Still Water awarded grant for “Just-in-Time Learning” badges

eLearning GrantsStill Water Senior Research Fellow John Bell has been awarded an eLearning grant to develop a Tutorial Pool to go with department’s growing suite of online tutorials that form the core of its “Just-in-Time Learning” initiative.

John BellThe New Media department‘s badge system allows for automated assessment via interactive screencasts, whereby students must answer a series of quizzes embedded in each screencast to be awarded a digital badge corresponding to the skill she learned in the tutorial. Grant partner Jon Ippolito will be building an interface to make it easy for nontechnical people to create these quizzes for the badges they design.

One of the goals of New Media’s system is to encourage student-designed tutorials. To help, Bell has been building a sophisticated rating system called the Tutorial Pool, which allows learners and instructors to evaluate tutorials on criteria such as usefulness and technical accuracy.

This is invaluable for peer-to-peer learning environments in which students build tutorials for each other, as well as for keeping published tutorials up to date. Using the Tutorial Pool, students can also link projects to the tutorials needed to create them, thus helping future learners understand which skills are required for particular projects.

The PoolCollaborating on the grant will be Mina Matthews, Senior Instructional Designer at UMaine’s University College, who will be assessing and promoting badge-based learning across the university’s seven campuses.

“Just-in-Time Learning” tutorials are used in undergraduate classes as well as the Graduate Digital Curation program, and cover everything from how to write JavaScript to how to operate a bandsaw.

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