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Reflection of Forming a Research Collaboration with an International University

  • Nicole WangEmail author
Column: Graduate Member Musings

I received a grant from January 2017 to June 2018 through our university, the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), to develop a web application that can potentially address the problem of low retention rate in online learning. Throughout this journey, I recruited a team of volunteers who are faculty members, staff, a graduate student from the University of Southampton in U.K. and professional developers to transform the idea into reality. The application we have developed is called the Social Performance Optimization Tool (SPOT). It is a web-based interactive environment in which students are able to view their course performance through different states of an avatar (Wang et al. 2017). Currently, SPOT is functional and has been piloted at multiple courses within Penn State over the past two years. In addition, SPOT has been piloted at different universities within the United States as well as Tohoku University in Japan.

Forming a research collaboration beyond the United States...



  1. Wang, Nicole, Yeh, Martin, Gregg, Andrea, Zhu, Chenyang, Garbrick, Amy and Peck, Kyle (2017) Beyond academic grade dashboard: Integrating performance visualization to increase peer support: a work in-progress paper. 7th Annual International Conference on Education & e-Learning Conference 2017. 25–26 Sep 2017.
  2. World Intellectual Property Organization (2019), Intellectual property definition, Retrieved on March 6th, 2019 from
  3. World Trade Organization (2019), Intellectual property: Protection and enforcement, Retrived on March 6th, 2019 from

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications & Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA

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