This research project will produce specifications for building a personalized record of informal learning that is owned and controlled by learners and easily interpreted by potential recipients such as college admissions personnel.
U-M professors Dr. Leslie Herrenkohl (co-PI) and Dr. Barry Fishman (PI) will work with collaborators on a new project funded by the National Science Foundation.
The long-term goal of the proposed work is to create a personalized record of learning that is owned and controlled by learners, allowing them to document STEM learning in informal and OST settings, and that can be used to gain access to future opportunities along a variety of pathways. For such a record to be impactful, it must (a) represent youth the way they and their families wish to be represented, (b) accurately document the learning opportunities offered by OST providers and allow for OST providers to “warrant” the successful accomplishment of learning goals, (c) be viewed as valid, reliable, and easily interpretable by those who might receive the records, such as college admissions personnel. The MOST platform will be designed with representatives of these key stakeholder groups (youth & families, OST providers, 2- and 4-year college admissions personnel), to ensure that it is viewed as useful to and usable by all of these groups.
The research team will focus on the crucial Discovery and Consensus Building Phase of this work, leading to the development of a full design specification for the MOST platform, which would be implemented and tested in use as part of future funded research. By focusing on just the first phase of this effort, the team will be able to develop a richer and more detailed design specification, opening up the potential for any OST provider or research group to create tools and connections to help youth and families connect valuable OST learning to future learning opportunities.
Other team members include Dr. Katie Taylor from the University of Washington and Dr. Nicole Pinkard from Northwestern University.