Overview of the UC-WISE Project (M.C. Linn, M.J. Clancy)

The UC Web-based Inquiry System for Engineering (UC-WISE) will enable curriculum designers to build on effective instruction and incorporate promising research into their courses. UC-WISE will incorporate an instructional framework developed from over twenty years of research, the powerful WISE learning environment (Web-Integrated Science Environment), and an innovative research program that has immediate payoff for instructors.

Using UC-WISE, instructors will rapidly prototype new courses, readily add course elements tested by others, and easily secure review comments from experienced instructors. UC-WISE courses will be evaluated using a common set of benchmarks. A community of instructors using UC-WISE will exchange resources and compare student responses to the benchmark assessments.

UC-WISE will enable and support practical and powerful educational research based on innovative methods suited to higher education. Rather than assuming that one course fits all students, one will with UC-WISE develop flexibly adaptive courses that can be customized to the needs of different students, curriculum frameworks, and course content.

UC-WISE Principles

UC-WISE will enable course designers to use pragmatic pedagogical principles synthesized from past research, for example, "enable students to learn by doing", "make thinking visible", "vary course activities to target different aspects of learning", "identify student misconceptions", and "provide multiple representations". UC-WISE will also implement a framework that supplies the rationale for each instructional component and explicit links between components.

For references of research on which UC-WISE is based, see

Why is UC-WISE needed?

Technology is constantly changing. Course developers at worst reinvent the wheel, at best use previously developed course material whose design and rationale they donít necessarily understand. UC-WISE will solve this problem by providing rationale, context, and evaluation of course components. UC-WISE is not tied to a particular course or subject area, and thus should benefit course and curriculum designers and instructors outside computer science and CITRIS.

UC-WISE Learning Environment

The UC-WISE environment, based on WISE (Web-Integrated Science Environment), will implement our pedagogical framework and support activities typically occurring in technology-based courses.

UC-WISE Research

UC-WISE will allow a number of research questions to be more easily addressed. These include the following:

Work in Progress

UC-WISE presently consists of several components:

A draft of a detailed "requirements document" for the system is available here. We have mostly designed the data base, and are evaluating the design. We used the system to teach the summer 2002 CS 3, with great success; information about this experiment is available here. (CS 3-related information is available here.) A number of tasks remain, listed here.

For further information, contact Mike Clancy