Dow Receives Cyberlearning Grant

October 27, 2015

Steven Dow, an assistant professor at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, will receive a $449K grant for three years to design and develop a set of computational tools to help the next generation of student innovators gather and analyze meaningful feedback from social media and other crowdsourcing platforms.

The grant, "CRAFT: A Platform for Scaffolding the Crowd Feedback Look for Design Education," builds upon preliminary research conducted by Dow and his team on a 2012 Cyberlearning EXP grant. The 2012 grant demonstrated the value of turning to crowd platforms for personalized feedback, in addition to the assessments typically provided by instructors.

The preliminary research showed that students found value in platforms like Reddit or Facebook as a place to receive authentic feedback. "However, it also revealed challenges, such as how to help students make decisions based on contradictory feedback," Dow explains. 

The new grant will allow Dow, in conjunction with Brian Bailey from the University of Illinois and Liz Gerber from Northwestern University, to build a platform dedicated to crowd-aided feedback technology (CRAFT) with support for requesting help from the right people, structuring the feedback provision process for novices, and reflecting and organizing feedback from diverse crowds.

The project seeks to improve learning experiences and to increase the knowledge of how crowd-based technologies can affect student learning for design innovation education.

Dow explains that the goal of the project is to better prepare learners for a successful career in the ever increasingly tech savvy workplace. "We will make the platform publicly available, allowing students, instructors and everyday people from across the country to obtain tailored feedback for innovation projects."