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IES Contract

Title: An Anywhere/Anytime Formative Assessment and Learning Feedback Environment
Center: NCER Year: 2010
Principal Investigator: Cope, William Awardee: Common Ground Publishing, LLC
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2.5 years Award Amount: $850,000
Type: Fast Track Award Number: EDIES11C0019

Product Video Demonstration:

Purpose:  This project team created a new technology to improve student writing performance and the usefulness of writing assessments. is an online environment that combines social networking and semantic tagging technologies to give learners constant feedback in the form of on-demand formative assessment. The 'u' of the u.learn  stands for 'ubiquitous' or the idea that social networking technologies allow the social relationships of learning to continue beyond the classroom and traditional school day.

Project Activities: A teacher advisory board was convened to provide input on the project design and software specifications. Prototype development included data modeling, tagging schemas (text structure and text/curriculum content), and technical specifications. Lab testing was conducted at each stage to review and rate components, and to assess utility. Classroom-based research and development involved overlapping and iterative processes of feasibility analysis, technical specification, software development, and beta testing. A feasibility study collected pilot data in six eighth-grade science classrooms with 130 students. Results demonstrated that the product and was feasible for educators to deliver and for students to use, and that the tool support improved student self-assessment in writing.

Product: The final product employs Web 2.0 technologies to provide feedback for learners and support formative assessment. The product captures text, images, tables, diagrams, videos, and audios support the construction of a wide range of multimodal texts, such as scientific reports, writing in language arts, history essays, and social studies projects. The product also supports collaborative work and maintains an audit trail of co-authors' varied contributions.