Bertram (Chip) Bruce, education and training, is Professor of Library and Information Science, Curriculum and Instruction, and Bioengineering. Before moving to the University of Illinois in 1990, he was a faculty member in Computer Science at Rutgers University and Principal Scientist at Bolt Beranek and Newman (1974-90). He received a BA in Biology from Rice University and a Ph.D. in Computer Sciences from University of Texas at Austin in 1971.
His central interest is in learning, the constructive process whereby individuals and organizations develop as they adapt to new circumstances. This work draws on ideas such as John Dewey's theory of inquiry, as well as on action research and situated studies. Much of it has focused on changes in the nature of knowledge, community, and literacy, as discussed in his new book, Literacy in the Information Age: Inquiries into meaning making with new technologies. He has long been a prominent researcher in the use of computers in curriculum development, as witnessed by his books a decade ago on Network-based classrooms: Promises and realities and Electronic Quills: A situated evaluation of using computers for writing in classrooms.
He has been a principal in several major NSF Educational Technology projects for science education. These include: the Distributed Knowledge Research Collaborative, the Biology Student Workbench, Plants Pathogens & People, Physics Outreach, and SEARCH. His research has also contributed to the development of environments for inquiry-based learning. These include the Inquiry Page, which is a website, a set of communities, and a research project on inquiry; Biology Student Workbench, an interactive resource to support investigations in molecular biology and evolution; Chickscope, a project in which students engage with a community of inquiry as they use remote instrumentation to study chicken embryology; Quill, tools and environments to support literacy learning; Statistics Workshop, an interactive system for learning statistical reasoning; and Discoveries, a series of CD-ROM-based multimedia environments for supporting students’ inquiries in science and social studies.