Online Learning Systems for Science: From Grant-Funded Project to Widespread

By William Vining, Lisa Lockwood1

1. Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning

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Transforming Education from Innovation to Implementation Conference: Session E1

This presentation will describe the genesis, testing, modification, and eventual commercial distribution of a web-based homework/learning system for chemistry. This project relates to the design and implementation of educational materials between a research university and a commercial publisher, and wide use at 2-yearcolleges predominantly undergraduate institutions, and research universities. The OWL project began at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as an NSF- and FIPSE grant-funded project in the late 1990's. Its first years saw growth of the system and its contents, driven by results of studies performed UMass. The system and the project was then adopted for use through a partnership with Cengage Learning. Through a decade of joint development informed by a variety of research studies, both functionality and content have undergone continual but major changes.