UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


UCARE Research Products

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Houston, S., & Nugent, G. (2016, April). WearTec students’ preferences and perceptions of formal vs. informal education. Poster presented at the 2016 University of Nebraska–Lincoln Research Fair, Lincoln, NE.


Copyright © 2016 Sarah Houston & Gwen Nugent


This research investigated students’ preferences and perceptions between in-class instruction and informal instruction through the NSF-funded WearTec study, whose goal was to increase interest in STEM fields within 4th-6th graders through the use of wearable technologies, primarily girls. Students who participated in both the formal and informal education programs in the WearTec study were the students who were selected to participate in this research. A mixed method analysis was used with quantitative data from student surveys and qualitative data from student interviews that asked questions related to the student survey responses. Results showed that many of the students preferred to learn in an informal learning environment, but they wanted to experience this environment during the regular school hours (the formal environment).