Ari Bader-Natal
For the past 15 years, I've focused on designing and building social learning environments on the web. During this time, I've helped to create several different venues for learning, including Minerva's signature seminars, Grockit's adaptive algorithms, Sketchpad's coding collaborations, and Spellbee's child-constructed challenges. Each of these systems has offered opportunities to test, evaluate, and share new methods for supporting collaboration, engagement, and learning.

Since 2012, I've been the Principal Learning Architect at Minerva Project, helping to create a university for the 21st century. I design and develop new technologies to support learning and teaching, including Minerva's Active Learning Forum.

From 2008-2012, I was Chief Learning Architect at Grockit, where I developed the company's core learning technologies. I also lead R&D projects, built the infrastructure for learning analytics and A/B testing, ran efficacy studies, establishing academic research collaborations, and published research papers. In 2011, I developed Grockit Answers to enable productive peer-to-peer learning around educational videos.
Outside of work, I build more tools for collaborative learning. In 2010, I launched Studio Sketchpad, a website for creative coders to collaboratively author and share interactive animations and data visualizations written in Processing. Four years after launching it, I still check in regularly to see what people are building and to highlight some of my favorites in the Gallery. Sketchpad has been used in an educational setting at several excellent art and design schools, including UCLA, NYU/Tisch, RISD, and a fun P2PU course that I ran in 2010.
I completed my PhD in Computer Science at Brandeis University in 2008. In my dissertation work, I examined the possibilities of motivating learning among peers by incorporating these interactions into a game. This drew on a combination of game theory, system building, and a statistical analysis of data from students competing in a spelling competition. The final dissertation is freely available to download.
 

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