Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

NSF’s Cyberlearning Program

November 16th, 2011 / in research horizons, resources / by Erwin Gianchandani

NSF Announces Cross-Directorate Smart Health and Wellbeing program for FY 12 [image courtesy NSF].Earlier this fall, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) issued a new solicitation for FY 2012 for its Cyberlearning: Transforming Education program, providing three different research categories of funding. The deadline for the first category — Exploratory Projects — is December 15.

From the solicitation:

Through the Cyberlearning: Transforming Education program, NSF seeks to integrate advances in technology with advances in what is known about how people learn to:


  • better understand how people learn with technology and how technology can be used productively to help people learn, through individual use and/or through collaborations mediated by technology;
  • better use technology for collecting, analyzing, sharing, and managing data to shed light on learning, promoting learning, and designing learning environments; and
  • design new technologies for these purposes, and advance understanding of how to use those technologies and integrate them into learning environments so that their potential is fulfilled.


Of particular interest are technological advances that allow more personalized learning experiences, draw in and promote learning among those in populations not served well by current educational practices, allow access to learning resources anytime and anywhere, and provide new ways of assessing capabilities. It is expected that Cyberlearning research will shed light on how technology can enable new forms of educational practice and that broad implementation of its findings will result in a more actively-engaged and productive citizenry and workforce.

The three research categories, “each focusing on a different stage of research and development,” are (after the jump):

Project Type Due Dates Budget and Duration Characteristics and Requirements
Exploration (EXP) December 15, 2011 and December 17, 2012 $550,000 over 2 to 3 years Purpose: to explore the feasibility of a technological innovation and to shed light on the answers to fundamental research questions related to learning with technology
Prerequisites: team with a shared vision that takes into account what is known about how people learn, learning in the targeted domain, use of technology for such learning, and challenges to technology use
Development and Implementation (DIP) January 18, 2012 and January 16, 2013 $1,350,000 over 4 or 5 years Purpose: to ascertain the potential of ideas, develop guidelines for use of an innovation, and answer research questions about learning with technology
Prerequisites: same as EXP plus completed work equivalent to one or more Cyberlearning EXP projects
Integration and Deployment (INDP) July 16, 2012 and July 15, 2013 $2,500,000 over 4 or 5 years Purpose: to integrate or extend the use of one or more technologically-sophisticated efforts that have already shown promise and answer a variety of research questions related to learning with technology
Prerequisites: same as EXP plus completed work equivalent to one or more Cyberlearning DIP projects

In addition, the Cyberlearning program will also support small Capacity-Building Projects (CAP) and a Cyberlearning Resource Center (CRC):

Project Type Due Dates Budget and Duration Characteristics and Requirements
Capacity Building (CAP) March 16, and October 13, 2012 and March 15, 2013 Varies Purpose: partnership building and community building, including conferences, workshops, and short courses
Cyberlearning Resource Center February 15, 2012 Up to $500,000 in the first year and up to $1M in subsequent years, to be awarded for up to 5 years Purpose: to support Cyberlearning projects and programmatic efforts
Prerequisites: lead institution should have cyberlearning expertise and demonstrated capacity to plan, develop, and manage a national center that provides technical support for a diverse portfolio of projects
Note: to be awarded as a cooperative agreement

Much more detail about this funding opportunity is available in the solicitation. And be sure to also check out the projects funded in the prior year.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

NSF’s Cyberlearning Program