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Overview: The OPEN initiative (Online Probability Education Network) aims to build a network of sites and a community of instructors focused on (1) experimentally testing the effectiveness of interactive learning materials developed by the Distributome and other opne-STEM science projects to advance student understanding of probability concepts; (2) sustaining and replenishing a substantial library of these interactive resources (especially game-based resources); (3) identifying and finding solutions to pedagogical challenges in teaching probability through faculty communities providing support for instructors using Distributome materials in their teaching; (4) integrating an effective dissemination and professional development infrastructure to ensure on-going and expanded use and community support.; and (5) developing advanced computational libraries, user-friendly and device-agnostic interfaces to support teaching and learning of probability modeling and distributional thinking.

Infrastructure: OPEN will share knowledge, materials and resources, organize conferences, workshops, webinars, and provide support for faculty communities. The network will forge technological advances, and build sustainable digital libraries with proven value-added educational resources. There are several novel features of this project. OPEN will build the infrastructure for community-based development, expansion and validation of the probability models’ meta-data, computational libraries, and learning activities. The resources will be stored, processed, searched, traversed and updated in the Cloud by experts and educators who can identify challenges, exchange ideas, and learn from each other as they implement OPEN resources in their courses. Specifically, based on community input, we will extend our open (development and utilization), device-agnostic, extensible and broad framework for learning, teaching, navigation, discovery and usage of probability distributions in diverse educational settings and scientific applications.

Users: The user-base of the OPEN infrastructure will include both educators (integrating the graphical tools and instructional materials in their course curricula and participating in a unique virtual community led by a cadre of activists involved in experimental testing of the effectiveness of the materials) and most importantly learners (exploring, validating and understanding the use of probability distributions and models for practical problem solving). The OPEN initiative will enable representation, demonstration, computation and visualization of data, models and applications. A large number of probability models, distribution interrelations, and diverse applications will be integrated with associated in-class and out-of-class activities and games to advance learning. Our broad-based dissemination plan includes communication with mathematical science departments teaching upper division probability, conference presentations, regular webinars, journal and newsletter publications, and connections to national professional and digital library organizations. Monthly virtual meetings of the OPEN community, annual instructor training events, and continuous networking workshops will engage the community in this effort and recruit advocates to sustain efforts at creating, editing and reviewing these resources. The evaluation of the project draws on the efforts of an independent evaluator as well as the experiences of the OPEN community but most importantly on the randomized controlled experimental testing of the effectiveness of the developed resources for learning key concepts in probability modeling at diverse institutions.

Contact: To get involved in OPEN, contribute new probability teaching, learning or computational resource, get support or send an email to .