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Sq~ ~ ~ ~ ~ _ dew dew _ _ _ 8' Many STEM educational programs and institutions have been involved in projects to improve teaching and learning through the application of IT. The resulting TT-based learning materials have proven to be adaptable and dynamic, and in many cases they have enhanced the educational process. A growing number of people are involved in the development of TT-based educational materials. The landscape of STEM education is now dotted with *Zands of innovation isolated areas where TT-based materials are being used effectively. However, not all innovations have led to more effective learning because these materials are often used by limited numbers of users. Thus, opportunities for synergy, discourse, and exchange steps that often lead to improvements in next-generation products have also been limited. impediments to realizing a desirable environment for TT-based educational materials are complex. Multidisciplinary strategies for improving TT-enabled products put forward by workshop discussants addressed technological, cultural, legal, and economic issues. The following sections include brief descriptions of the existing environment for developers and users and the challenges that must be overcome. For the sake of discussion, the challenges are organized into three broad categories: technology and tools infrastructure, content and pedagogy; and human, cultural, and organizational issues. The reacler shouIcl keep in mincI, however, that these issues are inextricably intertw~necI. The Tnternet has proviclecl a technological basis for simple sharing of TT-basecl eclucational materials. The more clifficult problem of ....... -- ............ . . . . . nteropera ~~ Arty ~ ~ ~ require common protoco as ant . stanciarcis that enable machine communication at an operational level. Hence, technological constructs (e.g., architecture, stanciarcis, and tools) wall be key enablers for achieving broacl interoperability among TT-basecl eclucational materials and tools. , ~ r..-.-.-.-.-.-.-......................................... -.-............................................... ~................................................. - .............................................. .. ......................... ................................ ..................................................................... 13

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14 IT-Based Educational Materials: Workshop Report Our current environment, which can be characterized as islands of innovation in computer-enabled learning, reflects disparate efforts by individuals, groups, university-w~de communities, and multi-university coalitions. A number of parallel initiatives are already defining horizontal (e.g., across domains or disciplines) standards for learning objects. Examples include the Sharable Content Object Reference Mode} (SCORM) standards for web-based learning applications, the Instructional Management Systems Global Learning Consortium (TMS) standards for online distributed learning networks, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specifications for the web infrastructure. Other bodies such as the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (TEEE), the International Organization for Standardization (TSO), and other organizations are also involved in the establishment of technical specifications and horizontal standards. The SCORM. TMS, and W3C standards are being created by a global network of , , , lo, , ,, lo, ~ . ~ . . ~ ~ . ~ . . ~ . researchers, developers, and users, with a broad objective of creating an infrastructure to support interoperability. However, none of these initiatives has gone much beyond providing functional educational services, such as course and student administration, content management, and course assessment. None of these has focused on advancing the teaching and learning process. Expanding these initiatives to address core teaching and learning activities (e.g., advanced, domain- based applications and services) would increase their potential impact on the teaching and learning experience. But, this would require greater participation by researchers in the learning sciences and social sciences, as well as by classroom educators and students (i.e., end-users). Digital repositories are just one of many examples of portals that provide content materials for large numbers of educators. These repositories contain digitally stored, archival materials that are available to all, or selected, educators and students. The materials are structured in an agreed upon format to provide easy archiving and sorting. Information is embedded through structured metadata sets to help users apply the materials appropriately (e.g., learning objectives, assessment strategies, and pedagogical approaches, etc.~. The National Science Foundation (NSF) National Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology Education Digital Library (NSDL) and the Multimedia Educational Repository for Learning and On-Line Teaching (MERLOT) are two examples of digital repositories with a national scope. NSDL and MERLOT serve online communities, and NSDL provides a defined structure to development of new materials. NSDL and MERLOT have also begun to address some of the content issues identified at the workshop, such as, the establishment of a framework for instruction guide the .......................... ................................. ................. ................. .................................. .. ............................ = , ............. , ,,, . ............. ........... .... ................ ........ ........ .................. l:::: .. ::::::::::::::::::::: T . air ,,, _ . 2 2 2 2 2~ """"""""""2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.""""""""""""""~ ~ .. ~"""""""""""""""""~'~fi~C=,,;~ ,: j - ;i:.ff~ ~ ~2.2~,jfff:~,~ff :: :~: iW~ .................................. _ a ~ ~ ~ f~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ,~ ,,,,,, ' ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,222222222222222222222. :~_~:~:~:~:~:~:~ ~,~ 22222 ........................................................................................... ~~ 2"""""""""""""""""22 :: ___:

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Our Current State: Islands of Innovation 15 guides (i.e., tutorial aids), the creation of metadata vocabularies for describing material content and purpose, the provision of assessment aids, the embedding of pedagogical information, etc. NSDL and MERLOT and similar initiatives are still in their infancy; much more must be done to bring about their widespread adoption. One important contribution of NSDE, MERLOT, and related efforts has been the integration of advances in learning science into TT-based educational modules. The involvement of learning and social scientists represents an important step forward. The digital library community could be an important source of leaders and researchers as we move forward. As described above, current learning management systems tend to concentrate on the administrative aspects of courses and content and the presentation of materials, rather than on advanced teaching and learning activities. A few attempts have been made to include advanced learning services, but many of these are in their infancy. As current efforts have shown, achieving interoperability wall not be a simple task. Portability and the sharing of learning objects wait require service definitions and definitions for data interchange. At present, however, widely accepted frameworks for structuring and specifying content and metadata for learning services are limited in scone. A related concern is that. unless and until specifications are agreed upon , . ~ ~ ~ for a broader range of educational services anct applications, we can expect Inconsistencies In technical approaches and fragmentation to increase. All of these problems are aggravated by the rapid changes in the technological environment; learning materials quickly become obsolete unless they can be translated into next- generation formats. ** Am* ~~ ** 10 Rococo. wxao A ao~srox~r*~ ~ taco 0 x o~x ~ 8i~**Er brat d' ~ "3~*a~*7~hF "*I* ~ " - luff ~ ~ ~ Content modules include digitally encoded lessons on specific topics, assembled textbooks, and interactive displays of information based on inputs from users. Tools are used to help users build new modules, adapt existing modules for new purposes, and assemble collections of modules to for a specific educational activity. NSDL and MERLOT are large-scale initiatives that store educational content for STEM educators. There also are numerous examples of more localized initiatives that apply TT in the service of STEM education. few orate ~ ~ ~ . . Connexions at Rice University has developed its own modular approach for delivering domain-specific lesson materials to engineering faculty. The Sooner City Project at the University of Oklahoma is an online curriculum for civil engineering students from freshman through senior year. Every year, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) recognizes outstanding educational courseware through its Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education. This is an indication that good quality materials are available for those who happen to be in the right place or with the right instructor.

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16 IT-Based Educational Materials: Workshop Report Excellent materials that cover a wide range of advanced, domain-specific lessons using TT-based modules could be made available to other educators over a shared network. However, very little is being done to encourage dissemination (e.g., providing instruction and other support services for other users). Thus, the use of these materials at other campuses, in other departments, or even in other classes has been very limited. Many of the tools for authoring, repurposing, maintaining, and distributing learning content do not use technology consistently to support content-oriented markup. For example, many people are familiar with web-authoring applications, such as Adobe PageMill, Microsoft Frontpage, and Macromedia Dreamweaver, that produce hypertext markup language (HTML) code to support user-defined web page displays. But these applications are also notorious for numerous quirks in the creation of objects, tables, frames, and other display features. One fundamental problem is that HTML itself is a display markup language (i.e., it lets the computer know what the display should look like), but it cannot communicate information to the machine about the use and purpose of the content. By contrast, other markup languages, such as extensible markup language (XM L), are designed to let the machine know what the content is and how it is used. One next step for TT-developers could be the development of authoring and repurposing tools that use content-oriented markup languages (CoML). A CoML approach would allow machine-level communication using structure sets that emphasize educational objectives and outcomes. Ongoing improvements in other tools, such as Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (Web DAY), could enable the cooperative development of materials through online mechanisms. The core communities that comprise an IT-enabled teaching and learning environment are authors (including the complete IT-development team), teachers, and students. Each of these communities has its own culture, its own needs, and its own support structures and resources. In a traditional educational setting (i.e., a classroom with teacher and students), learning is primarily dependent on the teacher and student communities converging around common themes and objectives. In IT-enabled environments, the learning model (at least for now) is dependent on a convergence between the student, teacher, and author communities. In spite of increasing evidence that a learner-centered model results in better knowledge retention and comprehension, STEM education is largely based on teacher-centered models. Resistance to the adoption of learner-centered models in STEM teaching cannot be addressed by simple solutions. First, the shift to a learner-

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Our Current State: Islands of Innovation 17 centered environment could interfere with the traditional focus of STEM institutions on technical research; this focus is generally reflected in incentive and reward systems and other institutional, physical, and human infrastructures (this issue is discussed further in the following section on cultural issues). Second, only a fraction of existing STEM faculty are knowledgeable about existing cognition and learning models relevant to STEM disciplines. Thus faculty training and education wall be necessary for a scale-up of learner-centered education. Third, a good deal about how people learn STEM concepts, both inside and outside an IT context, is still unknown. A better understanding of how STEM concepts are initiated and processed in the human brain would go beyond the application of active techniques (e.g., problem- based learning, interactive and collaborative learning, and service-learning) and beyond models for tools such as language tutors. The workshop participants agreed on the need to embrace a scholarship of learning to create the intellectual capital that would support effective STEM education and the development of better tools to assess STEM learning outcomes. Even if we had easy-to-use tools for developing content, efficient architectures that supported sharing and reuse, and valid pedagogical models for achieving advanced STEM learning outcomes, there would still be significant barriers to the use of IT in the service of education. Human, cultural, and organizational concerns present significant challenges to the use and dissemination of TT-based educational tools and materials. Many of these issues, outlined below, have been discussed in non-STEM domains, but they have been largely absent from discussions on the use of IT in STEM education. Until these issues are addressed, the outlook for meaningful progress is limited. From preschool and kindergarten through secondary school, educational institutions are primarily equipped to support non-TT-based teaching and learning experiences. In spite of the explosion and popularity of electronic games and electronic learning aids for all students, beginning with pre-schoolers, and despite the modern practice of including CDROM textbook supplements, references to internet sites in textbooks, and other electronic features to enhance texts and other traditional educational materials, most students and teachers have had minimal exposure to TT-based practices and resources in the classroom. Moreover, once students and teachers have developed successful classroom learning strategies, they expect to continue learning the way they have always learned.

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18 IT-Based Educational Materials: Workshop Report Teachers and students who have developed learning skills adapted to non-TT learning environments, often find developing the skills and strategies for learning in TT-based environments uncomfortable, or even onerous. This resistance can be partly overcome by appropriate training and practice schedules; but people are resistant to change unless they perceive a benefit. influence over the incentives that motivate students Land parents' we., grades), strategies should target ~ Hi......... adoption by faculty of TT-enabled educational approaches. ..... ....... ............. Because faculty members have greater ~ .. . v . . ~ . r ~ ~ re ..-..::::::: ::. . :: ::::.. ....:: ::::: ::::. i:: ::.. .::::::: :::::::::::-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:: -::::::::::::::::::: ,.~:.:.:.:.:,:,:,:,:,: ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ :,:,:,:,:,:: :::::::::::::::~:::~:~:.:.:::: :.:,:,:,:.:,:: :,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,: .::::::::::::::::: --:-:-:-:-:-:::::::::-:-:-:-:-:-:-- :::::::::::::::::::::::::` ,.,:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:::::::: :,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,::::::::::: :,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:,:::::::::::::::::::::: .:::::::::::::::::::-:-:-:-:-:-:::::::::::::::::::::-:-:-:-:-:-::::::::::::::::::::::: . ::-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:':':':':':':':':':::::::::::::::-:: :-:::::::::::::: :-::fff ::::::::::::::::::::::::: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . ~.~ . :~------ '''''''''""""""""""""". ~ --~: :.:.: ~ : ~\ . f Y t :::::::;s::~ it- ~~ '<~ ~ $~ .,.. ~ A... ~ - I. ~~ - ~,.,.,.,. fff,r I.-.. I'm 2''' ''~-"""""""""'~ ~ .......... ~ ~.: :,3~.,.-'-,- --,-, -.-. Id, ., ................ .,..,r,r,< Add ................... .............. ~ ................................................................ ..................................... - ~ .................................... . ~ -.- - ......................................................................................................... A related factor is that successive generations are more comfortable with the electronic environment. Many students have had access to computers and other electronic aids since preschool. But, only the youngest faculty members had access to user-friendly computers during the formative years of their education. Therefore, programs should be designed to transition faculty to an TT-enabled paradigm. And even though in time the situation wait change naturally, the glacial pace of cultural change in academia could be accelerated by deliberate actions and strategies. Many people are just beginning to recognize the benefits of TT-based resources and practices in education. Faculty who have embraced IT are beginning to seek out and interact with others who share their unique ability to envision and implement TT- enabled innovations. However, the majority of faculty and administrators appear unconvinced that the benefits of TT-based innovations justify the costs of implementing them. One theme that emerged at the NAE workshop was that in the future, TT-based materials and strategies must be easier to learn, easier to use, and better supported. The challenge is to develop sustainable solutions that merit the investments required to use them. This will require that developers pay more attention to overcoming the full set of barriers in the STEM education culture. An important lesson that has been learned in other (non-STEM) environments, and that was repeated often at the workshop, is that current practices, beliefs, and assumptions must be characterized before interventions for behavioral change can be developed. Social models for growing and nurturing communities of practice- collective groups of practitioners united by a common goal and models for realizing specific behavioral changes in target populations or organizational cultures have been developed. However, environments. Thus, a period of learning and adjustment may be anticipated they have rarely been applied to STEM educational ~

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Our Current State: Islands of Innovation 19 Past experience has shown that cultural, linguistic, and political differences among teachers and students in STEM education are very important. For example, women and underrepresented groups leave (or choose to not enter) STEM programs at higher rates than majority male students. Studies have shown that academic achievement is not the most significant factor in their decisions. Cultural factors, such as classroom climate, the quality of teaching, and the lack of social acceptance are more important factors) 2. Investigations into the cultural factors that influence the success of TT-enabled resources and practices in STEM education may reveal equally unexpected conclusions. The workshop participants agreed that widespread success without a rigorous understanding of cultural influences. The institutional culture (the culture that supports the fundamental mission of an organization), is reflected in the incentive and reward system, as well as in the institution's support structures. Although STEM institutions have been urged to embrace TT-based education, they have been reluctant to change their underlying culture. Workshop participants identified changes at the institutional level that could encourage the use of TT in education. TT-based activities thrive in open environments, but STEM institutions have traditionally been creators, collectors, and repositories of knowledge; the emphasis has been on "ownership." An TT-pervasive environment requires openness and sharing. STEM educational institutions must be encouraged to adopt knowledge creation, knowledge sharing, and knowledge dissemination as fundamental components of their mission. Initiatives such as Open Course Ware (OCW) and DSpace are examples of institutional commitments to support the broad dissemination and sharing of learning materials through online media. The Creative Commons initiative is an example of a structure that supports users who wish to provide open access to learning materials and addresses the most common obstacles related to ownership and intellectual property rights. At present, only a few organizations participate in OCW, DSpace, and Creative Commons, but the success of TT-enabled education wall depend on bold initiatives like these that allow for the easy exchange of ideas and the freedom to build upon the work of others. ~ See Seymore, J. and N.M. Hewitt. 1997. Talk the Sciences. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press. sing About Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave 2 See Adelman, C. 1998. Women and Men of the Engineering Path. Washington, D.C.: Department of Education.

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NSDL and MERLOT are large-scale initiatives that store educational content for STEM educators. There also are numerous examples of more localized initiatives that apply IT in the service of STEM education. Connexions at Rice University has developed its own modular approach for delivering domain- specific lesson materials to engineering faculty. The Sooner City Project at the University of Oklahoma is an online curriculum for civil engineering students from freshman through senior year. Every year, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) recognizes outstanding educational courseware through its Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education. This is an indication that good quality materials are available for those who happen to be in the right place or with the right instructor. Excellent materials that cover a wide range of advanced, domain-specific lessons using TT-based modules could be made available to other educators over a shared network. However, very little is being clone to it. . .. . encourage o~ssem~nat~on te.g., providing Instruction and other support services for other users). Thus, the use of these materials at other campuses, in other departments, or even in other classes has been very limited. Many of the tools for authoring, repurposing, maintaining, and distributing learning content do not use technology consistently to support content- oriented markup. For example, many people are familiar with web-authoring applications, such as Adobe PageMill, Microsoft Frontpage, and Macromedia Dreamweaver, that produce hypertext markup language (HTML) code to support user-defined web page displays. But these applications are also notorious for numerous quirks in the creation of objects, tables, frames, and other display features. One fundamental problem is that HTML itself is a display markup language (i.e., it lets the computer know what the display should look like), but it cannot communicate information to the machine about the use and purpose of the content. By contrast, other markup 20

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Our Current State: Islands of Innovation 21 the artificial intelligence community, we know that plausible systems should be developed before large-scale changes are proposed. And based on the difficulties encountered by the NSF engineering research centers and engineering education coalitions, we know that we must create an economically sustainable infrastructure to make a lasting change.

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and human infrastructures (this issue is discussed further in the following section on cultural issues). Second, only a fraction of existing STEM faculty are knowledgeable about existing cognition and learning models relevant to STEM disciplines. Thus faculty training and education will be necessary for a scale-up of learner-centered education. Third, a good deal about how people learn STEM concepts, both inside and outside an IT context, is still unknown. A better understanding of how STEM concepts are initiated and processed in the human brain would go beyond the application of active techniques (e.g., problem-based learning, interactive and collaborative learning, and service- learning) and beyond models for tools such as language tutors. The workshop participants agreed on the need to embrace a scholarship of learning to create the intellectual capital that would support effective STEM education and the development of better tools to assess STEM learning outcomes. Human, Cultural, and Organizational Issues Even if we had easy-to-use tools for developing content, efficient architectures that supported sharing and reuse, and valid pedagogical models for achieving advanced STEM learning outcomes, there would still be significant barriers to the use of IT in the service of education. Human, cultural, and organizational concerns present significant challenges to the use and dissemination of IT- based educational tools and materials. Many of these issues, outlined below, have been discussed in non-STEM domains, but they have been largely absent from discussions on the use of IT in STEM education. Until these issues are addressed, the outlook for meaningful progress is limited. [earning to [earn with IT 22