gain cutting-edge scientific knowledge, research experiences in University laboratories, and effective pedagogical repertoires, as well as entrepreneurial leadership and transformative skills. They return to their districts empowered to energize and transform STEM teaching and learning. Core partners include Education, Physics, Chemistry, Business, Champaign Unit 4 District, Urbana School District #116, and Thornton High School District #205.