Dr. Glenn Smith
October 21, 2019 | USF WORLD NEWS
Dr. Glenn Smith is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and a Fulbright scholar who spent 11 months in Slovenia for his Fulbright award. He conducted research that aimed to improve fourth graders’ comprehension and motivation to read through the creation of web-based eBooks with game-like characters, conversations, social interaction, and open-ended questions.
Smith worked alongside students and faculty from the Computer Science Department and the College of Education at the University of Ljubljana to facilitate two studies in eight schools in Ljubljana. Computer science students at the University of Ljubljana, with the supervision of an assistant professor, developed Natural Language Processing algorithms that worked both with English and the Slovenian language.
“In a small country like Slovenia, everyone is closer,” Smith reflected. “Without layers of bureaucracy, constant concerns of security, and endless standardized tests… It was so easy to get into classrooms and to see delight light up the faces of fourth graders as they ‘talked with characters’ in stories and texted each other, all from within a web-based eBook.”
In addition to the knowledge gained from his research, the Fulbright experience provided Smith with a wealth of new research directions, professional contacts, and a fourth-grade knowledge of the Slovenian language. To anyone looking into the Fulbright award, he whole-heartedly encourages them to apply.