479 Views
  1. Matthew Ikle
  2. Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Adams State Univ, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Hampden-Sydney College
  1. Hong Liu
  2. https://faculty.erau.edu/Hong.Liu
  3. Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  1. Jonathan Spector
  2. https://sites.google.com/site/jmspector007/
  3. Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS

Coalition for Undergraduate Computational Data-enabled Science & Engineering ...

NSF Awards: 1626602

2020 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate, Graduate

The current proposal will deliver three cost-effective courses developed through the collaboration of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU); Adams State University (ASU), an Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI); Hampden-Sydney College (HSC), a small liberal-arts college; and Bethune-Cookman University, an Historically Black University (HBU). 

This video serves as a followup to the one from last year in which a team of representatives from each institution developed and promoted interdisciplinary Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDSE) education in a sustainable manner via cyber-learning technologies. A broadened focus demonstrated how pioneering methods in cyber-learning can be used in multiple STEM disciplines, with the common goal of producing students who have the scientific and critical thinking skills necessary to excel in a scientific environment increasingly dominated by big data and interdisciplinary problems.

In this followup we cover both the ideas in the original grant, as well as our workshop from last summer in which a broad array of leading researchers and representatives from the US Army's Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring (GiFT) program gathered to discuss and disseminate results and plan future initiatives.

The key goals and objectives of the original project were to:
1) Develop and implement high quality and relevant CDSE courses promoting inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration;
2) Develop and implement innovative learning assessment tools to gauge student achievement;
3) Develop, implement, and test an expanded CDSE pedagogical network allowing institutions of various sizes and types to sustainably offer CDSE courses. 

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Original Discussion from the 2020 STEM For All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Matthew Ikle

    Matthew Ikle

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 5, 2020 | 09:28 a.m.

    Thank you for visiting our STEM For All video! 

    We are a group of professors from four very distinct colleges and universities: Adams State University (an HSI) in Alamosa, CO; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL; Bethune-Cookman University (an HBCU) in Daytona Beach, FL; and Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden Sydney, VA.  While our subject areas span diverse scientific disciplines (Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology, and the Geosciences) we share a common vision of integrating Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDSE) coursework into the undergraduate curriculum and embedding authentic research experiences based on a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) pedagogical model.

    While it is increasingly clear that the big data revolution has made CDSE training opportunities essential as part of a complete and thorough undergraduate STEM education, it is also clear that many non-research focused higher-education institutions, including most minority-serving institutions, lack the necessary resources and minimal enrollments to justify offering such CDSE courses on their own. By synergizing expertise and shared facilities our project provides otherwise unavailable CDSE courses and project opportunities to students at such institutions.

     

     

     
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    Hong Liu
  • Icon for: Hong Liu

    Hong Liu

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 09:57 a.m.

    This is a copresenter Hong, I would like to extend my welcome to all visitors of our video. Thanks!

    If you are interested in the following questions, I would love to discuss and explore possible solutions with you.  

    1. How can a small under-resourced college start a popular data science degree program when we only have one to two instructors with the expertise? 

    2: How can we offer a course cost-effectively if we only have a few students take the courses? 

    3: What is the proper size of team and team set-up to promote peer learning in team projects? 

    4: How can we evaluate learning outcomes of each student in a team project based learning course?  

  • Icon for: Jonathan Spector

    Jonathan Spector

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 10:06 a.m.

    I think many state-funded colleges and universities, large and small, are under-resourced. Taking advantage of new technologies (e.g., inexpensive Internet-based video-conferencing) and open access resources on the Internet helps. Having educators willing to learn to use these technologies effectively while engaging in experiential learning activities is of high importance.

    Motivating students is also important. It seems to me that CDSE can be related to the science and mathematical models of the spread of COVID-19 which could/should be motivating for students.

    Mike Spector (professional side-kick)

     
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    Hong Liu
  • Icon for: Hong Liu

    Hong Liu

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 11:05 a.m.

    Mike, thanks for your suggestions.  Two teams of our Mathematical Modeling class actually chose working on the modeling of and simulating of Cornid-19 spreading. The team at Adams did excellent job. They integrated the time series data of three counties, New York, Jacksonville FL, and Colorado, the SIR mathematical model, and the agent-based NegLOGO simulation very well. Their predictive models are pretty close to what we observed so far. I would love to share their work in our final report.     

  • Icon for: Patti Curtis

    Patti Curtis

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 02:07 p.m.

    I really appreciate this effort at providing team-based distance learning to communities that would otherwise go with out CDSE courses. How did the faculty come together across institutions?  How can this type of networked instruction be created or replicated across other high-low constructs?  Is there a secret sauce or does it have to emerge, grow organically out of necessity?

  • Icon for: Hong Liu

    Hong Liu

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 02:28 p.m.

    Hi, Patti, Thanks for  your questions, 

    1) How did the faculty come together across institutions? 

    We were originally introduced by mutual friends based on mutual interesting in Computational and data science education. We shared the some problem, which is lack the resources and student enrollments to offer data and computational science courses. Then, we proposed the idea to share resources, such as sharing courses online/face-to-face and pool students together. Later on, we connected new collaborators by disseminating effort including offering workshops in summer. We will offer another one on August 13-14, either online or in person. 

     

    2) How can this type of networked instruction be created or replicated across other high-low constructs?

    This type of networked instruction was created by by-word contract similar to car-pools by the parents of school kids. We take turns to offer courses to the students in the coalition of colleges, and jointly developed new course materials, and shared all resources and data. Since the exchange of favor does not involve money transfer, only a record of free-riding students, it can be duplicated simply by two partners who sharing similar expertise and interest cross different universities.   One of outcomes is we faculty members learned each other by collaboratively developing course materials and offering courses. 

    3) Is there a secret sauce or does it have to emerge, grow organically out of necessity?

    There is no secret at all, everything except the student data can be accessed from the http://gps2dreamcollege.com/, our project based website. 

    Not sure if I answered all your questions. Thanks again. 

     
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    Michael I. Swart
  • Icon for: Marjorie Bequette

    Marjorie Bequette

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 04:49 p.m.

    Really interesting project, thank you all!

    I'm excited to see how seriously you all have taken distance learning, aiming to make the experience seamless for students in all settings. Do you have resources to suggest for the many, many, many faculty and teachers who have embarked on a giant experiment in distance learning in the past 2 months?

    Is there anything that you learned through this work that you think is specific to CDSE coursework?

  • Icon for: Hong Liu

    Hong Liu

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 05:51 p.m.

    Hi, Marjorie, thanks for your nice questions.  Yes, we post most of our links to all courses and publications, and feedback at the website http://gps2dreamcollege.com, and http://gps2dreamcollege.com/publications

    We would love to share what we learned from the two NSF funded project in the past six years about how to use Cyberlearning and blended learning to offer flexible courses mixing online and face-to-face students. The list of publications best described the lessons and experiences we learned from the courses. Thanks again. 

     
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    Marjorie Bequette
  • Icon for: Matthew Ikle

    Matthew Ikle

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 5, 2020 | 05:11 p.m.

    Hi Majorie,

    One of the most difficult problems we encountered is that of bridging the divide between the "home" students and the "remote" ones and especially making the class seem like one, instead of two separate components. Of course as a result of COVID-19, that divide no longer exists, since all students are now remote :-)

    Regardless, I have found that personally reaching out to individual remote students and engaging them in discussion is crucial in helping build that connection. That is much more easily accomplished, of course, for a class of 5-15 (our class sizes) than it would be for a class of 200. I would say much also depends upon who you are, who your students are, and the precise nature of the situation (personal dynamics can always change just as with any class.) 

    Another idea we tried to build that connection: Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, Hong had used both a computer monitor for teaching the remote students, while simultaneously having a large monitor in the back of his classroom so he could better see the reactions from the remote students. I experimented with an OWL camera, but that did not work with our classroom software (Adobe Connect) though it would likely work with Zoom.

    All of which brings up an additional discussion -- that of the role of technology. When we first began, the connections and technology did not work nearly as well or seamlessly as they do now.

    None of the thoughts I just related should be specific to CDSE coursework. Of course as Hong pointed out in a prior comment, teaching Mathematical Modeling and Simulation during the start of COVID-19 in the US proved to naturally lead to a great student team project. Since the topic was immediately relevant to them personally, it resonated greatly with them. At the end of the course, I asked if performing an agent-based simulation of disease spread would have interested them as much had COVID-19 not have happened. The answer was an unanimous no.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Marjorie Bequette
    Hong Liu
  • Icon for: Monica VanDieren

    Monica VanDieren

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 7, 2020 | 04:14 p.m.

    Hello!

    I am also at a small university and we just started a statistics and predictive analytics major.  Fortunately we had a strong actuarial science program to build off of, but we do face some of the same resource problems (e.g. number of qualified faculty) as you do.  I will share your page with some of my colleagues.  

    Best regards,

    Monica

  • Icon for: Hong Liu

    Hong Liu

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 04:34 p.m.

    Hi, Monica, 

    Thanks for your interest and you are most welcome to share all resources. A strong actuarial science program is very attractive to students. If any of your faculty have interesting to offer computational or data science courses, feel free to contact me at liuho@erau.edu

  • Icon for: Jameela Jafri

    Jameela Jafri

    Facilitator
    May 7, 2020 | 04:42 p.m.

    I appreciate how educators are using virtual exchange and distance learning technologies to connect young people together for collaboration. Can you share a little about how you prepare educators and professors to facilitate cross-cultural experiences for students. With the current pandemic crisis, we are all experiencing the need for planning and intentionality in distance learning. What are some of the best practices and lessons learned that have emerged for your team?

     

  • Icon for: Hong Liu

    Hong Liu

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 04:37 p.m.

    Hi, Jameela, Thanks for your comments and questions.

    To answer  your first questions:  we have not formally addressed the problem of cross-cultural experience for students, and would like to learn more in our future endeavor. However, when I assign team members, I usually prefer to mixing international students with American students for them to learn each other's strength. 

    To answer your second about the lessons that we learned that have emerged for my team. I would love to share a few most important lessens we learned. 

    1) We the peer instructors learned a great deal from each other when we took turn to teach both face-to-face and remote students, the other review the courses and monitor his/her own students. This approach helped us to improve the course incrementally and iterative. 

    2) When teach such a hybrid class with both remote and local students, the instructors have to pay special attention to the remote students, and stop in every 10 minutes to ask if they have questions. The instructors need to rephrase the questions before he/she answer to both classes. 

    3) Students typically like to collaborate with their co-located classmates.  We learned new lessons this year when the CorvID19 forced all students to collaborate online. We opened  both synchronous communication with Zoom and asynchronous communication channels with Slack. The frequency of both communications among teammates and mentors are the best indicators of teamwork success, 

    My answers might be a little too long. More can be found in our publications linked in

    http://gps2dreamcollege.com/publications         

    Thanks again, Hong 

  • Icon for: Jonathan Spector

    Jonathan Spector

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2020 | 10:57 a.m.

    The first step is to have educators who embrace diversity and appreciate cross-cultural differences, which is the case for our participating institutions and their instructors. Then it helps to have a session where students can speak about this past experiences and their cultures as well as their concerns. What results from such a session is that students typically begin to contact their peers and form acquanticeships that develop into friendships ... providing them with encouragement to contact each other outside the confines of the course environment helps at the beginning of the semester. 

     
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    Hong Liu
  • May 12, 2020 | 07:33 p.m.

    Great work and partnership between universities to provide contextualized learning in application.  Looking forward to hearing more about the evaluative aspects of the impacts of this project!  

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

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