Research News

UW’s Steinkuehler receives NSF grant to assess game-based big data sets

October 01, 2014

UW-Madison’s Constance Steinkuehler recently received a grant worth $800,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop new methodologies for capturing and including discourse in big data sets.

Constance Steinkuehler
Steinkuehler co-directs the Games+Learning+Society Center within the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, and is an associate professor of digital media with the School of Education’s top-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction

This research project will examine the learning of a large number of students playing the video game "Virulent," which is designed to help students learn about viruses. Steinkuehler and her colleagues have been focused on building engaging game-based learning environments, and are now examining ways to better assess the relation between game-play and learning.

The idea behind this research project, which is called “Situating Big Data: Assessing Game-Based STEM Learning in Context,” is to generate a more data-driven methodology for investigating situated cognition through STEM technologies and new models for data-driven design.

Steinkuehler also is the first executive director of the recently launched Higher Education Video Games Alliance, and spent much of the 2011-12 academic year at the White House serving as a senior policy analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In that role Steinkuehler served as the White House’s first video game expert and helped shape policies intended to back the development of games for impact.