Matching Items (14)

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Reading Motivation and Comprehension: Using iSTART-3 to Improve Comprehension in South Africa

Description

The purposes of the study are to: 1) investigate how students' motivation towards reading is related to their reading comprehension skills, and 2) assess the impact of using an Intelligent Tutoring System to improve comprehension. Interactive Strategy Training for Active

The purposes of the study are to: 1) investigate how students' motivation towards reading is related to their reading comprehension skills, and 2) assess the impact of using an Intelligent Tutoring System to improve comprehension. Interactive Strategy Training for Active Reading and Thinking-3 (iSTART-3) is a game-based tutoring system designed to improve students' reading comprehension skills. The current study was conducted in South Africa with 8th and 9th graders between the ages of 14 and 18. These students are multilingual and they learn English as a First Additional Language (English-FAL). Firstly, we predict that students who are highly motivated to read will have high comprehension scores than those who are slightly or not at all motivated to read. Secondly, we predict that the use of iSTART-3 will improve students' reading comprehension, regardless of their level of reading motivation, with better results for those who are more motivated to read. Counter to our predictions, the results did not reveal a relation between reading motivation and reading comprehension. Furthermore, an effect of iSTART-3 on reading comprehension was not found. These results were likely influenced by the small sample size and the length of the intervention.

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2018-12

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Analyzing student problem-solving behavior in a step-based tutor and understanding the effect of unsolicited hints

Description

Lots of previous studies have analyzed human tutoring at great depths and have shown expert human tutors to produce effect sizes, which is twice of that produced by an intelligent tutoring system (ITS). However, there has been no consensus on

Lots of previous studies have analyzed human tutoring at great depths and have shown expert human tutors to produce effect sizes, which is twice of that produced by an intelligent tutoring system (ITS). However, there has been no consensus on which factor makes them so effective. It is important to know this, so that same phenomena can be replicated in an ITS in order to achieve the same level of proficiency as expert human tutors. Also, to the best of my knowledge no one has looked at student reactions when they are working with a computer based tutor. The answers to both these questions are needed in order to build a highly effective computer-based tutor. My research focuses on the second question. In the first phase of my thesis, I analyzed the behavior of students when they were working with a step-based tutor Andes, using verbal-protocol analysis. The accomplishment of doing this was that I got to know of some ways in which students use a step-based tutor which can pave way for the creation of more effective computer-based tutors. I found from the first phase of the research that students often keep trying to fix errors by guessing repeatedly instead of asking for help by clicking the hint button. This phenomenon is known as hint refusal. Surprisingly, a large portion of the student's foundering was due to hint refusal. The hypothesis tested in the second phase of the research is that hint refusal can be significantly reduced and learning can be significantly increased if Andes uses more unsolicited hints and meta hints. An unsolicited hint is a hint that is given without the student asking for one. A meta-hint is like an unsolicited hint in that it is given without the student asking for it, but it just prompts the student to click on the hint button. Two versions of Andes were compared: the original version and a new version that gave more unsolicited and meta-hints. During a two-hour experiment, there were large, statistically reliable differences in several performance measures suggesting that the new policy was more effective.

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Date Created
2011

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Stealth assessment of self-regulative behaviors within a game-based environment

Description

Students' ability to regulate and control their behaviors during learning has been shown to be a critical skill for academic success. However, researchers often struggle with ways to capture the nuances of this ability, often solely relying on self-report measures.

Students' ability to regulate and control their behaviors during learning has been shown to be a critical skill for academic success. However, researchers often struggle with ways to capture the nuances of this ability, often solely relying on self-report measures. This thesis proposal employs a novel approach to investigating variations in students' ability to self-regulate by using process data from the game-based Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) iSTART-ME. This approach affords a nuanced examination of how students' regulate their interactions with game-based features at both a coarse-grained and fine-grain levels and the ultimate impact that those behaviors have on in-system performance and learning outcomes (i.e., self-explanation quality). This thesis is comprised of two submitted manuscripts that examined how a group of 40 high school students chose to engage with game-based features and how those interactions influenced their target skill performance. Findings suggest that in-system log data has the potential to provide stealth assessments of students' self-regulation while learning.

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2014

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Does self-regulated learning-skills training improve high-school students' self-regulation, math achievement, and motivation while using an intelligent tutor?

Description

This study empirically evaluated the effectiveness of the instructional design, learning tools, and role of the teacher in three versions of a semester-long, high-school remedial Algebra I course to determine what impact self-regulated learning skills and learning pattern training have

This study empirically evaluated the effectiveness of the instructional design, learning tools, and role of the teacher in three versions of a semester-long, high-school remedial Algebra I course to determine what impact self-regulated learning skills and learning pattern training have on students' self-regulation, math achievement, and motivation. The 1st version was a business-as-usual traditional classroom teaching mathematics with direct instruction. The 2rd version of the course provided students with self-paced, individualized Algebra instruction with a web-based, intelligent tutor. The 3rd version of the course coupled self-paced, individualized instruction on the web-based, intelligent Algebra tutor coupled with a series of e-learning modules on self-regulated learning knowledge and skills that were distributed throughout the semester. A quasi-experimental, mixed methods evaluation design was used by assigning pre-registered, high-school remedial Algebra I class periods made up of an approximately equal number of students to one of the three study conditions or course versions: (a) the control course design, (b) web-based, intelligent tutor only course design, and (c) web-based, intelligent tutor + SRL e-learning modules course design. While no statistically significant differences on SRL skills, math achievement or motivation were found between the three conditions, effect-size estimates provide suggestive evidence that using the SRL e-learning modules based on ARCS motivation model (Keller, 2010) and Let Me Learn learning pattern instruction (Dawkins, Kottkamp, & Johnston, 2010) may help students regulate their learning and improve their study skills while using a web-based, intelligent Algebra tutor as evidenced by positive impacts on math achievement, motivation, and self-regulated learning skills. The study also explored predictive analyses using multiple regression and found that predictive models based on independent variables aligned to student demographics, learning mastery skills, and ARCS motivational factors are helpful in defining how to further refine course design and design learning evaluations that measure achievement, motivation, and self-regulated learning in web-based learning environments, including intelligent tutoring systems.

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Date Created
2013

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Exploring the use of self-explanation prompts in a collaborative learning environment

Description

A recorded tutorial dialogue can produce positive learning gains, when observed and used to promote discussion between a pair of learners; however, this same effect does not typically occur when an leaner observes a tutorial dialogue by himself or herself.

A recorded tutorial dialogue can produce positive learning gains, when observed and used to promote discussion between a pair of learners; however, this same effect does not typically occur when an leaner observes a tutorial dialogue by himself or herself. One potential approach to enhancing learning in the latter situation is by incorporating self-explanation prompts, a proven technique for encouraging students to engage in active learning and attend to the material in a meaningful way. This study examined whether learning from observing recorded tutorial dialogues could be made more effective by adding self-explanation prompts in computer-based learning environment. The research questions in this two-experiment study were (a) Do self-explanation prompts help support student learning while watching a recorded dialogue? and (b) Does collaboratively observing (in dyads) a tutorial dialogue with self-explanation prompts help support student learning while watching a recorded dialogue? In Experiment 1, 66 participants were randomly assigned as individuals to a physics lesson (a) with self-explanation prompts (Condition 1) or (b) without self-explanation prompts (Condition 2). In Experiment 2, 20 participants were randomly assigned in 10 pairs to the same physics lesson (a) with self-explanation prompts (Condition 1) or (b) without self-explanation prompts (Condition 2). Pretests and posttests were administered, as well as other surveys that measured motivation and system usability. Although supplemental analyses showed some significant differences among individual scale items or factors, neither primary results for Experiment 1 or Experiment 2 were significant for changes in posttest scores from pretest scores for learning, motivation, or system usability assessments.

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Date Created
2018

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Providing Intelligent and Adaptive Support in Concept Map-based Learning Environments

Description

Concept maps are commonly used knowledge visualization tools and have been shown to have a positive impact on learning. The main drawbacks of concept mapping are the requirement of training, and lack of feedback support. Thus, prior research has attempted

Concept maps are commonly used knowledge visualization tools and have been shown to have a positive impact on learning. The main drawbacks of concept mapping are the requirement of training, and lack of feedback support. Thus, prior research has attempted to provide support and feedback in concept mapping, such as by developing computer-based concept mapping tools, offering starting templates and navigational supports, as well as providing automated feedback. Although these approaches have achieved promising results, there are still challenges that remain to be solved. For example, there is a need to create a concept mapping system that reduces the extraneous effort of editing a concept map while encouraging more cognitively beneficial behaviors. Also, there is little understanding of the cognitive process during concept mapping. What’s more, current feedback mechanisms in concept mapping only focus on the outcome of the map, instead of the learning process.

This thesis work strives to solve the fundamental research question: How to leverage computer technologies to intelligently support concept mapping to promote meaningful learning? To approach this research question, I first present an intelligent concept mapping system, MindDot, that supports concept mapping via innovative integration of two features, hyperlink navigation, and expert template. The system reduces the effort of creating and modifying concept maps while encouraging beneficial activities such as comparing related concepts and establishing relationships among them. I then present the comparative strategy metric that modes student learning by evaluating behavioral patterns and learning strategies. Lastly, I develop an adaptive feedback system that provides immediate diagnostic feedback in response to both the key learning behaviors during concept mapping and the correctness and completeness of the created maps.

Empirical evaluations indicated that the integrated navigational and template support in MindDot fostered effective learning behaviors and facilitating learning achievements. The comparative strategy model was shown to be highly representative of learning characteristics such as motivation, engagement, misconceptions, and predicted learning results. The feedback tutor also demonstrated positive impacts on supporting learning and assisting the development of effective learning strategies that prepare learners for future learning. This dissertation contributes to the field of supporting concept mapping with designs of technological affordances, a process-based student model, an adaptive feedback tutor, empirical evaluations of these proposed innovations, and implications for future support in concept mapping.

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Date Created
2019

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Student modeling for English language learners in a moved by reading intervention

Description

EMBRACE (Enhanced Moved By Reading to Accelerate Comprehension in English) is an IPad application that uses the Moved By Reading strategy to help improve the reading comprehension skills of bilingual (Spanish speaking) English Language Learners (ELLs). In EMBRACE, students read

EMBRACE (Enhanced Moved By Reading to Accelerate Comprehension in English) is an IPad application that uses the Moved By Reading strategy to help improve the reading comprehension skills of bilingual (Spanish speaking) English Language Learners (ELLs). In EMBRACE, students read the text of a story and then move images corresponding to the text that they read. According to the embodied cognition theory, this grounds reading comprehension in physical experiences and thus is more engaging.

In this thesis, I used the log data from 20 students in grades 2-5 to design a skill model for a student using EMBRACE. A skill model is the set of knowledge components that a student needs to master in order to comprehend the text in EMBRACE. A good skill model will improve understanding of the mistakes students make and thus aid in the design of useful feedback for the student.. In this context, the skill model consists of vocabulary and syntax associated with the steps that students performed. I mapped each step in EMBRACE to one or more skills (vocabulary and syntax) from the model. After every step, the skill level is updated in the model. Thus, if a student answered the previous step incorrectly, the corresponding skills are decremented and if the student answered the previous question correctly, the corresponding skills are incremented, through the Bayesian Knowledge Tracing algorithm.

I then correlated the students’ predicted scores (computed from their skill levels) to their posttest scores. I evaluated the students’ predicted scores (computed from their skill levels) by comparing them to their posttest scores. The two sets of scores were not highly correlated, but the results gave insights into potential improvements that could be made to the system with respect to user interaction, posttest scores and modeling algorithm.

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Date Created
2016

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A Neural Network Model for a Tutoring Companion Supporting Students in a Programming with Java Course

Description

Feedback represents a vital component of the learning process and is especially important for Computer Science students. With class sizes that are often large, it can be challenging to provide individualized feedback to students. Consistent, constructive, supportive feedback through a

Feedback represents a vital component of the learning process and is especially important for Computer Science students. With class sizes that are often large, it can be challenging to provide individualized feedback to students. Consistent, constructive, supportive feedback through a tutoring companion can scaffold the learning process for students.

This work contributes to the construction of a tutoring companion designed to provide this feedback to students. It aims to bridge the gap between the messages the compiler delivers, and the support required for a novice student to understand the problem and fix their code. Particularly, it provides support for students learning about recursion in a beginning university Java programming course. Besides also providing affective support, a tutoring companion could be more effective when it is embedded into the environment that the student is already using, instead of an additional tool for the student to learn. The proposed Tutoring Companion is embedded into the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

This thesis focuses on the reasoning model for the Tutoring Companion and is developed using the techniques of a neural network. While a student uses the IDE, the Tutoring Companion collects 16 data points, including the presence of certain key words, cyclomatic complexity, and error messages from the compiler, every time it detects an event, such as a run attempt, debug attempt, or a request for help, in the IDE. This data is used as inputs to the neural network. The neural network produces a correlating single output code for the feedback to be provided to the student, which is displayed in the IDE.

The effectiveness of the approach is examined among 38 Computer Science students who solve a programming assignment while the Tutoring Companion assists them. Data is collected from these interactions, including all inputs and outputs for the neural network, and students are surveyed regarding their experience. Results suggest that students feel supported while working with the Companion and promising potential for using a neural network with an embedded companion in the future. Challenges in developing an embedded companion are discussed, as well as opportunities for future work.

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2019

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Building adaptation and error feedback in an intelligent tutoring system for reading comprehension of English language learners

Description

Many English Language Learner (ELL) children struggle with knowledge of vocabulary and syntax. Enhanced Moved by Reading to Accelerate Comprehension in English (EMBRACE) is an interactive storybook application that teaches children to read by moving pictures on the screen to

Many English Language Learner (ELL) children struggle with knowledge of vocabulary and syntax. Enhanced Moved by Reading to Accelerate Comprehension in English (EMBRACE) is an interactive storybook application that teaches children to read by moving pictures on the screen to act out the sentences in the text. However, EMBRACE presents the same level of text to all users, and it is limited in its ability to provide error feedback, as it can only determine whether a user action is right or wrong. EMBRACE could help readers learn more effectively if it personalized its instruction with texts that fit their current reading level and feedback that addresses ways to correct their mistakes. Improvements were made to the system by applying design principles of intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs). The new system added features to track the student’s reading comprehension skills, including vocabulary, syntax, and usability, based on various user actions, as well as features to adapt text complexity and provide more specific error feedback using the skills. A pilot study was conducted with 7 non-ELL students to evaluate the functionality and effectiveness of these features. The results revealed both strengths and weaknesses of the ITS. While skill updates appeared most accurate when users made particular kinds of vocabulary and syntax errors, it was not able to correctly identify other kinds of syntax errors or provide feedback when skill values became too high. Additionally, vocabulary error feedback and adapting the complexity of syntax were helpful, but syntax error feedback and adapting the complexity of vocabulary were not as helpful. Overall, children enjoy using EMBRACE, and building an intelligent tutoring system into the application presents a promising approach to make reading a both fun and effective experience.

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Date Created
2017

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Analytical Methods for High Dimensional Physiological Sensors

Description

This dissertation proposes a new set of analytical methods for high dimensional physiological sensors. The methodologies developed in this work were motivated by problems in learning science, but also apply to numerous disciplines where high dimensional signals are present. In

This dissertation proposes a new set of analytical methods for high dimensional physiological sensors. The methodologies developed in this work were motivated by problems in learning science, but also apply to numerous disciplines where high dimensional signals are present. In the education field, more data is now available from traditional sources and there is an important need for analytical methods to translate this data into improved learning. Affecting Computing which is the study of new techniques that develop systems to recognize and model human emotions is integrating different physiological signals such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) to detect and model emotions which later can be used to improve these learning systems.

The first contribution proposes an event-crossover (ECO) methodology to analyze performance in learning environments. The methodology is relevant to studies where it is desired to evaluate the relationships between sentinel events in a learning environment and a physiological measurement which is provided in real time.

The second contribution introduces analytical methods to study relationships between multi-dimensional physiological signals and sentinel events in a learning environment. The methodology proposed learns physiological patterns in the form of node activations near time of events using different statistical techniques.

The third contribution addresses the challenge of performance prediction from physiological signals. Features from the sensors which could be computed early in the learning activity were developed for input to a machine learning model. The objective is to predict success or failure of the student in the learning environment early in the activity. EEG was used as the physiological signal to train a pattern recognition algorithm in order to derive meta affective states.

The last contribution introduced a methodology to predict a learner's performance using Bayes Belief Networks (BBNs). Posterior probabilities of latent nodes were used as inputs to a predictive model in real-time as evidence was accumulated in the BBN.

The methodology was applied to data streams from a video game and from a Damage Control Simulator which were used to predict and quantify performance. The proposed methods provide cognitive scientists with new tools to analyze subjects in learning environments.

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Date Created
2017