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Icon for: Yige Wang


University of Texas at Austin


NSF Awards: 1726816

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12, Undergraduate, Graduate, Adult learners

To lower the learning barrier for students and educators, we propose a new user-driven application framework, IDOLS to facilitate educating and training activities on remote cyber-infrastructures. IDOLS stands for Interactive OnDemand Online Learning System. It is a web application framework that allows the users to customize the web application including dynamically compose different workflows and generate new users on demand through simple configuration files. The framework includes a set of pre-built task modules to help bridge users with remote hardware and software resources. The application makes instructors easy to develop workflows suited for students. During a training session, students can use instructor-generated accounts to sign in and run tasks on remote cyber-infrastructures.

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Discussion from the 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase (8 posts)
  • Icon for: Erik Saule

    Erik Saule

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 11:55 a.m.

    Nice work on Idols. I have a couple of questions. What level do you think this is appropriate for? Also, hwo difficult would it be for students to extend IDOLS to add new functionalities?

    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Allie Beckman
  • Icon for: Yige Wang

    Yige Wang

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:31 a.m.

    Although it is possible to build content to teach fundamental computing concepts, the IDOLS system is most suitable for learners with basic knowledge of a computing system and programming concepts. We expect learners of IDOLS to be high school or college level students.

    IDOLS is designed to be extensible and customizable by users. It is possible and easy for students and instructors to add new customized web components for their own web applications based on functions already built in IDOLS. The process only involves editing the JSON configuration files. IDOLS is also an open source tool, additional advanced functions not yet implemented can be extended by users who has knowledge of Scala programming.

  • Icon for: Rachel Garrett

    Rachel Garrett

    Senior Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 07:50 p.m.

    Very interesting! To echo the previous comment, I also was wondering what level you had in mind for students using IDOLS? Also, I am curious about whether IDOLs is meant to be an interface that students engage with primarily self-guided, or whether this is intended to be something that supports an instructor-led activity?

  • Icon for: Yige Wang

    Yige Wang

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:35 a.m.

    As I’ve mentioned in my previous reply, we are expecting students to have some basic understanding of programming. Therefore, high school or college level students would be more suitable.

    The IDOLS system is to directly facilitate educators and support instructor-led activities. The core functionalities help the instructor to easily set up a virtual teaching environment with remote computing resources and customize the content for diverse topic within data science. The content can be built for both instructor-led teaching as well as student self-guided teaching style. In short, IDOLS is a tool to help the instructor create interactive content for the student to learn.

  • Icon for: Cynthia Callard

    Cynthia Callard

    Executive Director/Professor
    May 14, 2019 | 07:58 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work on this project!  It sounds very interesting and  has potential to help provide students with a deeper understanding of work in Data Science.  Can you tell us a bit more about what you expect/hope students will actually do when they use IDOLS?  I am also wondering, as Erik is, if you are designing this for use with high school students or college level? 

  • Icon for: Yige Wang

    Yige Wang

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:42 a.m.

    We are hoping IDOLS can be adopted by more educators for teaching diverse content. The first user of IDOLS is an instructor who may customize and set up IDOLS for learners. During the teaching session, all students can log in to the system and follow the instructor’s instructions and/or defined components in the web interface to run demos and practice with hands-on exercises.

    Both high school and college level students could use IDOLS as a studying tool. Although it is possible to teach computer programming basics using IDOLS, it is more suitable for students with a background in computing system and programming.

  • Icon for: Kristen Reed

    Kristen Reed

    Senior Project Director
    May 14, 2019 | 08:28 p.m.

    Looks like an exciting project. How are you thinking you might be able to scale the IDOLs project and sustaint the work after the grant has ended? 

  • Icon for: Yige Wang

    Yige Wang

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:43 a.m.

    We are looking for engaging open source communities to scale our idols development and especially for building more content. We are collaborating with other researchers and educators to build more content and use cases with IDOLS and implement more basic functional blocks. Those development coupled with the extensible design of IDOLS can make IDOLS scale to additional use cases.

    As we are part of higher education institution, teaching and education is part of our core missions. Therefore, we are committed to providing continuous support for IDOLS users beyond the current funding project.  Additionally, we are expecting to secure future funding to support new functionality development of IDOLS.

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.