The Future Forums on Learning awarded Dr. Diane Litman (Professor, Department of Computer Science and Senior Scientists, LRDC) and collaborators from the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC,) Lindsay Clare Matsumura and Richard Correnti, a Catalyst Prize as part of their 2021-2022 Learning Tools Competition. The competition, which is sponsored by donors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the Georgia Institute of Technology, aims to spur the development and deployment of technologies to maximize learning over time. The competition also aims to mitigate learning loss in K-12 students, reduce educational disparities experienced by students of color, and provide alternative higher education pathways for all adults, but particularly low-income workers. Litman and the LRDC team are one of 30 teams to receive awards in the competition.
Their project, Automated Assessment of Classroom Discussion Quality, will create a web-based app that uses natural language processing and machine learning methods to analyze classroom discussion quality at scale. Discussion quality measures will look at both teacher and student talk moves, will be fine-grained enough to test theory-driven hypotheses around the role of talk and learning, and will facilitate longitudinal studies to better understand trajectories of growth toward ambitious and equitable teaching practices. The team's project was selected from over 800 entries from 60 countries, having gone through three rounds of proposal evaluations and pitches before a panel of judges that included philanthropists, education technologists, teachers and researchers.
Read more about the competition here.