EAGER Proposal for Research in STEM Learning: Research and Development of a Digital Play-Based Platform to Achieve Projective Reflection for 21st Century Learning

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The purpose of this award is to support the PI in developing a clearer operationalization of the two constructs "projective reflection" and "possible selves," which the PI sees as potentially transformative ideas for linking strands of research from creativity, inquiry and identity in the context of game design and game play to support 21st century learning with STEM games. The project will convene a workshop of leading researchers in the learning sciences, experimental design, instrumentation, and game design to advise the PI on how these ideas can be refined to construct dependent measures and guides to observation of behavior. These behavioral advances would then inform the PI's design of a learning game platform. The workshops would also inform the design of a set of experiments to test conjectures related to the role of identity formation in the learning of STEM knowledge. The ultimate target audience for the game would be middle and high school science and mathematics classes.


The location of the project will be at School of Education, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. Beyond the scope of the this project, but included in the intent of the long term goals, it will ultimately involve middle and high schoolers working in a virtual setting. The current project involves experts working to refine constructs to support projective reflection for learning.

Research Design: 

The project uses a longitudinal research design and will generate evidence that is descriptive [design research, observational] and associative/correlational [analytic essay, interpretive commentary]. Original data are being collected on experts working to operationalize two psychological constructs needed to aid middle school students using diaries/records, personal observation, and survey research [self-completion questionnaire, semi-structured or informal interviews, and focus groups]. The project involves a workshop with experts working to refine two constructs that would ultimately use to inform game-based learning to support middle and high school students. For the workshop, expert participants will work in teams maintaining field notes about each construct as it relates to creating project reports on the blueprints for designing both electronic STEM games, and the experiments to testing the conjectures about the effectiveness of two now refined constructs of "projective reflection" and "possible selves." Analytic plans include the interpretive analysis of workshop notes to operationalize projective reflection and possible selves.


Findings will be posted as they become available.

Other Products: 

The project intends to develop and share with the larger game design and education communities new ways to measure projective reflection and possible selves.