Grant or Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation (NSF)
This project was awarded to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has been sub-contracted to the University of Tennessee Knoxville. In this project, the researchers seek to study newcomer participation with open source communities. The researchers will look at how the newcomer participants engage in cyberlearning environments and what tools they use and how they use those tools.
This engineering education research award to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in collaboration with University of Tennessee Knoxville will study learning, knowledge sharing, and participation in open-source communities to better understand how to encourage newcomer participation in cyber-learning educational environments. The work will address important social and educational aspects related to acceptance and use of cyber-enabled learning environments. It will explore the relationship between participation and learning, and the results will significantly advance understanding of collaborative learning in engineering education. On-line learning, distributed working teams, and social networking in cyberspace are rapidly growing components of engineering education and professional practice, and successful students must be able to participate effectively. Understanding the aspects of tools, methods and practices which promote participation and learning are essential to increasing participation in engineering and to preparing engineering students for jobs the modern workplace.