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IES Contract

Title: Teacher Dashboard and Student Feedback Tools
Center: NCER Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Diracles, Alexandra Awardee: VidCode
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (6/26/2019 – 6/25/2021) Award Amount: $900,000
Type: Phase II Development Award Number: 91990019C0036

Project Website:

Video Demonstration of the Phase I Prototype:

Purpose In this project, the research team will fully develop and test a Teacher Dashboard to support grade school teachers in implementing VidCode, a website where students learn to code. Nationally, demand is growing for computer science to be part of school curricular and graduation requirements. However, most U.S. schools do not have experienced teachers to teach computer science classes.

Project Activities: During Phase I in 2018, the team developed a prototype dashboard that presented performance data to teachers after students engaged in coding activities using VidCode. At the end of Phase I, a pilot study was conducted over three weeks with four middle school computer sciences classrooms. Results demonstrated that the prototype functioned as planned as teachers received data after students used VidCode. As well, all teachers believed the data from the dashboard could be used to provide individualized feedback to students to improve computer science outcomes.

In Phase II of the project, the team will fully develop a back-end system to host data in multiple formats, the user-interface to present results, and lessons and activities to guide teachers in using data to improve instruction. After development concludes, researchers will conduct a pilot study to assess the feasibility and usability, fidelity of implementation, and the promise of the Teacher Platform to present results of coding activities performed by students using VidCode. The team will collect data from 20 middle school teachers and 400 students (20 per class) in computer science classes, with half of the classes randomly assigned to use VidCode with teachers using the Teacher Dashboard, and the other half using business as usual activities. Researchers will compare pre-and-post scores of student learning outcomes associated with coding, as well as scores on student motivation to learn computer science. Costs will be gathered using the ingredients method and will include all expenditures on personnel, facilities, equipment, materials, and training.

Product: In previous research and development, the developers created VidCode, a website where students in grades 4 to 12 manipulate digital media assets such as photos, audio, and graphics to create special effects in videos while learning about the code responsible for the action. VidCode is currently in widespread use in schools and districts around the country. In this project, the team will develop a Teacher Dashboard that generates formative assessment results on individual student and class wide progress. The intended outcomes for the project are to increase the efficiency with which teachers can provide feedback to increase student confidence and engagement in coding through more consistent and individualized feedback.