AVPA SoTL Grant Summary 2021-2022

A photograph of Shoshanah Jacobs

The Educational and Scientific Benefits of Using Citizen Science Projects as Experiential Learning Opportunities for Undergraduate Students

Shoshanah Jacobs - $ 10,000


A photograph of Judi McCuaig

Automatable Work System Creation for Neurodiverse Post-Secondary Learners

Judi McCuaig - $10,000

This research examines the efficacy of a conversational agent as an assistant for students who find planning and scheduling to be challenging. Young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often enrol in a STEM discipline such as computer science when they attend a post-secondary institution. Post-secondary student support resources are usually insufficient to provide such students with the level of individualized support that they receive in public schools. Individuals with ASD often experience impaired executive function accompanied with challenges with task initiation, planning and flexibility, all of which are key skills for computer scientists. Computer science requires the programmer to have the ability to identify sub tasks from a high-level description of a programming problem and create a plan for project completion. The conversational agent proposed in this research could help students independently create work systems that provide the necessary scaffolding for their success with planning, scheduling, and task decomposition.