Using a Virtual Learning Lab for Teaching and Learning (2012-2013)
Case study evaluation, typified a Florida Virtual School (FLVS) VLL model for allowing public school students to obtain learning in a blended learning environment. Using this approach allowed us to see and understand as much as possible about the types of interactions between the teachers and learners in a successful blended-learning setting, without having to generalize beyond it. Data collecting was extensive, drawing on multiple sources of information, including all six of the sources recommended by major researchers in the field, such as Yin (2003), Stake (1995), and others. Findings included an in-depth explication of the learning lab; lessons learned; and evidence for supporting the use of this type of blended learning environment. In Florida, school districts are using these labs to ease class-size limits, help students fulfill graduate requirements, and improve districts’ academic results. According to FLVS, currently there are 317 of these labs in Florida, which are offered in a computer lab or other classroom with on-site lab facilitators. VLL are a migration from fully online learning, into a physical school environment where students can learn using the Internet to deliver instruction and content, while being supervised.
• Principal Investigators: Drs. Bonnie Swan and Michael Hynes, UCF PEER
Collaborative Research: RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site: Research Experiences for Teachers focused on Applications of ImagEs and SiGnals In High Schools (AEGIS) (2012-2015)
Funded by NSF, UCF and the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) partner with four nearby school districts (Brevard Public Schools, Orange County Public Schools, the School District of Osceola County, and Seminole County Public Schools) to assist mathematics and science teachers in learning about engineering research. The project’s objectives are: (1) to recruit a diverse, talented, high school teacher population from counties in the vicinity of UCF and FIT, (2) to actively engage the recruited teachers in research within the field of SIP, (3) to develop and disseminate, to a large audience, a series of innovative and replicable secondary science teaching unit plans, (4) to disseminate the AEGIS results to other interested stakeholders around the nation, and (5) to establish a lasting partnership between AEGIS researchers and high school teachers in the participating Central Florida counties.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Georgiopoulos, UCF College of Electrical Engineering and Computer
REU Site: Research Experience for Undergraduates in Computer Vision (2009 -2015)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has designated the Computer Vision Lab, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, at the University of Central Florida (UCF), as a site for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in the area of Computer Vision. The purpose of the REU is to encourage undergraduate students to pursue graduate school and research careers.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Mubarak Shah, UCF College of Engineering & Computer Science
RTP3: Resident Teacher Professional Preparation Program (2011-2014)
For this Job-embedded Teacher Preparation Program Race to the Top grant funded by the Florida Department of Education, UCF is partnering with five Florida school districts, including Florida Virtual School, Lake County School District, Orange County Public Schools, Seminole County Public Schools, and Volusia County School, to create a new job-embedded teacher preparation program entitled Resident Teacher Professional Preparation Program, which will prepare high-performing content experts to teach math and science in Florida’s middle and high schools. The goals of the program are: (1) to raise mathematics and science achievement and college/career readiness of all 6-12 students by increasing the effectiveness of teacher preparation to better prepare teacher candidates through job-embedded preparation and induction, and (2) to improve and innovate teacher preparation content, delivery, and performance measures in order to increase the number of effective mathematics and science teachers who are eligible for employment.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Rosemarye Taylor, UCF College of Education and Human Performance
GPS for Teachers: Geometry Professional Development Series for Teachers (2011-2014)
The purpose of the Florida Teacher Quality Grant Program funded GPS for Teachers project is to design, test, and implement sustained professional development for high school geometry teachers. This professional development program includes addressing mathematical knowledge for teaching geometry (MKT-G) as well as tasks and activities which promote problem solving and higher order thinking which teachers can implement in their own classrooms in Orange County Public Schools. The specific goals of GPS for Teachers are to: (1) improve teacher content knowledge in geometry, (2) increase student achievement in geometry, and (3) develop and evaluate a professional development program for sustained and focused support for geometry teachers.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Janet Andreasen, UCF College of Education and Human Performance
Project ASD: Special Educator Preparation in Autism Spectrum Disorders (2011-2014)
The goals of this ED funded grant are: (1) to increase the number of certified special education teachers highly qualified to implement evidence-based practices for comprehensive programming for students with ASD; (2) to enhance our current teacher preparation programming in ASD to include transition planning and interdisciplinary teaming to support increased inclusion of individuals with ASD in school and community settings; and (3) to expand our current mentorship/demonstration site program to include opportunities for high quality practicum experiences in a variety of settings with increased emphasis on high poverty schools and exemplary transition programs.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Wilfred Wienke, UCF College of Education and Human Performance
Teacher Effectiveness Comparison Study (2012-2013)
The purpose of this study is to look at effectiveness of online distance education teachers and to examine the educational practices and beliefs of online distance education mathematics and science teachers at Florida Virtual School. By examining the educational practices and beliefs of a workforce of critically needed distance teachers in a large virtual school—and examining how these factors relate to student and parent satisfaction and course completion—we hope add to the existing knowledge that guides important policy decisions intended to address improvements in this area.
• Principal Investigator: Bonnie Swan, PEER
Communicating Avatars: Artificial Intelligence + Computer Graphics = Innovative Science (2011-2013)
This NSF funded Communicating Research to Public Audiences (CRPA) Project seeks to build an interactive exhibit at the Orlando Science Center to showcase intelligent avatar technology for use in educating middle school students in science and engineering. The exhibit will feature an avatar acting as a moderator, and guiding the museum visitor through an interactive exercise that educates him/her about artificial intelligence, computer graphics and the Turing Test. The primary objective of this project is to effectively communicate the results of NSF-funded research to the general public via a museum exhibit. A second important objective is to introduce the target audience (middle school students) to computer science in a way that will encourage them to consider a career as computer scientists or engineers.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Avelino Gonzalez, UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science
BASBE: Biotechnology Alliance for Suncoast Biology Educators (2011-2013)
This is an NSF funded Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) effort to facilitate professional development for secondary school teachers leading to the design and implementation of new biotechnology laboratory activities in regional high school biology classrooms. The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) (formerly Manatee Community College) and the two school districts in the College’s service area (Manatee County and Sarasota County) are committed to increasing the number of students entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields by: 1) encouraging high school students to consider careers in science or in teaching science and 2) improving the overall quality of science education in local secondary schools to increase the preparedness of high school graduates to succeed in college science courses
• Principal Investigator: Jane Pfeilsticker, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Students Actualizing Talent at Education’s Subsequent Stages (STATESS) (2010-2013)
This is an NSF funded S-STEM project. Each year, 24 to 28 academically talented students will be selected from sciences and engineering disciplines, in particular, from mathematics and computer sciences and related areas, for the proposed scholarships in the range of $4,000 to $10,000 depending on financial need.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Mubarak Shah, UCF College of Engineering & Computer Science
Integration Sustainability into the Industrial Engineering Curriculum Project (2010-2013)
The broad goals of this project are to provide industrial engineering (IE) students at the University of Central Florida (UCF) with multiple exposures to what it means to have a sustainable mindset and to facilitate the development of both the passion and the skills to integrate industrial engineering tools and methods with sustainable practices. The expected outcomes of this integration include an increase in social responsibility; development of innovative thinking skills; and a better understanding of sustainability issues. The project is critical and holds a key role in enhancing the ability of future engineering graduates to better contribute to a more sustainable future, preserving natural resources and advancing technological and societal development.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Dima Nazzal, UCF College of Engineering & Computer Science
Trident Technical College “College Bound” Project (2010-2013)
Trident Technical College “College Bound” Project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Comprehensive Program. The primary objective of College Bound/FIPSE is to increase the effectiveness of teachers, thereby increasing the number of students attending TTC, decreasing the percentage of students requiring developmental reading, and increasing the persistence, completion and four-year college transfer rates of the cohort. College Bound/FIPSE’s proactive approach will be replicable in community colleges nationwide.
• Project Director: Randy Howell
Undergraduate Computer Security Course Enhancement (2009-2013)
The proposed project aims at developing innovative learning materials for four undergraduate courses in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The four courses focus primarily on system security and information protection, but handle different domain areas, namely, i) security in general computing applications, ii) information security and the underlying enabling technology of cryptography, iii) hardening of operating systems, system vulnerabilities and safe system administration, and iv) security and intrusion detection in networks & Internet. The learning materials will be developed for a new enrollment environment that allows and encourages students from Computer Science, Information Technology, Computer Engineering, and Electrical Engineering to take these security courses. The learning materials will be developed and delivered using the rich facilities of the Center for Online and Virtual Education (COVE) of the College of Engineering & Computer Science (CECS) at UCF.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Ratan Guha, UCF College of Engineering and Computer Sciences
I3: The UCF Community Embraces the Knowledge-Based Economy (2010-2012)
The goals of this NSF funded I3 program are: (1) to provide coherence to the multiple internally and extramurally funded Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) projects at UCF and (2) to integrate STEM research and education activities throughout the UCF Community. Specific expected outcomes include the following: increased interaction and synergy among NSF funded (and similar) STEM K-12 and undergraduate educational and research programs, a more informed UCF community with greater ability to participate in a knowledge-based economy, integration of STEM research into education, increased participation of undergraduates in research, increased participation of under-represented minorities and women in STEM, and strengthened education and outreach components of future research programs.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Tony Waldrop, UCF Provost
Software Development Educational Pathway (SDEP) (2010-2012)
The NSF DUE-ATE funded project is designed to create a new Bachelor of Applied Science track in software development that will articulate students from Associate of Science degrees in computer programming from the four partner (and other) community colleges. Faculty development is included, a programming competition, and industry input and oversight.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Craig Tidwell, UCF Regional Campus
MILMI - International Masters in Laser Materials and Interactions or Trans-Atlantic Graduate School in Laser Materials and Interactions (2009-2012)
MILMI is sponsored by the European Union-United States Atlantis Program, which is jointly administered and funded by the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC). It involves students from four partnering institutions including, UCF, Clemson University (CU), University of Bordeaux in France (UB1), and Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (FSU) in Germany. Students involved in this program, if successful, obtain two graduate degrees, one from their home institution and one from another overseas. This process takes about two years, where they study for one year at their home institution and one year abroad.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Martin Richardson, Professor, UCF College of Optics and Photonics
CSUMS: Computational Mathematics with an Emphasis on Computer Vision and Imaging Science (CMECVIS) (2008-2012)
This project consists of a rigorous one-year enhanced research experience in computational theory and practice for undergraduate mathematics majors through carefully designed course work and guided research projects and activities.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Mubarak Shah, UCF College of Engineering & Computer Science
Teacher Quest Tampa Bay Pilot Program (2008-2012)
This pilot program, funded by the Helios Education Foundation, provides a vital link between school and work, where teachers serve as a conduit for middle school students, exposing them to career and academic pathways, as well as connecting the math and science they are learning in the classroom to the skills they will need in the workforce. The Teacher Quest, a statewide professional development initiative was first established by the Florida legislature in 1989 with the purpose of strengthening the STEM teaching force.
•Program Contact: Ms. Diane Matthews, Education Director, Technological Research and Development Authority (TRDA), Melbourne, FL.
PROFIT: Pictures Represent Opportunities for Inspiration in Technology (2007-2012)
This three-year project is funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) ITEST Program. It is a comprehensive project centered around introducing computer vision and imaging experiences into the core curriculum of mathematics and IT. This project uses contains a novel model for training mathematics and IT teachers to use pictorial IT, for transferring exciting, appealing modules into core curricula, and a model for mentoring students through their pre-collegiate years to attract them into IT-STEM careers. The evaluation features a mixed-methods design.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Niels J. Da Vitoria Lobo, UCF College of Engineering & Computer Science
Lockheed Martin/UCF Academy for Mathematics and Science (2003-present)
The Lockheed Martin/University of Central Florida Academy for Mathematics and Science (LMA) is an education/industry/community partnership aimed at improving mathematics, science and technology education in Central Florida. This unique partnership, launched by Founding Director, Dr. Michael Hynes, serves as a model for the educational reforms proposed by both national and state agencies by providing schools in Central Florida with outstanding teacher-leaders who initiate, implement and sustain mathematics and science reform efforts. PEER evaluates the LMA K-8 and TMAST graduate-level programs.
• Director: Dr. Lisa Dieker, UCF College of Education and Human Performance
Promoting the Use of Simulation Technology in Florida Nurse Education Evaluation Research (2009-2011)
This study provided a situated perspective for using social network analysis and responsive evaluation to study and affect growth in collaboration over time. It is the study of the collaborative aspects of Promoting the Use of Simulation Technology in Florida, a project funded by the Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), a national initiative led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Northwest Health Foundation to address the nursing shortage. The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida and the Florida Center for Nursing, served as the project leaders. PEER performed an independent evaluation of the projects’ collaboration aspects.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Hutton, Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida
Designing, Developing, and Delivering an Online, Multi-Media, CBRNE Course and Designing, Developing, and Delivering an Online/Classroom Explosive Analysis Course (2009-2011)
These two projects are funded by the National Institute of Justice. The UCF National Center for Forensic Science, the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training and James Crippin and James Lee Cody (Subject Matter Experts) are collaborating to develop web-based CBRNE and High Explosives incident courses (2). The proposed courses, being developed and evaluated, are modular in design and easily modified to meet the specific technical needs of document examiners to address quickly the "priority content areas" within forensic science.
• Principal Investigator: Carrie Whitcomb, Director, UCF National Center for Forensic Science
Florida Online Reading Professional Development (FOR-PD) (2003-2011)
A large-scale online reading professional development course which has served over 35,000 participants since 2003. The evaluation uses a mixed-methods design that includes instruments that measure change in teacher knowledge and practice, online surveys, enrollment data, telephone interviews, focus groups, and document review. The highly-participatory evaluation also consists of ongoing formative components.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Vicky Zygouris-Coe, UCF College of Education and Human Performance
CSI-ITEST: Arkansas (2006-2010)
This Arkansas State University endeavor, entitled Creating Student Investigators (CSI-ASU), is a three-year project, funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) ITEST program, that aims to provide science education professional development for middle- and secondary-school teachers of the Delta region of Arkansas. The evaluation uses a mixed-methods design that includes instruments and measure change in content knowledge, attitude, pedagogical methods, portfolio and lesson plans, and the impact of the experiences.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Karen L. Yanowitz, Arkansas State University
Kennedy Space Center/Florida Space Grant Consortium (KSC/FSGC) Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI) (2008- 2009)
Involvement: Lead Evaluator – PSTI was a two-week residential major minority institute, funded by NASA, for junior or senior college students who are preparing to teach in an elementary or middle school. The purpose of PSTI is increase pre-service teachers’ skills and enthusiasm for teaching mathematics and science, while incorporating technology in their curriculum. This is achieved through a focus on problem-based learning (PBL) using an aerospace theme. Evaluation measures included focus groups, questionnaires, and participants are being followed longitudinally to determine whether any long-lasting effect will occur.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee, KSC/FSGC
Response to Intervention’s Teaching Learning Connections (RtI-TLC) (2008-2009)
A comprehensive research and development state-wide project designed to identify and make current evidence-based instructional practices available to educational personnel in the state of Florida to meet instructional needs within the framework of RtI. The RtI model is a multi-tiered approach to providing services and interventions to all students at increasing levels of intensity based on progress monitoring and data analyses. Rate of progress over time is used to make important educational decisions. This project is conceptualized to focus on curriculum, instruction, and assessment, especially in early literacy, adolescent literacy, and mathematics within the developing context and resources of Response to Intervention in Florida.
• Principal Investigator: Dr. Mary Little, UCF College of Education
Public Charter Schools Grant Program 2008 Dissemination (2008-2009)
A state-wide dissemination project designed to assist in the process of starting viable new charter schools in Hernando County and throughout the state as well as help existing charter schools’ excel so as to increase the number of high performing charter and public schools in Florida. The evaluation is based on the CIPP (Context, Input, Process, Product) evaluation model and uses a mixed-method approach of both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques.
• Principal Investigator: Gulf Coast Academy of Science and Technology, Inc. (GCA)
A Sample of Other Projects (completed):
- Greater Orlando GK-12 (GO GK-12) funded by NSF.
- Kennedy Space Center Florida Space Grant Consortium (KSC/FSGC) Pre-Service Teacher Institute 2008 & 2009 (PSTI) funded by NASA.
- UCF Physical Plant Energy Conservation and Sustainability Project funded EPA.
- Career Award – Inquiry Teaching and Learning funded by NSF.
- Florida's Partnership in Character Education funded by the Florida DOE.
- SpaceTEC funded by NSF.
- Region III Area Center for Educational Enhancement funded by the Florida DOE.
- Mental Health Association of Central Florida funded by the Mental Health Association of Central Florida.
- Florida Literacy and Reading Excellence Center funded by the Florida DOE.
- Institute for Advanced Online Studies funded by the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) Institute.