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Exploring Cyberlearning through a NSF Lens

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Research Informing Teaching Practice II

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.614.1 - 25.614.17



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Paper Authors


Jeremi S. London Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jeremi London is a graduate student at Purdue University. She is pursuing a M.S. in industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in engineering education. She completed this study as a 2011 Summer Scholar in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation. Acknowledgements: London offers special thanks to her mentors, Drs. Don Millard, Lee Zia, and Victor Piotrowski, for inspiring this study and for their guidance throughout this experience. She also acknowledges the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network for sponsoring her internship. Finally, she is grateful for Ingram London's support and feedback throughout all aspects of this endeavor.

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Exploring Cyberlearning through a NSF Lens Phrases like “Let’s Google it” and “Text me” are familiar to the youth of today. Thoughsimple, the phrases speak to a greater reality—the use of computing technology and high-speedcommunication is ubiquitous. The pervasive use of technology opens up new opportunities forundergraduate STEM education. The NSF Taskforce on Cyberlearning defines cyberlearning as“the use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning” (2008,p5). Since the full potential of cyberlearning has not been fully realized in undergraduateeducation, Program Officers in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) at the NationalScience Foundation (NSF) are interested in exploring the possibilities of cyberlearning. Suchinterest is the impetus for this study. The goal of this project was to explore ways in which cyberlearning might be used topromote excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.The following research questions guided this study: (1) How is the concept of cyberlearning described in the scholarly literature? (2) What funding has DUE provided for cyberlearning projects over the past 10 years? What types of cyberlearning awards has DUE made over the past 10 years? (3) What are the perceptions of cyberlearning among a subset of NSF Program Officers? (4) What are possible directions DUE could take with its support for cyberlearning? Initially, a literature review was conducted in order to determine how the concept ofcyberlearning appears in scholarly literature. Secondly, over 800 unique DUE awards werepulled from the NSF awards database using 50 keywords to determine the amount of funding;and a statistical sample of abstracts was reviewed. Descriptive statistics were used to explain thetypes of cyberlearning awards that have been funded over the past 10 years and their outcomes.Third, eighteen Program Officers and Directors were interviewed and the data were coded forthemes. This paper will present the findings of the awards analysis and interviews; along with therecommendations that were provided to the DUE program officers.ReferenceNSF Taskforce on Cyberlearning (2008). Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenges;

London, J. S. (2012, June), Exploring Cyberlearning through a NSF Lens Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21371

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