The Affinity Learning Project



The National Center for Information Technology in Education (NCITE) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln requests National Science Foundation support through a Small Grant for Exploratory Research (SGER) to continue development of the Affinity Learning System. Affinity was originally developed by NCITE through an NSF CCLI proof-of-concept grant (NSF DUE # 9950349).  Designed and validated as a mechanism for student-centered online course delivery, Affinity has also proven very effective as an educational research tool. Affinity lessons are developed by decomposing a topic into elements or “learning nodes” containing content presentation and assessment.  The learning nodes are interconnected to implement a progression of learning and, when necessary, to correct student misconceptions through remediation or augmentation.  Experiments using Affinity have given surprising insight into student learning strategies and misconceptions. Affinity has high potential to benefit research, inform educators, and improve online education.  Despite significant potential to advance the state of the art, the inherent complexity of the current content/assessment authoring interface and the intrinsic challenge of decomposing lessons into learning components (“facets”) prevent generalized use and application by STEM educators. Resolving specific development difficulties for a generalized educational research and delivery software system does not fit neatly into a standard program funding category. Although some risk exists, NCITE feels that focused research and development can overcome the current barriers. 





NSF Project


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