Funding, Grants & Awards

Carnegie Mellon Receives $1 Million Grant for Ed Tech Initiative

Carnegie Mellon University has received a $1 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to support the university's Simon Initiative, which aims to improve student learning outcomes through the implementation of learning science research and technology.

Part of the Simon Initiative is the Global Learning Council (GLC), a consortium of academic, industry and nonprofit leaders focused on the use of science and technology to enhance learning. The GLC held its inaugural meeting in fall 2014. Since then, it has written a draft white paper, "Technology-Enhanced Learning: Best Practices and Data Sharing in Higher Education," which includes nine recommendations for improving student learning outcomes through technology-enhanced learning (TEL).

Those nine recommendations fall under three main themes:

  • Creating a campus culture with incentives and professional development support;
  • Building expertise and resources to foster a cycle of continuous improvement; and
  • Pursuing global community building and strategies for data and resource sharing.

The grant will allow the university to begin implementing the GLC recommendations and foster the use of technology-enhanced learning techniques and resources at Carnegie Mellon and other higher education institutions. The university will develop a series of statistics course modules for use in research training courses in several of the its schools and colleges, and the School of Computer Science will develop TEL modules to support introductory computer science teaching.

According to Richard Scheines, faculty lead of the Simon Initiative and the grant's principal investigator, "there are sizable barriers to wide adoption of effective TEL, some rational and some not. This grant gives us the opportunity to take this work to the next level, making these breakthrough techniques available to more students here at CMU and to learners everywhere.”

The project will "assess the type of university policies and practices needed to overcome typical institutional barriers to adoption," according to information from the university, and "the work will subsequently be extended to other universities, domestically and internationally."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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