AccessComputing Mini Grants

Project Purpose (Research Question/Problem Statement):

Students with invisible disabilities are significantly underrepresented in careers within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. To what extent can interest in STEM be encouraged by providing students hands-on experience in the STEM fields? Landmark College partnered with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Southern Illinois University to offer students an opportunity to actively learn and engage in the type of work conducted within the Computer Science field. Two workshops were held at Landmark College to introduce students to Human-Centered Computing (HCC) methods, electronic tablets and computer programming. Participating in such workshops provides students the opportunity to see themselves as designers or programmers and has the potential to raise their interest levels and their self-efficacy about a future career in a STEM field.

Project Descriptions:

AccessComputing Minigrant 1: Participatory Design for Accessible Apps and Games (10/1/11 – 9/30/12) Jill Hart and two students from University of Maryland, Baltimore County are looing at a lap top screen.

Landmark College, in collaboration with the Information Systems Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), held a one-day workshop in December 2011 on HCC methods and participatory design for Landmark students. Students had the opportunity to join a participatory design team, interact with applications (apps) prototypes created by UMBC graduate students, contribute their feedback, and learn how to make design modifications to meet user requirements

AccessComputing Minigrant 2:  Electronic Tablets & Computer Programming Workshop (1/1/12 – 12/31/12) 

Electronic tablets offer a variety of accessibility options for diverse audiences, and applications (apps) which have the potential to help struggling students become independent learners. A two-day workshop was held at Landmark College in February 2012, in collaboration with the Computer Science Department at Southern Illinois University (SIU), to provide students at Landmark the opportunity to learn how to develop electronic tablet applications intended to meet their individual learning needs, as well as to become aware of the programming tools used in the computer science field. We explored whether Landmark College’s Master Notebook organizational tool could be replicated in whole or in part by existing or future apps, and whether Quorum, a programming language developed at SIU, will benefit students with invisible disabilities.

Results/Outcomes:

We are currently in the process of collecting and/or analyzing the data from these workshops.

This project was funded by grants from the AT&T Foundation and the Alliance for Access to Computing Careers (AccessComputing), which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) program of the Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE) (grant #CNS-0540615, CNS-0837508 and CNS-1042260).

For additional information:

Landmark College Institute
for Research and Training
802-387-1662
institute@landmark.edu

PO Box 820
1 River Road South
Putney, VT 05346