A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Web-Based Technology Aids in Decision Making

March 9, 2012

Nada Dabbagh

When confused by the latest technology, why not turn to of all things, technology.

That’s the idea behind the web-based technology guide the Learning Asset Technology Integration Support Tool, or LATIST.

Developed by a team led by Nada Dabbagh, professor of instructional design and technology in the College of Education and Human Development, LATIST is an online support tool that guides educators, instructors, and instructional designers in the selection and integration of learning technologies through three components: explore research, select best technology, and apply technology.

The original version of LATIST was developed for the Defense Acquisition University and includes tutorials, decision aids, and examples of such learning technologies as podcasts and vodcasts, wikis, casual games, and augmented reality. Dabbagh’s team, which includes several graduate students, is customizing LATIST for use by Mason faculty and instructional designers.

“This is a very fluid tool that is easily adaptable,” says Dabbagh, adding she has received interest from other universities and learning organizations to have LATIST customized for their use.

Dabbagh says one challenge with LATIST is ensuring its information is current. Her goal is to turn LATIST into an ever-evolving resource, similar to Wikipedia, where a team of experts would update it as learning technologies change and new ones become available.

The U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command provided funding to develop LATIST, which won the SLOAN-C Effective Practice Award in 2010 and is currently patent-pending.

—Jason Jacks

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