This project aims to serve the national interest in high quality undergraduate STEM education by developing and testing remote hands-on learning experiences in engineering and computer science. Specifically, the project aims to support student learning by providing them with physical devices and components related to the Internet of Things (IoT). Students can use these IoT Kits for learning on or off campus, thus enabling them to gain engineering knowledge and hands-on skills that are traditionally available only in on-campus laboratories. The learning experiences will include peer collaboration, increasing the potential of the experiences to promote learning outcomes including team work skills. By providing high quality, remote hands-on learning, this project has the potential to mitigate limits to in-person learning, such those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, learning with IoT Kits can free authentic learning experiences from the physical and scheduling constraints of traditional laboratories, thus supporting broader participation in computer science and engineering.
This project will develop hands-on assignments and projects that engage students in project- and problem-based learning off campus using loaned IoT Kits. In addition, this project will examine the effectiveness of studentsâ€™ remote learning through IoT kits coupled with hands-on assignments and projects. Furthermore, the project will investigate a new paradigm for hands-on distance learning through the use of IoT and related devices that are in the forefront of current technological advancements. IoT-based learning materials and teaching protocols will be developed to enable engaged student learning in situations that previously have been inhospitable to such learning. This research will investigate whether such flexibility in learning time and space increases studentsâ€™ self-efficacy and problem-based learning skills. It will further investigate peer collaborative learning in distance hands-on projects and explore potential differences between students when learning in remote collaborative learning environments. Successful transfer of learning in remote hands-on engaged student learning scenarios will be evaluated, particularly in the context of students from groups that are not yet equitably represented in STEM. Project outcomes will be disseminated through a project website for use by other institutions to broaden participation in STEM education. The NSF IUSE: EHR Program supports research and development projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM education for all students. Through the Engaged Student Learning track, the program supports the creation, exploration, and implementation of promising practices and tools.
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.