May 2020 Newsletter

Advisory Board

May saw our project’s first advisory board meeting.  We had originally intended for this meeting to occur in San Francisco at the offices of our external evaluation firm, Rockman et al. in conjunction with the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting to be held in San Francisco.  However, as the AERA meeting was cancelled so was the in-person advisory board meeting and we shifted to a virtual meeting on Zoom.  We use this issue of our project newsletter to introduce our advisory board that is engaged and providing us with important feedback.

Co-chairs: Yasmin Kafai and Rick Duschl

Our advisory board has two co-chairs, Yasmin Kafai and Rick Duschl—both leaders in STEM education. 

Rick Duschl

Figure 1 – Rick Duschl

Rick Duschl is the Texas Instrument Distinguished Chair and Executive Director of Southern Methodist University’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education.  Rick is a leader known for his continuing contributions to science and STEM education.  His research has focused on establishing and understanding science learning environments and the roles of teachers and students during inquiry and argumentation processes.  He was honored with the National Association for Research in Science Education (NARST) Distinguished Career in Research Award in 2015 and has twice received the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST) award for best article in 2003 and 1989 respectively.

Yasmin Kafai

Figure 2 – Yasmin Kafai

Yasmin is the Lori and Michael Milken President’s Distinguished Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.  She worked with Seymour Papert at the MIT Media Laboratory and was on the faculty of UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies before coming to the University of Pennsylvania.  She is a pioneer in research on electronic gaming, learning, and gender.  She examines technology designs and culture, and helped to set the foundation for programmatic initiatives on games and learning using a constructionist approach.  She was an early developer and researcher of the Scratch programming language where students code using visual components rather than only text.  She is a leading voice in involving in gaming and programming.

Experts in Assessment and Accessibility: Lei Liu and Bob Dolan

Lei Liu

Figure 3 – Lei Liu

Lei Liu is a Senior Research Scientist, Educational Testing Service.  She is an expert in the assessment of teamwork and collaboration.

Bob Dolan

Figure 4 – Bob Dolan

Robert (Bob) Dolan, PhD is the Senior Innovation Scientist, Center for Applied Special Technology. He is an expert in Universal Design for Learning.

Leaders in Game Design: Z Toups and Rebecca Quintana

Z Toups

Figure 5 – Z Toups

Z Toups is an Associate Professor of Computer Science, Games & Interaction; Director, Play & Interactive Experiences for Learning Lab, New Mexico State University.

Rebecca Quintana

Figure 6 – Rebecca Quintana

Rebecca Quintana is a Learning Experience Design Lead at the University of Michigan’s (U-M) Center of Academic Innovation; an expert in game and learning experience design.

The Review Process

The review process was facilitated by the project’s external evaluators Kristin Bass and Fatima Carson from Rockman.  They conducted a number of sessions to debrief the advisory board to provide feedback to the project team in three sessions as shown in Figure 7. 

Advisory Board Meeting Overview

Figure 7 – Advisory Board Meeting Overview

One goal for this process was to provide the team with a set of resources it could use as it encountered challenges in design and execution and publications.  The advisory board was generous in their time and attention and a significant formative evaluation report was developed to support future work of the project.

Team Member Spotlight: Chenxi Liu

Our team is fortunate to have a number of talented students working on it. Chenxi brings her creative bent of mind to the CiP project. A second-year Master’s student in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Maryland, Chenxi is passionate about educational technology, game design, UX design and research. Chenxi is a motivated member of the communications team and has been at the forefront of designing on the websites and PCS dashboards interfaces. She is also part of the graduate student team assisting Dan Hickey in reviewing the literature base foundational to this project.

Chenxi Liu

Figure 8 –  Chenxi Liu, UX Designer

Careers In Play Leadership Team

Phil Piety, PhD. University of Maryland iSchool (PI and Learning Analytics).

Beth Bonsignore  PhD. University of Maryland iSchool (Co-PI and Design-based Research),

Derek Hansen, PhD.Brigham Young University (Co-PI and Game Technology).

Dan Hickey, PhD. Indiana University School of Education (Co-PI, Learning Theory and Assessments).


logos of three institutions

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