Student Experience Lab Student-Inspired Innovation in Education

Welcome to BIF’s Student Experience Lab. As champions for audacious change, our mission is to channel the voice of the student into action by building a real-world, collaborative innovation platform to help education transform itself. We invite you to join us on this epic adventure.

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Portfolio of Lab Work

Check out some of the activities going on in the lab.

  • MODEL BUILDING Teachers Design For Education

    A teacher’s effectiveness has more impact on student learning than any other factor controlled by school systems. Today’s teachers are being asked to adapt at an unaccustomed rate and implement a crush of policies and initiatives into their daily practice in practically real-time.

  • EXPERIMENTATION Creating a Teacher-Led Community Learning Lab

    Imagine the opportunity to bring together teachers from various school districts across a state to explore technology models, approaches and solutions that enhance student achievement. Imagine a hands-on laboratory where teachers can discover, explore, create and experiment with blended learning models, strategies and tactics using hardware platforms and software programs that support the needs of students with various diverse learning profiles. That's the mission of the EdUnderground - a unique collaboration between the Student Experience Lab and Highlander Institute.

  • EXPERIMENTATION Prototyping a New Competency-Based Higher Education Model

    The Student Experience Lab partnered with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to design and prototype a brand new education model. Aptly called the "College For America," the new online degree program delivers a low cost, high quality education for disadvantaged students who have been marginalized by traditional higher education. Using a transformative competency-based approach College For America leverages technology, community support, social networking approaches, employer partners, and strong assessment.

  • RESEARCH Feedback For Teachers

    In September, 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commissioned the Student Experience Lab to better understand the feedback that teachers receive, in what ways that feedback is shared, and under what conditions the feedback impacts teacher performance (both negatively and positively). Results of the research were published in January, 2013.

  • PARTICIPATORY DESIGN Bringing Students into Blended Learning Model Development

    The Student Experience Lab is working with Pleasant View Elementary School to help facilitate the school's transformation into a blended learning environment. With our expertise in educational transformation that draws heavily on engagement, human-centered design, and digital storytelling, the Lab will be working with Pleasant View to put their whole school model into action and use our tools and capabilities to facilitate the process.

  • PARTICIPATORY DESIGN If Students Could Make A School

    To accelerate the understanding of the secondary school experience, the Lab, in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Education, brought forty students, ages 13 -22, together to share their experiences and brainstorm novel ideas for innovation in education.

  • PARTICIPATORY DESIGN Re-creating the Student Experience at USU

    What if we put students in the driver’s seat of a new kind of R&D to transform higher education? One that provided a platform for engaging students more fully in a real world effort that also involved faculty, and university administrators? Could we improve a student’s education experience? Yes. Could we take it a step further and transform higher education itself? Yes.

  • RESEARCH Capturing the Experiences of Young Men of Color

    The Student Experience Lab partnered with the College Board to better understand and develop opportunities to enhance the educational experiences of young men of color. By engaging young male Asian American/Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, and Native Americans directly to understand how they view their experiences, we add their important voice to the innovation discussion of how to better meet their needs, improve their experience and lead them toward degree attainment.

  • RESEARCH The U.S. College Student Experience

    In 2009, the Lab conducted primary research to understand and digitally document the educational experiences of students nationwide. Nine major themes were revealed that affect student performance. These themes span demographics, geography, school and student-type and serve as a catalyst of opportunity identification and experimentation to improve student outcome.


News, views, and student voices from the Student Experience Lab

Introducing Students Design For Education

We are excited to announce a new partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Education and Youth In Action to launch Students Design For Education (SD4E) – a groundbreaking project that will guide 24 Rhode Island students through the design-process to create a brand new school. Once the process is completed, students will reveal one outstanding and transformational school model for implementation that RIDE Commissioner Deborah Gist fully intends to see operational in the state within 24-months of completion of the project! What we need now is a small group of change-seeking investors to help make it into a real live model.

Posted by Chris Flanagan