Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hardie Fellowship: In the beginning...

Last year I received a Hardie Fellowship to undertake research and study at the Tufts University's Centre for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) in Boston Massachusetts for six months from July/August 2010 – January 2011. Thank you Professor Hardie!

In the time since preparing my application, I've been busy reading through the literature and trying to form a clearer picture of what I want to do while in Boston. I still want to find a balance between study and research while I'm away, but the emphasis of the research apsect of the trip has shifted somewhat from what I stated in my application. Specifcally, my focus has changed from investigating the benefits or "efficacy" of robotics-based education (too difficult to produce hard data) to the ingredients of a successful robotics classroom.

I'll post more about all this later, but for now, here's a summary of what was in my original application...

1. Undertake preliminary research into the efficacy of robotics-based education to improve student learning outcomes
  • Undertake a literature review of research relating to robotics education
  • Interview some of the experts in the field of robotics education
  • Develop and trial assessment/measurement tools that could be used in a subsequent study longitudinal study.
2. Undertake study in robotics-based education, “constructionist” pedagogies, and/or engineering topics related to robotics
  • Gain a deeper understanding of current trends in “constructionist” pedagogies
  • Strengthen his ability to help students and teachers develop understanding of engineering concepts relevant to robotics.

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