gStudy: Software Tools for Research in the Learning Sciences and eLearning

Principal Investigator)/Chercheur principal (Chercheurs principaux) (s):

P.H. Winne, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

 

Co-Investigator/Co-chercheurs (s):

None

 

Funding/Subvention:

Canada Foundation for Innovation (Amount: $250,000), BC Knowledge Development Fund (Amount: $ 250,000)

 

Duration/Durée:

2007-2009 (Status/Statut: Ongoing)

 

Contact Information/Personne contact:

Tel: 778-782-4858 Email: philip_winne@sfu.ca Office: Education Building 9506• SFU Burnaby

 

Background/Contexte:

gStudy is software that provides learners with access to multimedia topics structured into packages called learning kits. gStudy learning kits can encompass any discipline; that is, the gStudy program is a shell. gStudy can display information in various forms using the display language of the world wide web (i.e. HTML) including text, diagrams, photos, audio and video clips. Learners can organize information using gStudy’s learning tools that are designed to: (a) reduce cognitive load so learners can re-assign cognitive resources to cognition and metacognition, (b) invite metacognitive monitoring of how learning is proceeding and (c) introduce new tactics for learning to provide more options for adapting learning. gStudy’s learning tools invite self-regulated learning in the service of becoming a more capable, life-long learner.

 

Project Objectives/Objectifs du projet: To add four new primary features to gStudy:(1)synchronous collaboration in a shared learning kit(2)real-time feedback to learners about study tactics they use(3)tools for visually representing knowledge elements and relationships among elements and (4)creating methods for localizing gStudy for learners who read in languages other than English.

 

Research Plan/Plan de recherche:

Adding these features to gStudy’s many tools for studying and its particular ability to record very fine-grained, time-stamped data will make research significantly more informing. Three examples of data-based problems that gStudy can help to address are:How do learners in collaborative groups shape one another’s learning as they survey problems, pick out key requirements, and then search for information to solve those problems?Why do learners who study by themselves, during homework or in a program of self-study typically fail to develop effective skills for lifelong learning that generalize across subject areas?How do learners working on projects such as a master’s thesis organize information over time that is then used to construct a large, multidimensional product?

 

Significance/Importance:  

gStudy addresses learning deficiencies found amongst Canadian children, specifically core skills for learning, skills for collaborating productively, and know-how for improving these key skills. gStudy research also generates software tools that can be rapidly distributed throughout the educational system using the internet. . Internationalization will allow gStudy to be used in research in any country. This greatly increases access to research participants and stimulates international collaborations as well as being especially relevant in Canada’s multicultural context.