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2010 HP Catalyst Initiative: CMU lead “Measuring Learning” consortium

Key dates and facts

  • Register intent to apply: 30 June 2010
  • Proposals due: 5:00 pm PT, 9 August 2010
  • Recipient announcements: 3 September 2010

Each selected member organization receives:

  • $130K of HP technology (list price)
  • $20K unrestricted cash award
  • $5K value training and coaching
  • $3K value place for one representative at the 2011 HP Innovations in Education Worldwide Summit to be held in early 2011

(See for full details, terms and conditions)


HP is creating a global network of education consortia that will explore new and more effective approaches for preparing students to use their technical, creative, and collaborative ingenuity to address significant social challenges in their community and around the world. OLnet partners, Carnegie Mellon University, are leading the “Measuring Learning” consortium as part of the 2010 HP Catalyst Initiative.

The HP Catalyst Initiative in 2010 aims to fund up to five consortia, each of which will explore a focused theme for transforming classic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education into learning experiences that better meet the needs of today’s students. The themes provide a “shared purpose” for each consortium, and are briefly described as follows:

  • “The Multi-Versity” - investigate and demonstrate new & best practices in online education for STEM+ students and the professional development of instructional faculty. The long-term goal is to provide students with a broader selection of learning opportunities by creating a network of online courses and projects.
  • “Pedagogy 3.0” - create new models of teacher preparation that will better equip teachers to facilitate powerful 21st century learning experiences for students. Projects will engage new teachers during their pre-service and induction years, plus in-service master teachers, teacher education faculty, and engineering/science content experts and faculty. The long-term goal is to prepare and retain more STEM+ teachers, enhance the STEM+ expertise of master teachers and faculty, and improve student success in pursuing STEM+ degrees.
  • “Global Collaboratories” - enable students to participate in collaborative problem-solving to address urgent social challenges using the power of collaborative grid computing.
  • “The New Learner” –engage formal and informal education institutions as they explore how to build a network of learning opportunities for students. The goal is to create new models of student-driven STEM+ learning that are engaging, lead to higher school completion rates, and promote “learning how to learn”.
  • “Measuring Learning” – explore innovative approaches to measuring STEM+ competencies that are often not assessed in school, with the help of technology.

Each consortium will consist of six “member organizations” (selected from a competitive pool of applications from eligible countries), plus a “lead organization”, representing a mix of secondary and tertiary education institutions and be located in an eligible country (for 2010, eligible countries are Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Kenya, India, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States). 

More information about The “Measuring Learning” consortium

Lead Organization: Carnegie Mellon University (Candace Thille, Director of the Open Learning Initiative, and Ananda Gunawardena, Computer Science Department,

Executive Advisors: The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), The Hewlett Foundation, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and HP.

The “Measuring Learning” consortium explores using technology to support authentic assessments of learning related to key STEM+ knowledge and skills, especially the difficult-to-measure competencies related to innovation, global collaboration, and the ability to tackle open-ended “big challenges.” Despite the acknowledged importance of “21st century skills” and higher order thinking, systems for measuring these types of student outcomes are not common.

With technology in the hands of instructors and learners, new approaches for “knowing what you know and don’t know” are possible. For example, tablet pcs deployed to support interactive and rapid feedback in classrooms can support real-time graphical responses that inform instruction, engage students in meaningful conversations, and tap into the power of anonymity in ways that were not previously possible.

The goal for 2010 is to bring together a consortium of 6 secondary and tertiary education institutions to create a test-bed that instructors, education researchers, and students themselves can use to explore innovative approaches to formative and summative assessment in STEM+ education.
Example Research Questions:

  • What are the key design considerations for creating effective embedded assessment environments?
  • How can technology enable novel approaches to formative assessment that provide immediate feedback to both instructor and learner?
  • What are some of the promising new practices in measuring learning outcomes related to higher order competencies and the broad range of so-called “21st century expertise" (synthesis & problem-solving, collaboration & communication in complex multicultural teams, information & search literacies, computational thinking...)?
  • How can technology improve “data driven decision making” and ultimately lead to raising the attainment levels of STEM+ learners?

More information about the 2010 HP catalyst Initiative

For full information see: