All educational projects developed through vSURF will be assessed as to their effectiveness in achieving desired goals.  The nature of the research will vary depending on the project.  Research results will be submitted for publication as results become available.

Current Project

Currently the vSURF team is working to develop the Cosmic Ray Detector Immersive Simulation (CoRDIS).  This project will focus on developing student understanding of the nature of science and scientific research.  Students will develop a research question, design an experiment, then collect and analyze their results.  Initially, CoRDIS is being aligned with South Dakota state science content standards but as the new national core standards become available in science, the project will also become aligned at the national level. 

Design of this research project for CoRDIS is in its preliminary stages but will include likely include the following:

·         Initial student assessment of their understanding of the nature of science will occur using national assessments such as VNOS or VASS.

·         While within the immersive simulation students will be recording their comments into and online journal which will be accessible by researchers and teachers.  These comments will be used to evaluate student progress in their understanding of experimental design.

·         Development of a rubric to assess student understanding of the nature of science reflective of VNOS or VASS and aligned with SD state science nature of science content standards.  This rubric can be used by researchers as well as teachers in evaluating student work within the immersive simulation.

This research project is not isolated to begin until the spring of 2012 but it dependent on the timeline for the completion of the technical development of CoRDIS.  Please check back in the future for updates on this research project.

For questions about this education research project, please contact Judy Vondruska, Education Coordinator for vSURF.

Note:  We high recommend "Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations" compiled by the National Research Council in 2011.  For other papers check out the Reference link on this page.


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