Drexel Faculty Win NSF Grant to Advance Learning Technologies in Computer Science

Four Drexel University faculty members are the recipients of a three-year National Science Foundation grant ($549,770) to explore the viability of new kinds of learning technologies in computer science.

College of Computing & Informatics Assistant Professor Santiago Ontañón, PhD (PI) and Professor Bruce Char, PhD (Co-PI), School of Education Professor Brian Smith, PhD (Co-PI) and Westphal College of Media Arts & Design Assistant Professor Jichen Zhu, PhD received the grant as part of NSF’s Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program, which aims to learn how to design and effectively use the learning technologies of the future and understand processes involved in learning when learners can have experiences that only technology allows.

The project, titled “EXP: Learning Parallel Programming Concepts Through an Adaptive Game,” will shed light on the challenges in learning parallel programming – a computing method in which calculations are processed at the same time – and will gather initial data on ways to scaffold it in college-level courses.

The project will also examine new learning technologies by developing educational games that adapt to the skill level of the user (i.e., personalized learning) and will conduct research on using them to teach concepts from computer programming.

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