IRB Approved Research:

Investigation and Evaluation of Virtual Worlds, 3D Environments, and Simulations for Alternative Learning, Collaboration, Co-creating, and Decision Support Formats: The Virtual SRU Campus Modeled in Google Earth and Second Life for a Course on Sustainable Entrepreneurship.

Total Grant Amount from FPDC:  $12,000

PASSHE FACULTY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (FPDC) Professional Development in Support of Collaborative Academic Grants, Round III, 2012 Academic Year.

Discipline:  Information Systems (Computer Science) Sub-Discipline:  Virtual Environments to teach a class in Sustainable Entrepreneurship. 

Project Director: Maria C. R. Harrington, Ph.D.

The purpose of this project is to learn how to best build, deploy and generalize the use of 3D virtual worlds and simulations, specifically Google Earth and Second Life, for teaching and learning across PASSHE. Virtual environments may be used for communication, collaboration, decision support, creativity and educational assessment. Our proposed project is to learn and test such tools. We plan to embed the curriculum of a class on sustainable entrepreneurship. These tools extend traditional teaching methods.  They will be used to express future realistic scenarios in context, for team-based decision support tasks of current-state simulations and multiple future-state scenarios and are expected to add substantially to the educational experience. Just as a spreadsheet may express multiple financial scenarios; our project is envisioned to allow multiple scenario co-creations and investigations of large complex physical and logical systems, thus pushing the boundaries of 21st century skills that go beyond Desire2Learn (D2L) and into the high-fidelity training simulations.

Project Collaborators on a 2010-2011 MacArthur Foundation and HASTAC Initiative Digital Media and Learning Grant Proposal. Rejected.

    • Maria C. R. Harrington, Ph.D., CEO Virtual Field Trips, LLC
    • Susan Kalisz, Ph.D., National Science Foundation and University of Pittsburgh,
    • Jim Bonner, Executive Director Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania,
    • Pat Siger, Sr. Vice President, YMCA of Pittsburgh,
    • Joy Marburger, Ph.D. , National Park Service,
    • Margie Radebaugh, Director of Horticulture and Education, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens,

    Celebration of Innovation, 2006:
    University of Pittsburgh, Office of the Provost and the Office of Technology Management. An event recognizing innovative and creative individuals whose research is resulting in intellectual property for licensing and start-ups. Only about 100 of such individuals were invited to this reception.

    NSF Travel Grant Award 2006:
    Travel grant to ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) Conference, Pennsylvania State College, State College, PA

    The 30th Annual Honors Convocation 2006:
    University of Pittsburgh. Honored as one of the Outstanding Students of the University.

    ESRI GIS Mapping and Software Travel Grant Award 2005:
    Travel grant to the Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT).

    Allen Kent Award. School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. 2005:
    The award is presented annually to a graduate student who makes an outstanding contribution to the program.

    Teaching Fellow, School of Information Sciences. University of Pittsburgh. 2003-Present: A competitive and full scholarship with stipend for PhD research and study. Visiting Lecturer and Adjunct Professor appointments over the summer terms.

    Planning and Innovation Grant, Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA. 1997.
    Developed a web-based framework for online, multimedia course material delivery of curriculum. Solution was generalized and shared with other faculty in the college.

    IBM Grant for Education and Innovation Award, Rotman School, MBA Program, University of Toronto, 1991-1992.
    Developed system that allowed for custom video-clip editing and augmentation used to enhance student learning in conflict management, meeting management, leadership and communication skills. Played key role in securing second stage funding.