J-WEL Workforce Learning Awards Additional Grants focused on AR, COVID | MIT J-WEL

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J-WEL Workforce Learning Awards Additional Grants focused on AR, COVID

Congratulations to our two newest 2020 grantees in Workforce Learning Innovation Research! In 2020, J-WEL's Workforce Learning Collaborative awarded over $300,000 in funding to six projects. Learn more about the previous 2020 grant announcement. 

J-WEL Workforce Learning reviews grant applications on a rolling basis. To learn more or apply, visit our grants page.

Latest projects awarded funding, 2020


Augmented Reality Instruction for Hands-on Manufacturing Skills

PI: Dr. John Liu, Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering; Fellow, Digital Learning Lab
Project team: John Hart, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Director, Laboratory for Manufacturing; Dan Li, AR Specialist, Mechanical Engineering; Emily Walsh, Educational Technologist, Mechanical Engineering

A primary challenge of addressing the manufacturing skills gap is the bottleneck of hands-on skills training in the shop: the trainer. This project team proposes to develop scalable, interactive, augmented reality (AR) instruction for hands-on skills to produce a “blended machine shop” for piloting in two key MechE undergraduate classes.

Pre- and post-tests will be utilized to assess learning gains. The outcomes of this research will impact teaching in departments across MIT, state and community colleges, and manufacturing companies in the region.


Scalable, Evidence-Based, User-Centered Guidance for Frontline Healthcare Workers: Setting a path to professionalization, participation, and process improvement through innovative knowledge sharing, training, and supports

PI: Dr. Anjali Sastry, Senior Lecturer, System Dynamics

Knowledge about mitigating COVID-19 transmission is failing to reach frontline healthcare workers in countries like Tanzania. This project's collaboration with educators and clinicians is creating new ways to deliver essential guidance to everyone from morgue workers to diploma nurses to surgeons, utilizing user-centered, scalable methods to advance practice and professional development.

Working closely with leading Tanzanian innovators, the project team is developing a nationally scalable, practical package of tools, materials, and supports to improve healthcare workers’ personal safety.