Digital Insight description

Digital Insight Partners

Digital Insight Technologies





How can education researchers best use video data? People at all stages of the educational enterprise are increasingly relying on video data to build case histories, document instructional practices, track cognitive development, and develop new curricula. The use of video and other related data—images of student work, transcripts of dialogue, test scores, observational notes, and the like—opens up new areas of inquiry and gives us new ways of investigating traditional questions. However, the expanding role of video and other accompanying multimedia data also presents new challenges in data acquisition, management, analysis, and dissemination. The Digital Insight project promises to automate elements of video data analysis that are currently “handcrafted.” Because handcrafting takes hundreds of hours, progress in the field is painfully slow. Moreover, it is almost impossible for even closely related research teams to learn from each other because their tools, and their associated methods, are often incommensurate. The research and development proposed here will provide a level of consistency in method and process that will have a profound impact on both research and instruction in math and science education.

The overarching goal of Digital Insight is to help individual researchers and teams researchers to bring the problems associated with analyzing large collections of video data down to a human scale. Some studies of curriculum impact, for example, may include hundreds of hours of video during a single year. Equally challenging is that the questions researchers are asking of these data are complex and difficult to answer using this data in its original linear format – video tape. Digital Insight provides a general model for managing the entire research process as well as a providing set of tools designed to allow researchers to answer complex questions based on randomly-addressable large video collections. Digital Insight’s support of good content management practices will assist users as they catalog their data, navigate through their collections, annotate analytically interesting segments, and create links between these annotated clips to for the visual chain of argument necessary to support complex arguments.

The Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), the TalkBank Project, and the Data Intensive Computing Environments group at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) have formed this partnership called Digital Insight to address these challenges. Digital Insight will deliver a system for building histories of student learning for use in education research and instruction. Individual system components will be integrated into a coherent data management and analysis system that will significantly expand the ability of researchers and educators to assemble metadata-rich, historical/archival accounts of learning and development. Digital Insight partners have developed video-analysis tools and a research-based online workflow environment ready to support participating research teams, as well as a prototype process model for supporting collaborative research. Both the lead project sites and the participating research teams are firmly committed to a robust case study design that calls on users of the system to act as participant observers and reflect on both their use of the tools and impact of the process model on their work. The project deliverables for Digital Insight will provide the infrastructure to allow multidisciplinary and multisite video-based research and teaching to become a reality. With tools provided by Digital Insight and rigorous application good human subject practices, video that is originally collected for education research sponsored by WCER and its partner institutions can be repurposed to inform the design of teacher education. Digital Insight developers and participating research teams will use and augment these tools and help develop and refine the process model as they create new research-based materials for high-impact professional development, teacher educator training, and instruction. Digital Insight will be an enabling technology for a wide spectrum of education and will be portable to other fields in which clinical video plays an important role.