Susanne Lajoie: Our partners in this initiative are from around the world from Canada, the U.S., Germany, Australia, Hong Kong. Some of them are inter‑university affiliations, whether they’re medical simulation centers, center for medical education, research institutions that look at intelligent tutoring systems—or those that are part of the network that bring in graphics, media and computer science perspectives—school boards and a non‑profit partner called CRIM (Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal).
What we’ve come to learn is that our research partners are not just interested in research, but in looking at the types of tools that they have developed to see how they can be used in novel ways. They have some amazing software that we would like to use as researchers—and they would like us to test.
Roger Azevedo: We have technology industries that develop computer based learning environments to enhance teachers’ training and student learning, but we want to do it in a theoretical and empirically based approach and not use the technology driven approach—which is the way it’s typically done.
Susanne Lajoie: One of the most interesting things that just happened last week is that both Roger and I visited CRIM, one of our partners. We were really able to identify specific tools that CRIM had developed that could be used in novel research ways; some of the ways that we had never even anticipated.
So, we’re coming up with innovations that in an amazing way we haven’t even predicted that these partnerships would give to us.
And one of our goals, as Roger was saying, was really to bring multiple disciplines [together] to solve a very important problem.
Roger Azevedo: Part of the synergy, as Susanne is saying, is basically we want to address real‑world problems. Whether it’s training in medical scenario or education in the classroom with technology, we can translate and move away from the lab to actually have an impact, in terms of changing people’s lives.
Susanne Lajoie: We’ve designed our partnership to have those strengths—that we could look at multiple forms of evidence of learning, and effect, while learning.