Research Career and the Important Academic Achievement Research Projects
  (in Chinese)

 

Academic Collaboration

 

Patents

 

The COMT-related paper published by Brain & Cognition in Feb.2013was selected by The New York Times Sunday Magazine and became the daily top forwarded article of New York Times online edition. Domestic media has repeatedly reported on this paper as well (e.g., Spot News of Chinatimes on Page A3). There have been 3000 reports about Taiwan in the New York Times since 1907. 300 of them are about study and research, 5 of these 300 reports are science-related. Dr. Chang is honored as one, of only two, of the science-related reports which specifically cited the name of the researchers. His related research works have been published in Scientific Reports, Neural Plasticity, PLOS One, and other academic journals.

 

After Dr. Chang came back from studying in America, he devoted himself to using technology to enhance science learning and teaching. Dr. Chang believes that in the context of technology-enhanced learning/teaching, the technology should be “developed to meet the needs of learners and teachers, rather than the technology itself.” Therefore Dr. Chang explored deeply the modes of problem-solving teaching, students’ alternative frameworks, and their conjunctive impacts on science learning achievements. By combining the research results with the computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and the designed structure for learning, Dr. Chang analyzed the strategies, method, and performance of the usage of CAI. The research achievements on these subjects won the Outstanding Research Award of National Science Council of the Executive Yuan in 2003. More than 22 papers, on this topic have been published in SSCI journals, with half of these papers, published in the top 20% journals in the field of education. Based on the aforementioned research achievements, Dr. Chang further developed the CouldClassRoom (CCR) mobile system to facilitate teacher-student interactions in the Asian classroom in which most of the students feel uncomfortable about speaking up in class. A paper reviewing and examining the educational theories underlying CCR have been published in the top 5% journal in the field of education. To date, there are over 15,000 students and teachers have registered in CCR. Over 120,000 classroom activities have been conducted by using CCR. The users of CCR are from all over the world, including Taiwan, the U.S., England, France, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Macaw. Such an achievement demonstrates the practical impact of Dr. Chang’s research work.


How to evaluate the learner’s ability of high-lever problem solving has always been an important and difficult education problem. Dr. Chang’s team has been wholeheartedly striving to modify the large-scale examination and the traditional evaluation system which focuses entirely on the exams. The technology of learning with Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing has opened a new window for all of us. Dr. Chang’s team has developed an “automatic evaluation system for study and examination of Earth Sciences” which can evaluate the learners as accurate as humans. This system can be used for e-Learning as well as provide auto-evaluations and feedbacks. This research has been selected as one of the 50 most remarkable special scientific achievements, selected for the NSC 50th Anniversary (“Science 50”─ Scientific achievements of the NSC 50th Anniversary). Dr. Chang was awarded the Outstanding Research Award of NSC, for the second time in 2009, based on these achievements.


Learning and teaching, education and evaluation usually take place in the classroom. The research of classroom learning environment is much more difficult as compared to learning and teaching only as it includes course content, learners, teachers, teaching, and assessments, school administrators and other complex factors. Dr. Chang finds that, currently, education narrowly focuses on the learner or only adopts the constructivist theory which cannot improve the performance of all the students. The teacher’s ability to understand the characteristic of the student and tailor-make the developing plan for the student to strike a balance between the traditional and the opening education will be the key point for promoting the learner’s performance. The study result from this theory has been published in the Science Education, the top American journal in the field of education. The research result about “the gap between the ideal and real learning environment” has been praised by the reviewers as “the achievement beyond the last decades on this field." There are more than 8 papers of this series have been published in the SSCI journals, with 1/2 of them published in the top 30% quality journals in the field of education.


Seeing that the government of Taiwan is determined to launch a 12-year compulsory education program, Dr. Chang thought a lot about how to help students to apply the knowledge and skills they have obtained during the high school to their abilities of solving and explaining real problems. The science educators always emphasize the evaluation of how to provide adequate scientific learning when they formulate the guideline of the high school courses. As the information technology is growing at an alarming speed, Dr. Chang believes that in the next decade, students will experience the effects of the tremendous information and communication overload; thus, educators will have to face the following problems: (1) Teaching knowledge might become less important, as the direction of education might turn to assisting the students in the handling of information and solving the problems with interdisciplinary abilities. (2) The purpose of the teacher training might be in response to this trend and turn to cultivating the teacher’s interdisciplinary ability and the ability to help students learn information management and problem-solving skills. As for the phenomenon mentioned above, Dr. Chang started to exchange the related information with scholars at home and abroad actively since 2009.


In order to cultivate the science literacy and the interdisciplinary ability to solve problems, we must first find out “what in our daily life will be related with the curriculum guidelines." By modifying the teaching method, which was solely focused on theory, we could instead direct teaching content into emphasizing the knowledge of our daily life; this process would assist students in solving real-life problems with interdisciplinary ability. With this in mind, Dr. Chang has developed a system to evaluate the science literacy of ordinary people with the SLiM (Scientific Literacy in Media) questionnaire. This questionnaire is designed with the high-frequency scientific terms (found in Taiwanese media) selected from the database (scientific terms found in high school science textbooks) with informational automatic matching technology. The result of this research has been confirmed by a top 5% SSCI journal (Public Understanding of Science), and the details were published in Computers & Education (2015 SSCI IF = 2.881,9/231 in education & educational research) in 2010; the development process and the pre-test results of the SLiM questionnaire were published on Public Understanding of Science (2015 SSCI IF = 1.904,3/44 in history & philosophy of science and 12/79 in communication) in 2010. A great gap exists between scientists and media professionals, has been observed to be one of the most challenging issues in science communication works. The news media crew revealed that the scientific concepts were too hard to understand; they expressed that the content was very difficult to present in a news/medias format. Our study highlights the bridge role of science educators as a science communication link. The result of this research was published in Science Communication (2015 SSCI, IF = 1.82,14/79 in Communication). Other follow-up studies are underway and in preparation for submissions. Currently, scholars from abroad (such as United States, Sweden and mainland China) are interested in joining our research. Dr. Chang has applied several cross-border cooperation projects (such as with America NSF and Swedish Research Council (VR)) to promote this creative concept. In the past five years, there were 6 papers of this research series that have been published on SSCI journals; 4 of them were collected by the top 20% first class journals in the field of education.


In addition to the aforementioned progresses in the SLiM (Scientific Literacy in Media) series research, Dr. Chang’s team further put the SLiM results into practice by developing a series of TV broadcasting science news, called the “Different Science News (DSN)”. Different Science News (DSN) is concise (90 seconds each), and featured with current and domestic science news issues. According to AGB Nielsen’s rating (of 1.1~1.5), DSN has received averagely 0.3 million watch / per episode /1st launch, and thus has generated at least 60 million of watch since 2014. DSN has then become the most watched science news program in Taiwan (DSN episodes have also been published simultaneously on YouTube. It is expected that the number of the “online” DSN watchers will continue to grow.) The development and production patterns observed in DSN have recently been published in Science Communication (Wu, et al., 2015).


In order to improve the teacher’s ability to utilize the digital gadget conducting the science learning in the classroom, Dr. Chang’s team developed a creative teaching module—MAGDAIRE (which means: “Don’t push too much” when pronounced in Taiwanese, and the full name in English is “Modeling analysis, guided development, articulated implementation, and reflective evaluation) in 2012 based on the theory structure of cognitive apprenticeship. This teaching module is guided by the curriculum design and implementation. Combining modern teaching materials and methods, this module not only improves the teacher’s ability and confidence, before they step into the classroom, but also enhances the habits of mind of integrating technology into teaching reflection. These steps assist teachers in improving science and technology teaching content as well as helping to integrate the idea technology into teaching modules as well as the classroom. Two papers, from the results of these studies, have been published in the top 15% SSCI journals in the field of education, and the actual promotional activities have already been carried out.


Dr. Chang’s exploration is mapping out steps towards a new future for science learning; his dream is helping us to break the current boundaries of science education in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and earth science. While it is Dr. Chang’s honor, that the preliminary results have been affirmed by The Academic Award of Ministry of Education as well as the Outstanding Research Award of NSC, this new future requires the joint effort of all scholars/teachers interested in interdisciplinary integrating concepts. In his own words:


“Based on not only on individual effort, but through the support of our researchers, our teachers, our people and country, let us strive together towards our ultimate goal of promoting public scientific literacy.”