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Prof. Rus Receives $2.58M Grant to Begin Learner Data Institute

Posted on 2019-10-01

Vasile Rus

Led by William Dunavant Prof. Vasile Rus, this NSF-funded project will lay the foundation for a future Learner Data Institute (LDI). Its mission will be to harness the data revolution to further our understanding of how people learn, how to improve adaptive instructional systems (AISs), and how to improve the learning ecosystem's effectiveness and cost-efficiency as well as the learners’ and instructors' engagement and satisfaction while learning with technology.

LDI will accomplish its mission to transform the education ecosystem by focusing primarily on both online learning with AISs and classroom environments in which AISs are blended in traditional classroom teaching and learning (blended learning). LDI will build on previous efforts and cyber-learning infrastructure such as the LearnSphere/DataShop project, Carnegie Learning’s platforms and school integration processes, SPLICE (Standards, Protocols and Learning Infrastructure for Computing Education) and a GIFT (Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring).

The two-year conceptualization phase will focus on building a strong community of researchers, define research priorities and develop interdisciplinary prototype solutions that address critical student learning, cyber-learning and learning engineering challenges. The interdisciplinary team of people from academia, industry and government will work towards building a framework that will facilitate science convergence to accomplish this mission. It will also address core educational tasks in the context of online and blended learning environments. The proposed data science methods and models are generally applicable to other instructional contexts as well as other science and engineering areas.

Carnegie Learning is a developer of commercial-grade adaptive systems and related curriculum products, currently serving over 400,000 students (primarily in Grades 6-12) in more than 2,000 school districts across the United States every year.

This project will involve 40 individuals, including six PhD students, and is set to begin Jan. 1, 2020.