What is The Logan Project?
The Logan Project is a research effort established and funded by Auburn University at Montgomery. Here at AUM, we have developed unique audio methods of teaching and assessing college level math for students who are blind or low vision. The end goal is the use of software with a Universal Design for Learning that will allow students who are blind or low vision, as well as other diverse learners, to learn together with their sighted peers in an inclusive educational setting.
Who is Logan?
Logan is a highly intelligent, motivated, optimistic AUM psychology student. As a young teen, Logan had a reaction during a medical procedure that resulted in almost complete blindness, significant mobility deficits, and a voice that cannot exceed a whisper. Despite those setbacks, Logan lives life full throttle...sky diving, white water rafting, hunting, and participating in the creation of audio methods for math instruction to help other students like himself.
How did all this start?
We began developing a completely audio method of math instruction when Logan started his Intermediate Algebra class in the Spring of 2015. We focused on developing a methodology that would allow Logan to fully drive the intellectual processes involved in simplifying and solving algebraic expressions and equations. Our approach had to be unique because Logan's limited mobility will not allow him to use Nemeth Code, the math equivalent of Braille.
What motivates us?
From the beginning, we have been committed to the idea that the individual with the disability is the best qualified person to state whether or not a particular methodology or technology is helpful. Logan is an integral part of our research team and his input is essential every step of the way. His work ethic and determination inspire us all to reach the goals of The Logan Project.
Where are we now?
AUM has invested in The Logan Project through the Ida Belle Young Special Projects Award in both 2015 and 2016. With this support, The Logan Project has developed Process-Driven Math, a fully audio method of math instruction and assessment for topics in College Algebra. The Logan Project gave an invited presentation at the National Science Foundation in 2016 and presented at the international CSUN Assistive Technology conference in 2017. The pilot work done with Logan in establishing the method was expanded upon to provide support to another student with a severe visual impairment who does not use math braille. This student’s participation not only provided the academic support the students needed to be successful, but furthered the development of the Process-Driven Math method.
What is in the future for The Logan Project?
We believe the future is bright for The Logan Project. Through the strength of collaboration, and with the encouragement of many supporters, we will pursue the development of software with a Universal Design for Learning that will improve math education for students who are blind or low vision. In doing so, we hope to give access to STEM careers to many who are currently waiting behind closed doors.
Publications from The Logan Project
Logan’s use of mobile technology for both academics and the research of The Logan Project is described in a recently published book chapter that Logan co-authored with other members of The Logan Project.
Pérez, L., Gulley, A., and Prickett, L. (2017). Improving access to higher education with UDL and switch access technology: A case study. In M. Mills & D. Wake (Eds.), Empowering learners with mobile open-access learning initiatives (pp. 13-30). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
The Process-Driven Math method is described in an article written by Logan and other members of The Logan Project. The article will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness during the 2017-2018 academic year.
Gulley, A.P., Smith, L.A., Price, J.A., Prickett, L.C., Ragland, M.F. (In Press). Process-Driven Math: An auditory method of mathematics instruction and assessment for students who are blind or visually impaired. Journal of Visual Impairments and Blindness.