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Kern, C. L., & Crippen, K. J. (2017). The Effect of Scaffolding Strategies for Inscriptions and Argumentation in a Science Cyberlearning Environment. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 26(1), 33-43. doi:10.1007/s10956-016-9649-x

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KJC Research Interests

Operating from a design-based research perspective, my research program embraces the grand challenge of an inclusive and robust STEM workforce through deep, on-going collaboration focused on the design, development, and evaluation of cyberlearning environments—those providing authentic experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through the use of networked learning technologies. This work focuses on using innovative, iterative and theoretically grounded design for the dual purpose of addressing contemporary, complex, in situ learning problems while concurrently generating new theoretical insight related to the process of learning and the relationships among the people, tools and context of the problem space (Crippen & Brown, in press). Stokes (1997) would classify this work as use-inspired basic research—a quest for fundamental understanding of the world that equally and simultaneously attends to considerations for how the knowledge will be used in the world.

Figure 1: Quadrant Model of Scientific Research (Stokes, 1997)

Stokes Quatrant

The complex and situated nature of contemporary STEM learning problems dictate a collaborative team approach to design that leverages expertise along multiple dimensions. The practice of deep, on-going collaboration is a core tenant of the philosophy of my research group. This philosophy, as well as the design-based approach is best illustrated by the current projects, which include:

improving the retention of underrepresented students as undergraduate engineering majors through a reform of the curriculum for general chemistry (ChANgE Chem, NSF-DUE-1245068),

building participation in the science of paleontology and informal STEM learning with a community of practice that includes amateur and professional paleontologists (FOSSIL, NSF- DRL-1322725), and

supporting teacher development and adoption of the Common Core through scientist-teacher partnership as professional development (Bench to Bedside, NIH SEPA-1R25OD016551-01; CATALySES, NIH SEPA-1R25OD021901-01).
 
I value knowledge and view the goal of education as serving self-regulation as both a means and an end (Brooks, Schraw, & Crippen, 2005; Schraw, Brooks, & Crippen, 2005; Schraw, Crippen, & Hartley, 2006). My doctoral students are engaged early and often in research and generally finish their degrees with numerous pieces of peer-reviewed scholarship.

A scholar-practitioner model (S-P) was the basis of my graduate training. Whether by training or by chance, my personal philosophy values the same basic principles. My research themes each demonstrate my belief in the importance of translating research into the practice of everyday education in its many forms.

Big Questions Currently Driving My Research Group

What design frameworks, heuristics and principles:

support the implementation of cyberlearning as an effective and tranformative STEM teaching and learning environment?

address the chronic problem of under-representation of specific populations of people in STEM?

afford social media as a vehicle for improving access to and learning of STEM content?

How can the use of design in these pursuits inform our understanding of learners, learning, teaching, as well as amateur and professional development in both formal and informal STEM contexts?