Overcoming barriers between volunteer professionals advising project-based learning teams with regulation tools

Daniel G. Rees Lewis*, Matthew W. Easterday, Emily Harburg, Elizabeth M. Gerber, Christopher K. Riesbeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


To provide the substantial support required for project-based learning (PBL), educators can incorporate professional experts as design coaches. However, previous work shows barriers incorporating design coaches who can rarely meet face-to-face: (1) communication online is time-consuming, (2) updating coaches online is not perceived as valuable, (3) students do not seek help, (4) coaches are not proactive online and (5) coaches struggle to gain the awareness from student online communications. How might we design socio-technical systems that can incorporate professionals coaching? In a 6-week university PBL product design program with three teams (four members per team) and five coaches, teams met with coaches on campus for 2-hours a week, but otherwise communicated with teams online. We created and tested StandUp, a system designed to overcome coaching barriers online that: prompts team planning, goal setting and monitoring of progress and displays this information online to coaches. We collected and analyzed interview, observation and log data. We found StandUp helped participants overcome coaching barriers by providing students a way to regulate group learning which in turn automatically emailed reports to coaches thereby supporting coach awareness; coach awareness in turn prompted both online coaching and face-to-face coaching. This work provides evidence from one context. Future work should measure learning and explore different regulation scripts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-369
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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