“Our independent research confirmed a variety of hypotheses. For one, the XAL team was able to translate the philosophy of XAL into materials that Ohio teachers found exciting, were happy to implement in their classrooms, and found appropriate and effective for their students. Moreover, participating teachers noted changes to their instructional practices around problem-based learning, hands-on activities, and deeper engagement with science concepts, and they felt more confident in teaching science.
Surprisingly, given the limited scope of the study, we found that the videos were highly engaging to students and inspired a sense of enjoyment and fun for learning science, and even resulted (in combination with classroom resources) in measurable improvements in their attitudes toward science, their learning science concepts, and their engagement with the process and practices of science.”
Dr. Martin Storksdieck
XAL Research & Evaluation Partner
Director, STEM Research Center,
College of Education and School of Public Policy, Oregon State University
Two pilot studies of Explorer At Large in classrooms have been funded to date. These are:
Cohort 1 - SY2017-2018
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Number of Schools: 10 Districts: 6
Audience: 652 students, 21 teachers
Grades: K & 3 (in school) / 4-8 (afterschool)
Cohort 2 - SY2019-2020
Location: Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio
Number of Schools: 16 Districts: 11
Audience: 625 students, 31 teachers
Grades: K & 3 (in school)
In addition to being fun and having a positive impact on classrooms and communities, Explorer At Large pilot studies must give us the insights we will need to succeed at scale. To determine what works and what needs improvement, Explorer At Large turns to its students, teachers, trainers, and parents for feedback. To provide a professional, third-party assessment, we call on XAL's Research & Evaluation Partner, the STEM Research Center at Oregon State University. It is their candor (if not brutal honesty) that allows Explorer At Large to iterate with an engineer's mindset, improving the Explorer At Large program from one school year and implementation to the next.
The second pilot is currently going and, therefore, has not yet been evaluated. A copy of OSU's 77-page report on the SY2017-2018 Phase 1 pilot can be downloaded here or by clicking on the page icon.