About Us

This work was partially sponsored by NSF.

NSF IUSE #1935076
CUE Ethics: Collaborative Research: Open Collaborative Experiential Learning (OCEL.AI): Bridging Digital Divides in Undergraduate Education of Data Science

01/01/2020 – 6/30/2021, $ 350,000

Principal Investigators:



NSF Logo | NSF - National Science Foundation

The University of Missouri-Kansas City, in partnership with Eastern Michigan University, Essex County College, and University of Florida, proposes the Open Collaborative Experiential Learning (OCEL.AI) project, an Open Knowledge Network (OKN), that supports postsecondary instructors who teach underserved populations Computer Science (CS)+Journalism and Strategic Communication within their existing institutional structure. Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI), and specifically deep learning (DL) have improved the state-of-the-art results of the data-driven approaches and tools in a wide range of domains. To build the future talent ecosystem, there is an urgent need to create a qualified data science workforce that can perform critical functions in a variety of domains and aspects of human society, such as journalism, health communication, and advertising. To address this need, the intelligent cloud-based collaborative tool will provide to the AI and data-driven research and education communities what GitHub and code repositories provide to the software engineering and open-source communities. In this OKN, minority students will feel empowered and motivated to study data science since they can share, reuse, reproduce, deploy, discuss, learn, and apply data and AI models in real time. It is expected that students taking these CS+Journalism and Strategic Communication courses will see increased interest, self-efficacy, and motivation in studying data science among both CS majors and non-majors – in particular among black, female, and Hispanic students.

Organized as a Networked Improvement Community, the project will focus on three major tasks: 1) launching an online faculty professional development program on OCEL.AI that has been developed by the researcher’s lab; 2) launching a student learning interface on OCEL.AI to offer engaging learning experiences to CS+Journalism and Strategic Communication students but also providing infrastructure that can be extended to CS+X programs for a range of other Xs such as business and health care; and 3) sparking critical thinking of data science ethics. To make data science more relevant to minority students, the project will highlight minority experiences in the United States by incorporating critical thinking around digital divides and data science ethics into the curriculum. This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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