Icon for: Justin Starr

JUSTIN STARR

Community College of Allegheny County
Public Discussion

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    Rick Roberts

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 10, 2022 | 11:24 a.m.

    Nice idea Justin!  Good to see CCAC has a voice in the STEM discussion.  Good luck with the project.

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    Justin Starr

    Lead Presenter
    Endowed Professor of Advanced Technology
    May 12, 2022 | 12:50 p.m.

    Thank you so much, Rick. It has been a blast - we've learned so much a long the way!

  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    Senior Researcher/Center Director
    May 11, 2022 | 02:09 p.m.

    Thank you for creating a video that shares your timely and important work! While the pandemic has allowed us to create some kinds of virtual learning experiences, we haven't made similar advancements to support virtual-physical learning connections. Your video does a nice job identifying the barriers that limit students' education and that exclude many from engaging with engineering technologies. You definitely helped me to appreciate the problem (including ineffectiveness of simulations) and the need for your initiative. Designing this universal box sounds promising.  As you are piloting the technology now, it would be interesting to know some specifics about the testing or the problems you face at this juncture.  As an education researcher, I am curious to learn more about what you might study related to student engagement and learning when they participate remotely--many potential benefits!

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    Justin Starr

    Lead Presenter
    Endowed Professor of Advanced Technology
    May 12, 2022 | 12:53 p.m.

    Thanks, Karen - we have already learned quite a few practical lessons about the implementation of this technology... some of them... the hard way. Unfortunately, the timing of this video didn't align well with our assessment. Our first cohort of students is scheduled to participate in a debrief about their experience with the evaluator next week. We noticed that remote learners did not engage with the UI in the way we had planned, so it will be interesting to both learn more about why that was, and work on improving some embedded communication tools into the system. Thank you so much for watching!

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    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    Senior Researcher/Center Director
    May 15, 2022 | 11:37 a.m.

    Thank you, Justin, for your response.  Aren't the best lessons learned the hard way? (or maybe that's what I tell myself because I seem to encounter a fair number in my projects!).  I know you'll learn a great deal from your assessment and feedback from students.  What you learn will be critical for making improvements and it will be important for the field.  Reading through the conversation thread, I see you have already connected with Chris Dede, which is great.  I appreciate your persistence--you are doing such important work.  Best wishes!  

  • Icon for: Catherine Horn

    Catherine Horn

    Facilitator
    Moores Professor and Chair
    May 11, 2022 | 10:11 p.m.

    Justin - really appreciate your acknowledgement about the often unintended but real exclusionary impact in course only opportunities may be creating. I agree with you that what you are doing is the beginning of something big! What are you learning from this current project that helps you think about scalability? What do you see as the next steps from where you have begun (e.g., expanding access to equipment, to subdisciplinary areas, other)? I also wonder what you are ascertaining about student learning outcomes and how these opportunities are enhancing (or perhaps constraining) that learning.

    Love your commitment to inclusive excellence!

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    Justin Starr

    Lead Presenter
    Endowed Professor of Advanced Technology
    May 12, 2022 | 12:55 p.m.

    Hello Catherine - the big thing that we have learned is that vendors are both friend and foe. The ability for colleges to access equipment remotely and pool resources is a major threat to some business models. While many of them love the idea of remote access and cloud-enabled systems, they would prefer doing so through a proprietary, controlled platform. Our big hope is that something designed around an open standard can be accessible enough to educators so that it can be a driving force. More to come about student outcomes - our first cohort just finished this week and we will crunching through the data... Thank you so much for checking out our work!

  • Icon for: Chris Dede

    Chris Dede

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 06:51 a.m.

    Justin,

    this is an exciting project. We are planning to develop tools and insights from our work in the National Institute for Adult Education and Online Learning that may be helpful to you.

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    Justin Starr

    Lead Presenter
    Endowed Professor of Advanced Technology
    May 12, 2022 | 12:56 p.m.

    Chris this is great. Let's think about ways to work together. I will follow up via email. I can think of a few ways in which collaboration could make a lot of sense. 

  • Icon for: Chris Atchison

    Chris Atchison

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 07:35 a.m.

    Justin, I love this. The pandemic caused us to look at geology field studies very differently, also. Work that has been done to support students with disabilities and other accessibility issues has become increasingly valuable as a result. Consider socially constructed knowledge. Once established, how will you build inclusive communities of learning?  How will students working remotely be able to access peers to discuss problems, ideas, solutions?  

  • Icon for: Justin Starr

    Justin Starr

    Lead Presenter
    Endowed Professor of Advanced Technology
    May 12, 2022 | 12:58 p.m.

    Chris, this is one of the biggest challenges we are facing. As soon as we tackled the issue of accessing equipment remotely, we immediately saw the need to start building a community or ecosystem around the tools that facilitate that collaboration. But, as you can imagine - that is a significant scope expansion. It has been a struggle to stay focused on improving the tech and designing things in a way that will allow the connection of communication tools and collaboration engines when the time is right - we really don't want to spread resources too thin. It has been interesting to see the students come up with their own solutions. One group made a Slack channel... we may learn quite a bit by watching what organically arises. Appreciate you taking the time to check out our work!

     
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    Chris Atchison
  • Icon for: Chris Atchison

    Chris Atchison

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 01:02 p.m.

    Justin, agreed. We can't do it all at once... burn out does exist!  I love that the students are seeking solutions. I know you'll continue to encourage that. We have just as much to learn from them as they do us. Keep up the great work. I look forward to watching your progress! 

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