In most college courses, students use multiple online tools to support collaboration and learning. However, little is known about how students navigate and integrate their use of online tools, or about the collective impact of using a specific set of online tools. This project aims address this knowledge gap by developing an open platform to collect, integrate, and analyze data from students' use of multiple online tools. This platform, called Concert, will actively track student progress, and allow instructors to identify students' help-seeking and collaboration behaviors. It will also enable research to develop a model of how students use the online resources that are available to them. It is expected that results of this project will increase understanding of students' help-seeking behaviors, study behaviors, and social relationships within classes, and how these behaviors and relationships affect student performance.
Using open application programming interfaces, the Concert platform will gather data from commonly used systems, such as the Piazza forum, Jenkins Automated Grader, the GitHub submission system, MyDigitalHand, and Moodle. It will integrate data from these online tools and provide a single student interface for notifications and help seeking, as well as a single instructor interface for data analysis and student evaluation. It will monitor students' use of the online tools and their study habits, and respond with automated guidance. Although the project will initially focus on computer science courses, it is designed to support students in any other STEM field. The Concert platform will collect large sets of detailed, anonymous data about students' online actions and class performance, providing a rich dataset to support further educational research. If successful, this project has the potential to empower STEM students and broaden participation by reducing the complexity of selecting and using online tools, thus supporting increased student engagement and learning.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.