Universal Design for Learning for Computer Science (UDL4CS): Partnership for Inclusive Elementary Computer Science Education, Funded by the National Science Foundation
A Research Practice Partnership, UDL4CS aims to build sustainable partnerships among districts across the country around the shared problem of practice of fostering equitable K-8 CS education and meaningful inclusion of students with disabilities. The team, led by Israel, will examine the current level of inclusion of K-12 students with disabilities and explore the barriers to inclusion that are unique and shared among districts. Based on the findings, the team will create web-based professional development resources to build the capacity of CS educators and equip them with the tools to support all learners.
UDL4CS offers a new lens for exploration in cultivating inclusive CS experiences for students with disabilities and those at risk for academic failure with past projects including the NSF funded Teaching All Computational Thinking Through Inclusion and Collaboration (TACTIC), also led by Israel.
Including Neurodiversity in Foundational and Applied Computational Thinking (INFACT), Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Education and Innovation Research program
Leveraging a consortium of leading researchers and practitioners in computational thinking led by TERC, INFACT seeks to design an inclusive, comprehensive computational thinking program to support a wide range of learners in grades 3-8. Utilizing novel methods, such as eye-tracking and facial recognition, the team is developing responsive technologies for the program to provide adaptive, customized pacing based on students’ individual strengths and struggles as well as embedded supports to aid in student attention, metacognition and social-emotional learning.
Learn more about INFACT: https://ctrl.education.ufl.edu/projects/infact/
Collaborative Computing Observation Instrument (C-COI)
The C-COI was born in response to the need for a more nuanced way to understand the learning processes of K-12 students while they engage in computational thinking and programming activities. Developed through dynamic, multi-year efforts with a diverse team of researchers and collaborators, the C-COI grew from white boards, to spreadsheets, to finally a video analysis instrument that allows researchers to study students’ computational behaviors. This video analysis instrument can help researchers better understand students’ time on tasks, persistence, help seeking and help giving, collaborative problem solving, social behaviors and challenges faced while computing.
The C-COI tool was recently made available for use to researchers across the country. Learn more about the C-COI: https://ccoi.education.ufl.edu/
Supporting learning technology faculty and student researchers, state of the art labs and teaching facilities, and academic, industry and government partners, the institute will demonstrate the university’s collective power in creating and disseminating advanced learning technologies that improve learning outcomes on an international scale.
“If we can bring together people that have different areas and backgrounds — that’s where the innovation happens,” Israel said.