Two divisions/departments are participating in web application development initiatives:
- University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) – Department of Psychology
- Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (FASE) – Materials Science
The tools that will be enhanced include:
1. Digital Lab Coat is crowd-based experiment simulator developed by the Advanced Learning Technology Lab in the UTSC Department of Psychology. Within any science course, and in particular first year and foundational courses, the greatest challenge is often helping students understand the scientific process. Digital labcoat provides an online environment that allows students to learn experientially, challenging them to test their own hypothesis, showing them the importance of replication, asking them to theorize about findings, and highlighting the role that statistics plays answering theoretical questions.
2. mTuner assessment tool incorporates all of the existing research on “assessment FOR learning” to provide the most powerful learning context possible. Students are never more engaged than when their learning is being assessed. This assessment tool asks students to first generate answers, it supports the deepest learning experience, informs students when their answers are correct to reinforce accurate learning, provides students with hints and gives them a second chance when they initially are incorrect. It corrects misconceptions, and by summarizing the correct answer to every question before moving on, it deepens the learning experience. This formative assessment tool integrates research informed, student-centric strategies and provides direct linkages to other digital resources and content references within a course.
3. Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) will be developed to extend the portable table-top labs (PTLs) and related digital resources recently introduced for first year courses on engineering/physics topics including Tensile Testing, Crystal Structure, Thermodynamics, and Energy Conversion. The RLOs will include instructor guides and content presentation materials, student study resources, homework problems, digital textbook components, and in-class demonstrations, all built around specific learning objectives. A range of media formats will be offered in a shared online collection of curriculum materials.
4. EXPLORE RLO Library Service currently being prototyped is a database-driven website that allows for the categorizing of existing and future online learning objects created by instructors at the Faculty of Engineering. We aim to create an interactive and open collection of online learning objects for self-paced and customized learning. This will ensure that both instructors and learners have the ability to easily access, share, and integrate these learning objects. EXPLORE is a modular development project that will not only share and showcase these learning objects, but will help to ensure interoperability and standards-based metadata categorization. Instructors will be encouraged to share objects under the Creative Commons license.
Standards and Reference Documents
The following references will be used by programming and development teams during the ALOR project activities related to enhancement of existing web applications and digital learning resources: