My research interests are in the area of design and use of interactive technologies for helping middle school students learn science. For the past few years, I have been working on the CoMPASS project which aims to understand the cognitive as well as the contextual issues in integrating digital (nonlinear) text in design-based science classes. The project includes the software system CoMPASS, which uses conceptual and text representations to help students see the multiple relationships between science concepts and phenomena. The CoMPASS system si being used along side an inquiry-based curriculum. The CoMPASS intervention has been used by over 500 middle school students. My current projects funded by the National Science Foundation aim to build on the lessons learned in early CoMPASS implementations (project links below provide more details).

In previous research, I have designed scaffolding (both software-supported and paper-based) to help students develop metacognitive skills in learning from texts, and to help students reason while they are learning science by design.

Current Projects

CoMPASS: Integrating Digital Text in Design-Based Science Classes
  Funded by National Science Foundation / Interagency Education    Research Initiative, $1.9 million.

CoMPASS-DL: Design and Use of a Concept Map Interface for Helping Middle School Students Navigate Digital Libraries
  Funded by by National Science and technology Digital Library   (NSDL) / Initiative, $435,000.

SLC Catalyst: Learning About Causal Systems in Complex Domains
  Funded by National Science Foundation/Subgrant with Auburn   University / Science of Learning Centers Catalyst Grant. $190,000.

Previous Projects

Participant in the Design Based Research Collective funded by the Spencer Foundation through an Advanced Study Institute grant. Other participants included Christopher Hoadley(PI), Eric Baumgartner, Philip Bell, Sean Brophy, Sherry Hsi, Diana Joseph, Chandra Orrill, William Sandoval, and Iris Tabak.

Designing Hypertext systems with dynamic concept maps. $11, 492.
  Funded by the University of Connecticut's Faculty grant program.
Scaffolding Learning by Design: An exploration of the metacognitive skills needed to successfully negotiate and learn from open- ended problems.
PI - Kolodner, J. L. Georgia Institute of Technology. Funded by the   J. S. McDonnell Foundation’s Cognitive Studies in Education   program (JSMS grant # 96-38; $650,000).