<<August 26, 2000>>
Archived distributions can be retrieved by clicking on the top lines of our home page at <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/>.

Dr. Alfred Bork
Professor Emeritus
Educational Technology Center
Information and Computer Science
University of California
Irvine, Ca 92717-3425

Dear Dr. Bork:

(1) Albeit very belatedly, many thanks for your msg (ATTACHMENT I).

I am very flattered to be asked for my comments from a world-renowned
scholar like you.

Anyway, my replies/comments are in << >>.

In general, this is an outstanding proposal, especially in view of
individualizing learning. I wonder if you can develop effective Greek
style mentor system (with, say, a dozen learners) in electronic distance
learning mode in global scale.

I wish you very good luck to this project.

Pls keep me informed with your progress of this project.

(2) BTW, you once published your paper in the EDUCOM REVIEW about the difference

I would greatly appreciate it if you can kindly send me its file electronically.

Dear Electronic Colleagues:

(3) Pls feel free to send your comments to Dr. Bork.

Best, Tak

From: Alfred Bork <bork@uci.edu>
To: gu-l@friends-partners.org, utsumi@friends-partners.org
Subject: Middle school science proposal
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 17:16:51 -0700

I would appreciate your comments on this proposal draft.

Alfred Bork

May 17, 2000 [IaCSD1]

Education is . . . the key to . . . development that is both
sustainable and humane, and to peace founded on mutual respect and
social judgment. Indeed in a world in which creativity and knowledge
play an ever greater role, the right to education is nothing less than
the right to participate in the life of the modern world.
Education for All UNESCO Amman, Jordan, 1996

The most dangerous experiment we can conduct with our children is to
keep schooling the same at a time when every other aspect of our society
is dramatically changing.
Chris Dede written statement to the PCAST panel, 1995

There is no recent support. NSF support included development of a college
physics course, selected by Change as one of the most innovative physics
courses in the United States. {See Appendix}. The Scientific Reasoning
Series, supported by NSF and FIPSE, helped students learn methods and
approaches of science. IBM K-12 marked it successfully. These projects and
others pioneered highly interactive learning.

Science learning in the United States and in the world is cause for serious
concern. A few highly verbal texts dominate in this country, emphasizing the
bits and pieces of science. Memorization of vocabulary is often all the
student needs to do. These courses use little recent research on how to
assist students to learn science.
Many middle school teachers are not prepared to teach science. Some have
negative attitudes toward science. Little of the excitement and enthusiasm
of science is found in science education today. So many students are
discouraged from future study. We need new and practical approaches to
learning science for all students, young and old.

<<Agree 100%>>

We developed in the United States after Sputnik science materials
emphasizing methods, tactics and enjoyment of science, rather than factual
information. Few schools use these units. Students could not receive
individualized attention needed for these materials to work for all students
We can provide individualized attention with highly interactive tutorial
computer-based programs. This project could serve as a model for science
education, everywhere.

<<Yes, it would be splendid if such "individualized attention" can be
made for global electronic distance learning, especially for K-12 learners.>>

Middle school science is often a 'step-child' course, an uninteresting
factual survey of many areas generating little enthusiasm for future study
of science. The methods, beauty, and excitement of science are not seen.
We want to make science exciting for all students. We need both new
curriculum materials and extensive professionally done research. Existing
curriculum material, computer and other, is not, we believe adequate to the
task at hand. So we propose a project that combines development and
rigorous research. We seek the two sigma improvement described by Benjamin
Bloom. The following goals will guide development of the computer units and
the following research.

Development - first three years of project
* Two full computer-based tutorial courses
We will produce two courses. One will follow national and state standards,
adaptable for individual states. The other will be a new approach, based on
the way scientists work. A tentative outline for this new course is in the
Appendix.[IaCSD2]. Discussions have begun with people in Sweden and Japan
about possible participation, allowing work in several languages. Both will
emphasize student writing.

* Tutorial Learning
Students will see their interaction with the computer like that with a
skilled tutor, in the students' native languages, in both directions. This
conversational interaction, a student-computer dialog, has been typical of
materials at the University of California, Irvine, for thirty years. No new
hardware or software is required. Students do something meaningful every 20
seconds, such as reply in free form fashion to a question from the computer.

<<If students' native languages, in both directions" can be done, it
would be tremendous!!>>

* Success
Students learn fully, perhaps requiring different times. Learning units allow
individual pacing. Students may see different learning strategies.
Additional help within the program is available until all students achieve
mastery, regardless of gender, race, economic status, handicaps, or other
factors. Benjamin Bloom showed mastery is possible for all students
This is democracy in learning. People should participate in the world on an
equal basis. Learning should allow all equal opportunity to realize their potentials.

<<I wish this principle can be spread around the world with the
proliferation of accessible and affordable Internet.>>

* Constructing knowledge
Students are usually told the important results of science. In this project
each student will discover, create, scientific laws and use them. They work
as scientists in making these discoveries. A program for discovering
Mendelian genetics is in the Scientific Reasoning Series, and a discovery
module for Newton's first law has been designed; it will be implemented
early in this project. Very young children construct their universe in this
fashion, and all students, given appropriate learning environments, can
actively create their own knowledge. We will demonstrate this in the
project research.

<<Yes, the very basic of education ought to be fostering creativity of
learners, rather than simple transfer of knowledge.>>

* Peer learning
Students, in formal and informal learning environments, will be encouraged
by the computer programs to work in learning circles of about four, for the
benefits of peer interaction. Learning is enhanced when technology directly
links students; some collaborative learning groups will be established
electronically. Teachers and parents can also play a major role in learning.

<<I agree with your collaborative approach, but don't know how to have
parents' participation.>>

* Adaptive Learning Units
Students are unique individuals. The learning units allow different learning
for each, matching the needs and interests of the student.

<<I wonder if this principle can be extended to higher and life-long

* Partial Use
The units in each tutorial course will be partially independent, so students
could use a subset. Teachers could choose pieces for conventional courses.
Evaluation and research will consider such usage.

* Motivating Units
The units will maintain student interest for long periods, shown during
evaluation. Highly interactive units involve students actively all the time,
so keep students working. The units will show a positive attitude toward
students, treating them with respect. The lack of apparent tests in the
mastery environment will help morale. Major world problems will be used to
motivate interest in science.


* Voice Input
Keyboard and voice input versions would be provided.

* Student Records
The computer will store student information frequently, as specified by
designers. The programs will use these records to guide future interactions,
individualizing to the needs of each student. The units will also run
without records if storage is not possible. Records will also be very
useful for research.

<<Can these be done automatically?>>

* Formal and Informal Learning Environments
The units and the full courses will work both in classes and distance
learning. The age range will be large - perhaps beginning at nine.

<<Possible at this low age?>>

* Student Assessment and Help with Individual Problems
The computer units will be a blend of active learning and assessment.
Assessment will find student problems and we will offer individualized help
for these problems. Student assessment is different in a mastery
environment, as compared to a standard course. It is not used to assign grades.
Assessment occurs frequently. The designers constantly probe to find what
the student does not know. For the learner, it is not distinguished from
learning, part of the same seamless process. As the student is not aware of
taking tests, the usual negative feelings of testing do not occur. A
positive attitude toward learning is maintained. Students are not criticized
for learning problems but offered additional help.

<<This might be useful for Japanese children.>>

* All Students
The modules will be designed and tested with large numbers of users of all
types in schools, at home, and informal environments. Initially the units
will be developed for the United States, then possibly for many other
countries, in the native languages of the students.

<<I wish to have this approach applicable to higher education and life-long learning.>>

* Anytime Anywhere
The learning units will be usable with distance learning any location, and
at any time. No fixed schedule will be necessary.

<<Are you using wireless approach? This statement seems too broad or too ambitious.>>

* Equipment
Some units will involve use of equipment at the computer. One such unit
exists, based on the SCIS whirlybird module.

* Stress Joy, Beauty, and Nature of Science
The units will increase problem-solving skill. Students will learn to think
like scientists.


* Interactive material for teachers and parents
This will assist them in working with students.

<<You may also need their training sessions, too.>>


* Research will involve large numbers of students, in classes in all parts
of the country, with a mix of teachers, and in informal learning situations
in homes, shopping centers, libraries, and museums, possibly in several countries.

<<Ambitious and complex, but this approach of community development
should be the right direction, rather than separate educational institution.>>

* Data gathered by computer and by trained researchers.

* No use of multiple choice questions in data gathering.

* Learning comparisons, new courses and existing middle school science courses

* Motivational comparisons, all courses. Computer-based instruments will be
developed for this, stressing attitudes toward science.

* Particular emphasis on higher order skills and constructivist aspects

Special computer-based tests will be developed for this research, for the
two new courses and for standard courses. These tools will be available to all.

* Research data freely available to all researchers.

* Careful data gathered on the cost per student for an hour of instruction,
with all courses.

An interdisciplinary advisory group will lead the research efforts.

At Irvine
Several existing resources will be important in this project.

* Computer dialogs developed at Irvine
The twenty hours of tutorial computer modules from the Scientific Reasoning
Series will be usable in this project. The interaction is superior to
almost anything available today. They will be updated to contemporary
graphic standards, as we developed them fifteen years ago. They will
furnish models of interaction for the designers of the new modules.

* Modules already designed
Several modules were designed in a project supported by Fujitsu. One is a
discovery module for Newton's first law. Their implementation is an early

* Experience with voice input
We have been using voice input for several years.

* Simulations
We have built many simulations, useful in developing student intuition.

<<Do you have some environmental study with systems dynamics simulation
program? If not, I strongly recommend it.>>

* Newton's Equal Areas
Proposition 1 in Newton's Principia is the law of areas for any central
force. The principal investigator made an animated film based on this proof.
The results depend only on the area of triangles, accessible for middle
school students. Interactive tutorial material will be based on this
high-quality film.

Resources elsewhere
Many other resources are available for middle school science.
* Innovative post-sputnik modules from SCIS, ESS, and Science a Process
Approach. We have already moved some of these modules to the tutorial
computer environment, providing the individualized help typically not
possible in the standard classroom. Although they were developed for
elementary science classes, many will be useful for middle school.

* Existing curriculum material, including texts in middle school science.

* State and national standards for science and mathematics.

* National and international comparisons.

* Motivating NASA visual material

* Other middle school projects
We have used the FastLane database to find related projects, and we are
contacting some of these projects.

* Current research in this area
We are already working with the existing IERI project on reading and writing
in middle school science, at the University of California, Riverside, an
hour from Irvine. They have agreed to cooperate with this project. We
expect their advice and materials to be very useful.

* Material developed for Harvard Project Physics, particularly the Readers
We believe that the gains with highly interactive learning, with its
capabilities to adapt to individual users, will be significant for almost
all learners.

<<You may consider to incorporate Jason Project initiated by Dr.
Ballard, the finder of Titanic, which includes oceanography.>>

We will use the system in development for 30 years at the University of
California, Irvine, and the University of Geneva, designed for interactive
tutorial learning units. Extensive software supports design, implementation,
and maintenance. Full documentation is available [IaCSD3]. We will
improve [AB4] the production system in the first year of the project. Among
the materials developed with this system are a calculus-based physics course
(in a timesharing environment), the Scientific Reasoning Series (marketed by
the IBM K-12 group for many years), and Understanding Spoken Japanese, an
interactive video project. This system is unique, enabling us to achieve a
high level of excellence. The four stages are management, design,
implementation, and formative evaluation and improvement.

Careful management is critical to stay with time and monetary constraints.
The Principal Investigator and the Project Manager will have this as their
major responsibility.

Design, in two stages, is the most important step in determining quality of
the materials. The key individuals are excellent science teachers, from
everywhere. Designers will see existing modules to guide their efforts.

Overall Design
The first stage determines what modules are to be developed, producing
page-long descriptions of each. The initial tactic is brainstorming.
Standards, textbooks, and other projects provide information. We will
develop units that stress problem solving skills. One overall design
meeting will be conducted in each of the two years, with the advisory
committee meeting.

Detail Design
Detail design starts with the descriptions of each module, and produces the
full design, ready for implementation. Design sessions involve four people
for a week. Each group produces one to two student hours of highly
interactive material; so many such groups are needed. Several groups may
work simultaneously, getting together for meals.
Excellent teachers from schools and universities who work successfully with
individual students or small groups will design, teachers aware of student
learning problems and how to help students. The following factors are
* Initial workshop for teachers the first morning. We may develop
interactive learning units so designers can be prepared before arriving.
* Determine what messages go to the student.
* Determine how to analyze student inputs, and what actions are to follow.
* Keep students interested in learning.
* Encourage students to work with peers and other people, bringing together
local or remote learning circles.
* Develop a positive student attitude toward learning
* Locate student difficulties frequently by careful questioning. Try another
learning approach with the student if necessary.
* Decide what information about student progress and difficulties is stored.
* Decide how to use this stored information in making decisions,
* Decide if mastery is attained at each point in learning.

Design decisions are noted in a script containing full information about
program behavior, including questions to students and analysis of free-form
student response.
Initially scripts were on paper. With our collaboration with the University
of Geneva, scripts can be stored and modified at a workstation. The online
script editor helps develop and maintain material in multiple languages.
Capabilities are provided to find gaps in complex scripts. Older backup
scripts are stored. The script describes media. Professionals expand these

This stage starts with the script, and ends with a running program.

The online script editor does much of the programming automatically from
the stored script. We plan to use Java. Some programming by students and
professionals is necessary. The script editor has facilities for aiding
these programmers.

Media Development
The media described in the script, stills, video, and sound, may need
additional design before creation. We will work with professionals in each
area. California is well endowed with such people

Beta Testing
A program is used many times to seek bugs in the program, the media, and
articulation between components. Modifications may be necessary to produce a
stable program for evaluation. Many changes can be made in the stored script.

Formative Evaluation and Improvement
We conduct in the third year two stages of formative evaluation and
improvement. This will also be the beginning of extensive research.
Classrooms and distance learning will be involved. Informal environments
such as libraries, shopping centers, and museums, will be used, with
students alone or in small groups at the computer. Data is gathered by the
program and by professional evaluators. Formative evaluation with large
numbers of typical students finds places that can be improved. Among the
factors investigated will be the following.
* Do all students achieve mastery at each point?
* Does the program recognize and handle correctly most student inputs?
* Are there places where students do not understand the messages?
* Does the program hold the attention of the student?
* Does the student feel positively about the learning experience?
* Do previously under represented students learn effectively?
* Do distance learning students stay with the material?
When formative evaluation and improvement are completed we will proceed to
the research aspects of this project.

One striking fact is that the complex world of education - unlike
defense, health care, or industrial production - does not rest on a
strong research base. In no other field are personal experience and
ideology so frequently relied on the make policy choices, and in no
other field is the research base so inadequate and little used.
Improving Student Learning National Research Council 1999

Research will begin at the beginning of the project. We will study the
production process during the first two years, with a concurrent evaluation.
In the second year we will convene a panel to review material developed so
far and to plan the full details of the research. Computer-based
instruments, generally available, will be developed for research on problem
solving, motivation, appreciation of science, and discovery. Research pilot
studies will be conducted in the third year of the project, and the fourth
and fifth year will be almost all research.

The research environments will include schools without computers, schools
with some computers, schools with one computer per student (NetSchools and
others), and many informal learning environments (homes, libraries, shopping
centers, and museums,) with kiosks. Large numbers of students, perhaps
10,000, will be involved. We will be concerned with equity, involving many
different types of students, in many dimensions. Complex classrooms, not
laboratory environments, in all part of the country and perhaps abroad, will
be used. The conditions sought will be like those that real students are
involved in, with all types of teachers. No special training for the
teachers will be provided or necessary, allowing testing in all parts of the
country and leading to scalable results.

<<Pls feel free to let me know if we can be of any help to extend your
project to developing countries.>>

We will be concerned with what is learned, how efficiently, and the effect
of the treatments on attitudes toward science and toward all learning. Cost
for a student hour of learning will be determined for all treatments.
The computer on a moment-by-moment basis will store detailed information
about student progress and problems in the two new tutorial courses. We
will not use multiple choice in research as we view this as an inferior way
of testing. Professional evaluators will also gather information. We will
stress scientifically credible professional results, useful widely in
learning. This extensive data will be available to all, for other research
projects. We encourage alternate approaches to research in learning middle
school science, so that the results can be compared with ours.

Protocols will be developed for these research questions.
* Standard courses versus both computer-based tutorial courses
* Computer-dense classes versus standard computer classes
* Single users at computers versus learning circles of two to five students
* Voice input versus keyboard input
* Teacher environments versus environments without teachers
* Is mastery attainable for all in the computer-based courses?
* Can constructivist software be successful for very large numbers of students?
* Can all learners actively formulate and test hypotheses about the world?
* Can students complete the course in a shorter time than in the standard course?
* Success of elementary school, high school and adult learners with these units
* Comparisons of the cost per student in all the learning environments used.

<<Very interesting research subjects, indeed!!>>

What are parental and other community attitudes toward the new courses?
Longitudinal studies, possible because of the large numbers of students
involved in this research will be carried out in separate projects.

Questions investigated will include the following.
* Do students who construct their own knowledge in middle school maintain
this ability in later life?
* Do these new courses improve lifelong attitudes toward science?
* Do adults who took these courses use the scientific approach in everyday decisions?
* How many students take which high school courses, including AP courses?
* How many students study mathematics, science, and engineering in college?
* How many such students succeed in these courses?
* Do these new courses improve lifelong attitudes toward science?

<<Your project would be substantial if you can make these
questions/concerns positive.>>

The very rich and extensive research data will be available to all, from a
web site. It can be used for research projects outside of this effort,
including work of graduate students.

First year
* Choice of staff and designers
* Advisory committee meeting
* Review national and state standards, relevant research, and textbooks
* Review voice input products and literature
* Improve Irvine-Geneva production system
* Establish open web site for logging all aspects of development and research
* Needs assessment
* Implement existing modules, including discovery of the first law of motion
* New form of Scientific Reasoning Series with better graphics
* Arrange schools for third to fifth year - evaluation and research
* Design and implementation of the two courses - first stage
* Plan for formative evaluation

Second year
* Advisory committee meeting
* Formative evaluation of the Scientific Reasoning Series, Newton modules
* National panel on research
* Final arrangements with schools for evaluation
* Arrangements with shopping centers, libraries, and other informal environments
* Design of kiosks for informal environments
* Design and implementation of the course - second stage
* Construct instruments for online testing
* Development of units for parents and teachers
* Design for formative evaluation
* Construction of kiosks
* Plan for research activities

Third year
* Advisory committee meeting
* Two cycles of formative evaluation and improvement, all environments
* Use of kiosks
* Final design of research activities
* Final arrangements with schools and others for research
* Pilot research activities
* Fourth and fifth year
* Advisory committee meeting
* Research using the course
* Book and papers describing results of research
* Plan for dissemination

The Principal Investigator will be Alfred Bork, Professor Emeritus of
Information and Computer Science and Physics at the University of
California, Irvine. He has participated in developing two physics courses:
the humanistic high school Harvard Project Physics, and a calculus-based
computer delivered course at Irvine. He is a member of the University of
California systemwide committee for the University of California College
Preparatory School. He developed with colleagues the Irvine-Geneva
production system, the basis for this project. Further information about
Bork and other personnel is in the biographical data.

The evaluator and research director will be Michael Scriven, a distinguished
internationally known educational scholar. Bertrand Ibrahim, University of
Geneva, will be the technical consultant. He implemented the online script editor.

A project manager will guide the day to day operation of the project.
Positions will be filled through a national search. Graduate students and
others will assist with management. The budget offers more details.
An international advisory committee will meet each year. The following have agreed..:
* Kathleen Fisher, Science Education and Biology, San Diego State University
* Fred Goldberg, Science Education and Physics, San Diego State University
* Thomas Greaves, Vice Chairman, NetSchools
* Sigrun Gunnarsdottir, Iceland Telecom
* Diana Harris, University of Iowa
* Jacqueline Hess, Director, National Demonstration Laboratory for
Interactive Information Technologies
* Sandra Howell. Training Materials Specialist, Canadian Department of
National Defense, Instructional Designer to Workplace Education Manitoba
* Alfred Kobsa, Human-computer Interface, University of California, Irvine
* Jack Lochhead, Consultant, problem solving, Founding Director, DeLiberate
* Lynn Nolan, Director of Instructional Technology, School District of
Greenville County, South Carolina
* Graham Oberem, Physics and Computer-based Learning, California State
University, San Marcos
* Amrita Patel, Teacher, student of women's studies, India
* Vimla Patel, Cognitive Psychology, McGill University
* Rita Peterson, Science Education, University of California, Irvine
* Carolyn Penstein Rose, Learning Research and Development Center,
University of Pittsburgh
* Margaret Riel, Center for Collaborative Research in Education, University
of California, Irvine
* Ann-Katrin Svensson, educational technology with children, Sweden
* Rika Yoshii, Computer-based Learning, California State University, San Marcos
* Others will be selected [AB6]. Vita are in the Appendix.

Key individuals in the beginning will be the designers. These will be
excellent science teachers, chosen internationally, skilled in working with
students individually or in very small groups to help with problems.

This project could have a significant impact on science education and on all
learning, in both research and development.

The materials will reach very large numbers of students, both in school and
in many informal environments such as the home and mall. The motivation will
be intrinsic to the units, verified in formative evaluation. We expect
significant reduction in overall costs as compared to education today.
Most science teaching today is an information-conveying process, where
students are told the laws of science and tested on rote memory. We would
go in an entirely different direction, with all students creating
individually or in small groups critical aspects of science in stimulating
visual environments. We would be in a good position to convey the spirit and
methods of science, moving far from information transfer. Extensive
research will establish the ways in which this material can be most useful.
Because students create their own knowledge, they will have better long
range memory of what is learned. If these units are successful, they could
have a major impact on all of science education, leading to new learning approaches.
Research will be conducted with very large numbers in typical classes at a
level seldom seen in education, leading to a new standard for research.

Currently there are very few examples of well-evaluated highly interactive
tutorial learning modules, in any area of learning, and so very little
research on using this material. So we hope to establish a new model for
learning, successful for very many students in many areas.
The key to this approach is a much more interactive learning style than is
now possible in most classes, because of the numbers of students. In these
materials, all students will receive individualized attention, based on
their learning problems.

We will also pioneer a new form of distance learning, of very high quality
and for very large numbers of students. Learning will be highly effective.
Because of student numbers, the cost per student will be much less than in
learning today.

Marketing will receive careful attention. These materials must be widely
used if they are to be effective in improving learning.
Commercial distribution will be important. We have already had informal
discussions. We will also investigate non-profit distribution. If
successful, materials can be developed in other languages and reflecting
other cultures. Research data will assist in dissemination.
The materials will be available both for individuals and for schools. We
will work with groups experienced in marketing in these areas.
To achieve the widest coverage, materials will be accessible from the World
Wide Web, CD-ROM; and DVD; the highly interactive units will be the same.
With the Web, we will use Java applets to download code so interactions take
place locally. Initially marketing will be in the United States. Material in other
languages will be marketed in the appropriate areas.
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education *
* Founder of CAADE *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education) *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of *
* Global University System (GUS) *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A. *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* Email: utsumi@columbia.edu; Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676 *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/ *

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