The Connected Learner project at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a re-orientation of undergraduate computing and informatics education to focus on student learning that connects to peers, the profession, and the community. The project vision is to transform the student entering an undergraduate computing and informatics program from a person with an interest in computing – to a person with an identity as a computing professional. The project will transform faculty attitude towards education, shifting their attitudes and behaviors away from knowledge transmission and lecturing toward a refreshed approach of developing educational activities that scaffold the computing knowledge and skills to build successful computing professionals.
The broader impacts of this project are:
- Educational impact on a diverse student population (first time college students, ethnic diversity, GPA diversity);
- Community impact on high schools and other partners in STARSComputingCorps.org;
- Professional impact on providing the talent pool for the region and the country in IT (including: data science, cyber security, visual analytics, and human centered design)
The key outcomes from the Connected Learner project are anticipated to be an increase in the quality of education provided to a diverse population of computing students, improved retention and graduation rates, the provision of a regional and national talent pool in computing and the integration of pedagogical research with faculty development and advancement. The project will disseminate educational design patterns, best practice examples and scholarly publications for educational change and faculty development through a publicly available online resource, as well as through journals, conferences, blogs and social network publications.