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UTSC postdoc honoured for work on cutting-edge educational software

UTSC postdoctoral fellow Lisa-Marie Collimore received a Mitacs award on November 28 for her work on commercializing Cogneeto.

As a Ph.D. graduate from OISE with a focus on child development and psychology, Lisa-Marie Collimore was a perfect fit to help commercialize an already powerful learning tool for young students.

And her tireless work in developing Cogneeto, an online peer- and self-assessment education tool for students in Grade 8 to Grade 12, was officially recognized at the annual Mitacs awards ceremony in Ottawa on November 28.

She was joined by four other young researchers highlighted by Mitacs among the thousands who take part in its programs each year.  

“It feels truly amazing to be recognized but I must dedicate this award to the entire Cogneeto team,” said Collimore, acknowledging the creators of Cogneeto UTSC professor Steve Joordens and graduate student Dwayne Paré, along with the software and website developers.

Mitacs is a government-funded research network that brings together academia, industry and the public sector to develop research-based commercial products. In handing out the award, The Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, commended Collimore on her research that led to the rebranding and further development of Cogneeto, which is now being marketed to every secondary school in North America.

Cogneeto was originally created by UTSC professor Steve Joordens and graduate student Dwayne Paré after the success of peerScholar, the online educational tool they developed to enhance critical thinking skills in post-secondary classrooms.

Collimore joined the Cogneeto team to oversee research and to closely with students and teachers in assessing the effectiveness and usability of the software. She received a two-year Mitacs fellowship in 2010 and during that time supervised the school-level pilot testing and conducted a number of research projects within the context of the fellowship.

Her research into the educational potential of the software was not only published, it lead to important changes to Cogneeto itself that made it more accessible, effective and commercially viable.

“She helped make Cogneeto an even better learning tool, so this award is great recognition of how important her research was with respect to enhancing its commercial potential,” said Joordens.

Cogneeto is currently being sold to more than 200 schools across Canada and will be available in the U.S. school market next year.

© University of Toronto Scarborough