Multi-versity

Multi-versity

The Multi-versity consortium explores new ways to provide online STEM education to post-secondary, secondary, and adult students.

The group also investigates models of online professional development for teachers and faculty. The long-term goal is to broaden learning opportunities for students and ensure that coursework —no matter the

institution—can be applied toward certification and degrees. This consortium is led by the Sloan Consortium (USA).

Multi-versity in action

Game design and technology for STEM+learning collaborative

Gaming sparks advances in teaching and learning

Complex content is being made more engaging and fun for students who are taking courses in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and related subjects (STEM+ disciplines) at National University in La Jolla, California, United States.

The project builds on the success of an earlier, HP-funded project that helped students demonstrate a deep understanding of key STEM+ principles and a range of critical workplace skills by engaging in game creation.

National University explores game design as a way of making complex subjects such as science and math more engaging and fun for students.

The collaborative gaming project is being funded by the HP Catalyst Initiative as part of the Multi-versity consortium, and is expected to result in an online multi-university learning network for teaching, sharing, and engaging faculty and learners.

In this next step, the team from the university’s Applied Systems & Interoperability Research Lab is integrating game design into teaching. Work is underway to build a Game Design and Technology Learning Collaborative which multiple institutions can use to train teachers and students to implement game design methodologies.

The idea is that game design can provide teachers and students with an engaging framework for STEM+ concepts. The ultimate goal is to link real-world engineering experiences with video game design teaching methodology to provide students with virtual apprenticeships.

Creativity in a "sandbox" environment is expected to result in an online multi-university learning network for teaching, sharing, and engaging 21st century faculty and learners.

Science lab server farms

Not enough space or funding for lab science? No problem.

Almost 1,000 students attending resource-poor public schools have access to professional science laboratory equipment through the Remote Online Lab Network at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA.

The network allows schools without sufficient space, funding, or equipment to establish their own virtual science labs. Funded by the HP Catalyst Initiative as part of the Multi-versity consortium, this developing project demonstrates how a virtual science lab allows students anywhere in the world to access resources, explore questions, obtain authentic data, and share results.

Virtual science labs allow students to access resources, explore questions, obtain authentic data, and share results.

As students conduct experiments online, they watch science equipment in action through live video feeds. They are involved in every aspect of their experiment from start to finish, and can specify the purpose, variables, and number of runs. After completing their experiments, students view data results in multiple graphs, and export their objectives and conclusions into a PDF report.

The project encompasses seven schools and touches nearly 1,000 students. Feedback from the participating schools has been very positive. Students are provided with significantly more lab time because virtual labs are accessible 24/7. They also like being free to work from anywhere that has Internet access.

Teachers report that students feel less pressure to get the experiment right the first time because they are not working in the traditional group setting of a lab. And this means they can actively learn from their mistakes, and try out their own creative methods.