A joint collaboration proposal between Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the College of Education was awarded a $7500 grant by the Provost’s Initiative on Teaching Advancement (PITA). The grant, titled “Visualizing and Reflecting on Speech Patterns in Problem-Based Learning Sessions,” seeks to provide novel insights on problem-based learning (PBL) sessions. The grant will use a speech activity detection system to generate graphical displays of speech patterns during PBL, and will enable the four-person facilitator team at Carle Illinois, Dr. Kashif Ahmad, Olivia Coiado, Roberto Galvez, and Jaya Yodh, to collaboratively analyze these graphical displays to generate insights on student engagement with PBL cases.

Robert Wallon, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Robert Wallon, academic skills specialist

This project will be an important step towards the goal of being able to provide real-time data that facilitators can use to make decisions during PBL. Much of what the medical education community knows about PBL is the result of analyses that take weeks or even months to complete. By developing a process to automate data generation, this project has the potential to impact immediate implementation while also contributing to long-term research.

“The project has the potential to maximize learning that occurs during PBL sessions, which is a direct benefit to students. The project also positions Carle Illinois to become an innovator in PBL implementation and research,” said Rob Wallon, Academic Skills Specialist at Carle Illinois. As an innovative technological approach, this project resonates with the college of medicine’s mission, and it will help foster future collaborations between Carle Illinois and the College of Education.

Rob Wallon, Kashif Ahmad, Olivia Coiado, Roberto Galvez, and Jaya Yodh of Carle Illinois and Cynthia D’Angelo of the College of Education were collaborators on the proposal.