Understanding Learning in Maker Classrooms

Sep. 2020 – Present

Many schools around the world are going through curriculum changes in order to incorporate more student-centered, hands-on, active forms of learning. However, designing and conducting assessment that can provide meaningful feedback to students and teachers are an ongoing challenge for many. This study explores how teachers in the lower mainland B.C., Canada, are navigating this change, focusing on their assessment practices.

Yulis, A. & Murai, Y. (2021). Frustration as an opportunity for learning: Review of literature. In proceedings of FabLearn Europe ’21 (Rorschach, Switzerland, 2021).

Integrating Creative Learning into School Curricula

Dec. 2018 – Dec. 2019

Creative learning is difficult to implement within classrooms where there are curriculum goals as well as time and other logistical constraints. In collaboration with Tokyo University, we conducted design-based research with public school teachers in Nagano prefecture, Japan, to explore a curriculum unit that allows students to engage in creative coding using Scratch while achieving curriculum goals in a social studies class. This project is supported by Google for Education and the Teaching and Learning Innovation Grants program, funded by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and administered by the MIT Teaching Systems Lab (TSL). Project reports can be found here (Japanese).

Murai, Y., Ikejiri, R., Yamauchi, Y., Tanaka, A., & Nakano, S. (2021) Design strategies to integrate creative learning in elementary school curricula through computer programming activities. Interactive Learning Environments.

Yamauchi, Y., Murai, Y., & Ikejiri, R. (2020). Creative programming and disciplinary studies in elementary classrooms (創造的プログラミングと教科学習の両立). In Yamauchi, Y. (Ed), Building ICT competencies for the next generations with cloud computing technologies (クラウドで育てる次世代型情報活用能力).

Murai, Y., Ikejiri, R, Yamauchi, Y., Tanaka, A., & Nakano, S. (n.a.). Designing a creative programming unit within the elementary school core curriculum. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Yamauchi, Y., Murai, Y., Ikejiri, R., Tanaka, A., & Nakano, S. (2020, February). Designing classes that combine creative programming with subject learning in elementary school (Japanese) [Paper session]. Annual Spring Conference of Japan Society for Educational Technology, Nagano, Japan.

Biowearable Critical Making Workshop

Sep. 2020 – Present

Making activities create opportunities for learners to articulate and examine their interests, values, and understanding among themselves and with knowledgeable others. In collaboration with Tangible Embodied Child-Computer Interaction Lab (led by Dr. Alissa A. Antle) and Brilliant Labs, we explore how maker activities can support children’s engagement in critical reflection on ethical issues of biowearable technologies.

Murai, Y., Antle, A.N., Kitson, A., Candau, Y., Adibi, A., Dao-Kroeker, Z., Desnoyers-Stewart, J. and Jacobs, K. (2021). Facilitating online distributed critical making: Lessons learned. In proceedings of FabLearn Europe ’21 (Rorschach, Switzerland, 2021).

Antle, A.N., Kitson, A., Murai, Y., Desnoyers-Stewart, J., Candau, Y., Adibi, A., Jacobs, K. and Dao-Kroeker, Z. (2021). Opportunities and scaffolds for critical reflection on ethical issues in an online after school biowearable workshop for youth. In proceedings of FabLearn Europe ’21 (Rorschach, Switzerland, 2021).

Dao-Kroeker, Z. M.-T., Kitson, A. J., Antle, A. N., Murai, Y., & Adibi, A. (In press). Designing Bio-Tech Ethics Cards: Promoting critical making during an online workshop with youth. Proceedings of Interactive Design and Children Conference. Interactive Design and Children Conference.

PlushPal: Interactive plush toys and machine learning

Sep. 2020 – Present

PlushPal is a web app that lets you turn everyday objects into interactive toys that make sounds based on custom gestures using micro:bit and machine learning (designed & developed by Dr. Tiffany Tseng). This project explores how the gesture-based design tool using machine learning may be able to support young learners understand and engage with machine learning.

Tseng, T., Murai, Y., Freed, N., & Gelosi, D. (2021) PlushPal: Storytelling with interactive plush toys and machine learning. In proceedings of Interactive Design and Children Conference 2021. This paper received the Best Paper Award.

Shinshu Makers Fellows: Creative Programming Teacher Professional Development

Jan. 2018 – Present

How can we introduce creative learning pedagogy to school teachers who are busy and responsible to meet demanding curriculum standards? Shinshu Makers Fellow program started with this question. Teaming up with the Nagano Prefectural Board of Education, FabLab Nagano, and Asobism in Japan, we designed a hybrid professional development program for public elementary and middle school teachers on creative coding, where they make, reflect, design, test, and iterate to explore ways to implement coding to support creative learning.

Murai, Y. & Muramatsu, H. (2020).Application of creative learning principles within blended teacher professional development on integration of computer programming education into elementary and middle school classrooms. Information and Learning Sciences, 121(7/8), 665-675.

Murai, Y. & Muramatsu, H. (2020) It’s not about programming, it’s about a way of learning: Evolution of teacher perspectives on computer programming education. In proceedings of Connected Learning Summit, Cambridge, MA.

Murai, Y., Muramatsu, H., Gomi, N., & Katsuramoto, K. (2018) Programming education as creative learning: Challenges and opportunities. In proceedings of the annual conference of Japan Society for STEM Education, Cambridge, MA. (Japanese)

Beyond Rubrics: Embedded Assessment in Maker Classrooms

Jan. 2018 – Nov. 2019

Partnering up with Maker Ed as well as with the educators from Corte Madera School, CA, and Community Middle Charter School, VA, we explored the question “what does embedded assessment in maker classrooms look like?” Through a series of design workshops and trials in classrooms and afterschool programs, we designed Beyond Rubrics Toolkit. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1723450.

Kim, Y., Murai, Y., & Chang, S. (2021). Implementation of embedded assessment in maker classrooms: Challenges and opportunities. Information and Learning Sciences.

Murai, Y., Kim, Y., & Chang, S. (n.a.). Principles of embedded assessment in school-based making. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Kim, Y. J., Murai, Y., & Chang, S. (2020). Embedded assessment tools for maker classrooms: A design-based research approach. In Gresalfi, M. and Horn, I. S. (Eds.). (2020). The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020, Volume 3. Nashville, Tennessee: International Society of the Learning Sciences. 1421-1428.

Murai, Y., Kim, Y. J., Chang, S., Martin, E., Rosenheck, L., & Kirschmann, P. (2020, April). How do you know they are learning?: Perspectives of maker educators on assessment [Paper session]. Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA, United States. (Conference canceled)

Kim, Y. J., Murai, Y., Kirschmann, P., and Rosenheck, P. (2019, November). Embedding Assessment in Hands-On Learning: What We Learned from Students and Teachers from Boston to Bangalore. Blog post shared on Next Generation Learning Challenges.

Kim, Y. J., Murai, Y., Chang, S., & Reich, J. (2019, October) What maker assessment should look like: A closer look at the design process. Poster presented at Connected Learning Summit 2019, Irvine, CA.

Murai, Y., Kim, Y., Martin, E., Kirschmann, P., Rosenheck, L., & Reich, J. (2019). Embedding assessment in school-based making: Preliminary explorations of principles for embedded assessment in maker learning. In FabLearn ’19: Proceedings of the 8th Annual Conference on Creativity and Fabrication in Education. New York, NY: ACM.

Learning Creative Learning: Open Online Course and Community for Educators

Sep. 2016 – Nov. 2019

Learning Creative Learning is an open online course and community for educators around the world to explore the idea of Creative Learning through working on projects, interacting with peers, and trying out their ideas in real-world environments. We examined a number of design decisions (such as multilingual community support) to provide a creative learning space for educators even when they were physically apart from one another, coming from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds.

Tirthali, D. & Murai, Y. (2021). Facilitating open online discussions: Speech acts inspiring and hindering deep conversations. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning.

Tirthali, D. & Murai, Y. (2019). Don’t just say thank you: Exploration of types of posts inspiring and hindering deep conversations online. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2019.

Murai, Y., Gabaree, L., Presicce, C., Rodeghiero, C., & Ahmad, Y. (2020, April). Participants facilitating an online learning community: Three case studies. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

Murai, Y. & Tirthali, D. (2019, April). Discussion prompts and social interaction: Social network perspective on weekly interaction in a massive open online course. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.

Gabaree, L., Murai, Y., Presicce, C., & Tsur, M. (2018, August) Learning Creative Learning: How we keep tinkering with MOOCs. Spotlight presentation presented at Connected Learning Summit, Cambridge, MA.

Gabaree, L., Presicce, C., Murai, Y., & Tsur, M. (2018, August) Designing for Multiple Pathways in Online Learning Experiences. Brief paper presented at Connected Learning Summit, Cambridge, MA.

Unhangout for Educators: Online Participant-Driven Teacher Learning Events

Jun. 2016 – Sep. 2018

Unhangout for Educators was a series of participant-driven online workshops for maker educators on Unhangout, a conference platform designed to encourage agency in participants. The workshops aimed to support community building among educators through participation in activities on selected topics important to the field of maker education. We put together lessons learned from the workshops and compiled them as Unhangout Playbook, to support anyone interested in learner-centered online events. This project was sponsored by the Teaching and Learning Innovation Grants program, funded by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and administered by the MIT Teaching Systems Lab (TSL). The final report can be found here.

Murai, Y., McConachie, K., Schmidt, P. (2019, October) Towards design patterns for participatory online events. Paper presented at 26th Conference on pattern languages of programs, Ottawa, Canada.

Murai, Y., Patch, N., Choe, E., McConachie, K., & Schmidt, P. (2019, April). Modeling social participation: Design implications from analysis of online teacher professional development workshops. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.

Murai, Y., Choe, E.,  Patch, N., McConachie, K., & Schmidt, P. (2018) Unhangout for Educators: Best practices for participant-driven online workshops. In proceedings of Connected Learning Summit, Cambridge, MA.