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Current Projects: College Learners

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Stanford scholars are looking at ways to build online spaces that foster engagement and investigating how to deliver high-quality learning experiences to college students globally.

Three areas in higher education emerged as highly disrupted by the pandemic, yet receptive to fashioning novel digital alternatives. This year’s projects focus on three areas: field-based study, clinical learning experiences, and community center life.  Members of the Digital Learning Initiative of the Transforming Learning Accelerator will design solutions, pilot them at Stanford, and then expand beyond Stanford through strategic partnerships.


Virtual Field Trips
A Stanford-wide effort to advance the science and design of virtual field trips and virtual field experiences, which have the potential to broaden access to locations and experiences for many students.

  • Project leads: Kristen Pilner Blair and Keith Bowen, Graduate School of Education; Ryan Petterson, School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences
  • Research and design team: Bryan Brown, Doris Chin, Joe Sherman, Wilson Wang, Josh Weiss, and Rachel Wolf, Graduate School of Education

Clinical Experiences - Teacher Preparation
Address educator problems of practice and learning experiences lost during remote instruction, and connect teacher candidates with rich resources to support learning about in-person teaching while studying remotely.

  • Project leads: Heidi Chang, Sarah Levine, and Karin Forssell, Graduate School of Education
  • Research and design team: Kristen Pilner Blair, Stephanie Robillard, and Josh Weiss, Graduate School of Education; undergrad research assistants 

Community Centers
Community Centers are trying to maintain engagement throughout the COVID-19 crisis. They have seen benefits for those who otherwise have trouble with access to live events. Yet, they’ve also experienced drawbacks such as “Zoom fatigue,” intermittent WiFi, and privacy issues. Our team is helping The Markaz and El Centro Latino y Chicano with hybrid community building, alumni engagement, connection to prospective students, connection to global communities through virtual exchange, ongoing social justice work, and rest and recreation.

  • Project leads: Shelley Goldman and Keith Bowen, Graduate School of Education
  • Research and design team: Josh Weiss, Graduate School of Education