Discovery Learning Research Center

2005 Seed Grant Program

Twenty one proposals, totaling more than $500,000 were submitted for the second round of DLRC seed grant funding. Three projects, totaling nearly ~$60,000, were selected for funding to start in the Summer of 2005. These include:

Developing a Virtual Spatial Visualization Assessment Instrument, Nathan W. Hartman, Computer Graphics Technology, Gary Bertoline, College of Technology Administration, and Jeffrey Gilger, College of Education Administration. This project will provide a working prototype of a virtual reality-based version of the Mental Cutting Text (MCT). The MCT is an instrument that examines spatial visualization skills relative to a cutting plane passing through an object, which corresponds to a key operational construct in many computer graphics software tools. Initial data from a pilot comparison of the virtual version and the traditional version of this instrument raised questions as to whether or not paper-based tests measure the skills they intend to measure. This project will prove useful in assessing and identifying the visualization abilities of students and may provide data relevant to training, learning, and career guidance.

IMMUNOWEB: The Development of Students' Scientific Reasoning and Modeling Skills in an Electronic Learning Environment, Ala Samarapungavan, Department of Educational Studies, James L. Mohler, Computer Graphics Technology, and Harm HogenEsch, Department of Comparative Pathobiology. IMMUNOWEB is an electronic (web-based) learning environment developed to teach students about the immune system and its role in health and disease. It also helps students understand the nature of biological models and modeling. It is designed to meet national science education standards and state-mandated health and biology content standards for high school students. This project is testing and refining a prototype of IMMUNOWEB for high school students (grades 9-12).

Application of Advanced 3D Visualization Techniques to Develop Bioterror Crisis Communication Training Materials, Mohan J. Dutta-Bergman, Department of Communication, Laura Arns, Rosen Center, and Krishna P. Charavarthi Madhavan, Rosen Center. The goal of this project is to develop a prototype of next generation instructional materials that can be used to train students in health communication and public relations courses to contribute in a non-trivial way to addressing one grand problem of the post 9/11 era namely the defense against bio-terror. Drawing from the characteristics of actual events and from literature published in the field of crisis communication, this project will apply advanced 3D visualization techniques and virtual communication environments as essential ingredients in educational materials used for training healthcare, science communication, and public relations students in responding to bio-terror events.

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Discovery Learning Research Center
207 South Martin Jischke Drive, Suite 203
West Lafayette , IN 47907-1791


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