Project Learning with Automated, Networked Supports (PLANS)

PLANS research combines investigation and analytic technologies to guide students’ design projects. PLANS is creating a genre for extensible, progressive, project learning materials that develop students’ abilities to combine science practices, disciplinary concepts, and crosscutting themes to create and test designs for contemporary problems such as climate change or energy conservation. This integration enables PLANS to research strategies for guiding students to gain coherent understanding of the science concepts, practices, and cross-cutting themes called for in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). PLANS is using advanced analytics that draw on logs of students’ actions and scores of their products (e.g., models, graphs, sketches, critiques, and explanations) to monitor progress and provide individualized guidance. PLANS is investigating how analytic tools in a project-based learning environment can help students achieve deeper understanding of science.