2022 NSF ITEST PI Meeting

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Save the date for the 2022 Annual ITEST Principal Investigator Meeting: November 1–3 from 124 pm ET  

On behalf of the Nation Science Foundation, the STELAR Center is pleased to announce the 2022 ITEST Principal Investigator and Evaluator Meeting, to be held online Tuesday, November 1 through Thursday, November 3 from 12-4 pm ET.  

The 2022 PI meeting will be a thematic working meeting focused on field building and experience sharing. Projects will be asked to come prepared to share their ongoing/formative experiences about their incomplete work. During the meeting projects will engage in sharing and reflection around the meeting themes listed below, with the goal of gathering input, getting unstuck, collecting insights, and receiving advice. Projects will be asked to reflect on and identify best practices and share how they will incorporate this guidance to strengthen their current project work. Throughout the meeting STELAR will capture these lessons, with the goal of producing a set of guidelines, lessons learned, and "dos and don’ts" from the community. 

Discussions will be held around the below set of themes, with one or two themes featured on each day during each of the three half-days. The STELAR Center will gather ITEST project feedback on the meeting structure and themes in the coming weeks to collect information to inform our planning. 

We look forward to sharing additional details in the coming months! 

Themes and topics 

  • Emerging Domains: This session will discuss domains that warrant special discussion in response to recent societal needs and emerging areas of STEM-related careers. PIs will consider strategies needed to integrate emerging areas of technology and computing into traditional STEM education, or consider new pedagogies, tools, and assessments needed to study learners’ engagement in rapidly emerging career fields. Examples of these topics include but are not limited to the integration of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, data science, computational thinking, cybersecurity, environmental science, and STEM entrepreneurship. What are some special circumstances or barriers that limit the learning and teaching in these emerging domains? 

  • Emerging Theoretical Concepts and Tools: This session will explore common vs emerging approaches to conceptualizing key learner outcomes. What are the theoretical foundations for these outcomes? What are promising methods for eliciting evidence of these outcomes—contrasting effective vs efficient? What are some of the emerging intervention/assessment tools/techniques across projects? 

  • Survey and Instrument Adaptation: While instruments developed in awards have often been innovative and field-advancing, PIs must often adapt these innovations to a different context with other characteristics, disciplines, and/or other career-objectives.  This session will explore how successful adaptations have been modified, and the types of challenges that had to be addressed when using instruments developed by other projects including issues around DIEA when adapting instruments. 

  • Partnerships: This session will explore the nature of effective partnerships. How have you approached partnership development in your project? What contributions have been made by your partnerships, such as with organizations; local stakeholder involvement; development of trust, shared language, and mutual ownership? How can projects develop diverse partnerships and what challenges have research teams faced in this regard? Were there difficulties, challenges, surprises, rewards, lessons, or possibly unique advancements in relationships? Consider for discussion, the fields, occupations, and jobs that partnerships have afforded learners, including specific supportive pathways, internships, mentoring, and other opportunities for access to careers and further education. 

  • Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Access (DIEA): This session will discuss the successes and challenges to advancing DIEA in your project. Have you been able to recruit the underserved and underrepresented participants as you originally proposed? What have been your successes and challenges? How do you outreach and reach out when you face attrition? What are the surprises in both recruiting and your conjectured interventional designs that have worked or failed with the learner/teacher population?  

  • Technology Integration: In what ways and under what conditions has technology integration been effective in STEM content learning and teacher preparation? What iterations or changes had to be made over the past year in approaches to designing effective integration of technology in student and/or teacher learning? How have projects considered DIEA when developing curriculum and technological tools? Were there changes to pedagogical approaches? What can the field learn from your experience to either avoid or adopt in their own work? 

  • Evidence of learning with learning technologies: VR/AR/XR and other immersive experiences have potential for engaging learners in STEM content and have potential to “uniquely” contribute to learning or sensemaking. What evidence has emerged in your projects that demonstrates improved STEM content acquisition or other cognitive or affective gains? What are the potential equity challenges and benefits that arise in who has access to them? 

  • Career awareness and foundational preparation in STEM/ICT: What mechanisms have been used to spark interest and career awareness, as well as increase students’ motivation to pursue STEM/ICT careers? To what extent are these mechanisms effective? How do we know? How might mechanisms vary in different populations/communities or different developmental stages? What types of foundational preparation is necessary for mechanisms that spark career interest/awareness to be effective? In what ways is developing STEM identity connected to sparking interest or awareness? 

  • Scale-up: Experiences, successes and challenges.