Research and Innovation in Learning (RAIL) is an interdisciplinary research laboratory formed by the faculty of the Department of Career and Information Studies at the University of Georgia with the mission of “Bringing educational innovation to universal challenges by incubating ideas, innovating solutions, and impacting society.” Through innovation in education, our vision is to lay the tracks that will guide and equip groups and individuals to overcome the challenges of the world we live in.
Since 2015, six core faculty members at RAIL have established key research groups while working with more than twenty doctoral students, collaborating with over 40 scholars in different fields (human medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, engineering, science, education) from different institutions, developing a dozen of strategic partnerships with corporate organizations, NGOs, and governments.
RAIL currently has three active research groups (http://rail.coe.uga.edu/rail-groups/) and some in the incubation phase. RAIL’s educational innovations, such as the robotics education curriculum (translated into five languages so far) and the case-based learning model, have been disseminated in K-12 and higher education on a global scale.
RAIL’s 3i approach involves: incubation, innovation, and impact.
Incubation (screening and funding)
Ideas for new research programs are screened using six criteria: Importance, Urgency, Novelty, Feasibility, Sustainability, and Impact. Then, funding sources are sought and/or grant proposals are prepared to carry the selected programs forward.
Innovation (iterating and communicating)
Once funding is granted, a team is formed and assigned to the program. In communication with the different stakeholders, they will further design, develop, test, and verify the innovation and its elements. Finally, the team will customize the innovation for scale-up according to the needs of the stakeholders.
Impact (disseminating and evaluating)
We then seek additional partners to make the innovation accessible on a larger scale, while continuing to evaluate its sustainability and impact on society. In line with our mission, we hope the combination of affordability and availability will positively impact the global community.