Colloquium: Rebecca Reynolds (Rutgers)


Title: Connecting Student Information Resource Uses to Learning Outcomes in a Guided Discovery-based Game Design Program

Abstract: More and more, learning management systems are being deployed by schools as socio-technical environments for the delivery of curriculum, content, and activities to support core curricular learning at the K-12 level. This commercially driven activity proliferates, regardless of the research on learning effects; start-ups gain district customers, and school partners continue to "sign on."

This talk will shed light on the findings of the use of one such system in a more novel learning knowledge domain: that of introductory computer programming as taught through student game design activity. Students in this study's middle and high school-based intervention learn game design by engaging in guided discovery, using curriculum, information resources and social media features of an e-learning web service to problem-solve completion of a functioning topical web game. Their inquiry occurs within the platform as well as more widely on the internet. Students engage socially in an overall Constructionist and workshop-based environment involving teamwork, resource inquiry and interaction with their teacher, who has varying levels of expertise.

The talk will present a summary of effects research to-date on this program, contrasted with the growing evidence base of empirical research on student processes. The process research demonstrates ways in which students utilize information resources when given this rare opportunity to engage in student-centered discovery activity in school. Inquiry results show successes and solutions charted by students who work autonomously with resources; results also demonstrate cases of student difficulty. The mixed process results are contrasted with the aggregate summative results findings reported at the start. Consideration is given to the ways in which learning sciences approaches on design-based research must yield improvement of learning innovations, to a wider base of student needs. Existing models of inquiry-based learning for information literacy in the information sciences can contribute; new supporting instructional models and techniques involving "maker" activity and digital resources are also invited. We must consider these results in light of the wider proliferation of information systems for learning, writ large.


Dr. Rebecca Reynolds is an assistant professor in Library and Information Science at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information. She is interested in issues of equity involving technology uses in school. Her work in a novel school technology learning intervention highlights opportunities and challenges inherent to school-based environments of digital affordances. Her work contributes to scholarly literature on the digital divide, digital and information literacy, and collaborative information seeking in purposefully designed knowledge-building contexts, especially among youth.

UTA 5.522

7:15am to 8:30am


glqxz9283 sfy39587stf02 mnesdcuix8