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Cambridge, MA, United States

Gal Y.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Gal Y.,Harvard University | Reddy S.,Harvard University | Shieber S.M.,Harvard University | And 2 more authors.
Artificial Intelligence | Year: 2012

This paper describes a challenging plan recognition problem that arises in environments in which agents engage widely in exploratory behavior, and presents new algorithms for effective plan recognition in such settings. In exploratory domains, agents actions map onto logs of behavior that include switching between activities, extraneous actions, and mistakes. Flexible pedagogical software, such as the application considered in this paper for statistics education, is a paradigmatic example of such domains, but many other settings exhibit similar characteristics. The paper establishes the task of plan recognition in exploratory domains to be NP-hard and compares several approaches for recognizing plans in these domains, including new heuristic methods that vary the extent to which they employ backtracking, as well as a reduction to constraint-satisfaction problems. The algorithms were empirically evaluated on peoples interaction with flexible, open-ended statistics education software used in schools. Data was collected from adults using the software in a lab setting as well as middle school students using the software in the classroom. The constraint satisfaction approaches were complete, but were an order of magnitude slower than the heuristic approaches. In addition, the heuristic approaches were able to perform within 4% of the constraint satisfaction approaches on student data from the classroom, which reflects the intended user population of the software. These results demonstrate that the heuristic approaches offer a good balance between performance and computation time when recognizing peoples activities in the pedagogical domain of interest. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Sylvan E.A.,TERC
Learning in the Disciplines: ICLS 2010 Conference Proceedings - 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences | Year: 2010

This paper introduces Online Communities of Creators, the subset of social networking sites in which the focus is sharing, developing and understanding personal creations. It proposes that two kinds of influence are important in these communities: social influence and project influence. Using multiple linear regressions the factors that predict each type of influence were identified for one Online Community of Creators called the Scratch Community web site. © ISLS. Source

Rubin A.,TERC
E-Learning and Digital Media | Year: 2014

A picture is worth a thousand words: here is several thousands words' worth of memories of the work in Alaska that provided the fodder for the book Electronic Quills. Source

Varelas M.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Pappas C.C.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Tucker-Raymond E.,TERC | Kane J.,University of Illinois at Chicago | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching | Year: 2010

In this study we explored how dramatic enactments of scientific phenomena and concepts mediate children's learning of scientific meanings along material, social, and representational dimensions. These drama activities were part of two integrated science-literacy units, Matter and Forest, which we developed and implemented in six urban primary-school (grades 1st-3rd) classrooms. We examine and discuss the possibilities and challenges that arise as children and teachers engaged in scientific knowing through such experiences. We use Halliday's (1978. Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press) three metafunctions of communicative activity-ideational, interpersonal, and textual-to map out the place of the multimodal drama genre in elementary urban school science classrooms of young children. As the children talked, moved, gestured, and positioned themselves in space, they constructed and shared meanings with their peers and their teachers as they enacted their roles. Through their bodies they negotiated ambiguity and re-articulated understandings, thus marking this embodied meaning making as a powerful way to engage with science. Furthermore, children's whole bodies became central, explicit tools used to accomplish the goal of representing this imaginary scientific world, as their teachers helped them differentiate it from the real world of the model they were enacting. Their bodies operated on multiple mediated levels: as material objects that moved through space, as social objects that negotiated classroom relationships and rules, and as metaphorical entities that stood for water molecules in different states of matter or for plants, animals, or nonliving entities in a forest food web. Children simultaneously negotiated meanings across all of these levels, and in doing so, acted out improvisational drama as they thought and talked science. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Touretzky D.S.,Carnegie Mellon University | Marghitu D.,Auburn University | Ludi S.,Rochester Institute of Technology | Bernstein D.,TERC | Ni L.,Georgia Institute of Technology
SIGCSE 2013 - Proceedings of the 44th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education | Year: 2013

We describe a three-stage model of computing instruction beginning with a simple, highly scaffolded programming en-vironment (Kodu) and progressing to more challenging frame-works (Alice and Lego NXT-G). In moving between frame-works, students explore the similarities and differences in how concepts such as variables, conditionals, and looping are realized. This can potentially lead to a deeper under-standing of programming, bringing students closer to true computational thinking. Some novel strategies for teach-ing with Kodu are outlined. Finally, we briefly report on our methodology and select preliminary results from a pi-lot study using this curriculum with students ages 10-17, including several with disabilities. Copyright © 2013 ACM. Source

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