Unlocking Human Potential of All Learners to Thrive in STEM

Evidence-based teaching seminar with Sasha Barab

Sasha Barab, Professor and Director for the Center for Games and Impact, ASU

Powerful new innovations, such as game-enabled platforms and services, coupled with research on the art of science of learning, provide us an unprecedented opportunity to provide support for all individuals to realize opportunities and unlock futures that are meaningful to them; that is, helping all learners thrive in life.

Too many designs, however, are based on the assumption that unlocking human potential involves finding ways to better organize STEM content such that it can most effectively be transmitted to the learner. In contrast, our work is based on a different metaphor, one that leverages an invite, enable, and release metaphor and that is aspires towards the following design commitments: Make it easy for anyone to connect to real-world opportunities they want to pursue. Make it easy for anyone to connect with the people and ideas to achieve desired growth and impact. Make it easy for anyone to champion the growth and impact of another. Rather than privileging the big STEM ideas, our designs emphasize - and notably begin with - the outcomes and the impact people will be able to have in the world.

By ‘flipping learning on its head’ we move beyond the long-

standing motivational quandary of ‘Why am I learning this?’ and expand the learner’s focus to ‘What possibilities do I want to pursue?’ ‘What do I need to know to realize this goal?’ and ‘who is going to help me succeed?

Professor Sasha Barab is an internationally recognized Learning Scientist who has researched, designed, and published extensively on the challenges and opportunities of using innovation for impact, with a particular focus on the power of games.


Introducing the Fall 2016 Seminar series called “Evidence-based Teaching in STEM” on select Fridays from 3-5:00pm in LSE 106. The format is a 45 minute talk focused on undergraduate STEM education research by an expert in STEM education. This will be followed by a 15 minute Q&A and then an 30 minute interactive and hands-on workshops where participants can brainstorm how to turn the ideas from the talk into concrete aspects for their own courses.

This seminar is targeted to faculty, instructors, graduate and undergrad students interested in teaching and learning.

Friday, Dec. 2 | 3 - 5 p.m.
LSE 106
School of Life Sciences - E wing