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Posts under ‘Educational Technology’

Making Cognitive Tutors Easier

There are (essentially) two types of e-learning systems: Cognitive tutors – which emphasize deeper problem solving skills Curriculum sequencing  – which don’t diagnose cognitive skills but adapt engagement in various ways For a good overview, see: Desmarais, Michel C., and Ryan SJ d Baker. “A review of recent advances in learner and skill modeling in [...]

Personalized e-Learning Styles

Although a bit of a stretch, this post was inspired by the following blog post, which talks about the Facebook API in terms of learning styles. If you’re interested in such things, you are probably also aware of learning record stores and things like the Tin Can API.  You need these things if you’re supporting [...]

Wiley PLUS and Quantum

I was recently pleased to come across this video showing that Quantum has done a nice job of knowledge engineering in the domain of accounting with Wiley. Most of the success of cognitive tutors has been confined to mathematics, but Quantum has an interesting history of applying knowledge-based cognitive tutoring techniques to chemistry.  In this [...]

Authoring questions for education and assessment

Thesis: the overwhelming investment in educational technology will have its highest economic and social impact in technology that directly increases the rate of learning and the amount learned, not in technology that merely provides electronic access to abundant educational resources or on-line courses.  More emphasis is needed on the cognitive skills and knowledge required to [...]

Cognitive modeling of assessment items

Look for a forthcoming post on the broader subject of personalized e-learning.  In the meantime, here’s a tip on writing good multiple choice questions: target wrong answers to diagnose misconceptions. Better approaches to adaptive education model the learning objectives that are assessed by questions such as the following from the American Academy for the Advancement [...]

Electronically enhanced learning

We are working on educational technology.  That is, technology to assist in education.  More specifically, we are developing software that helps people learn.  There are many types of such software.  We are most immediately focused on two such types. adaptive educational technology for personalized learning cognitive tutors The term “adaptive” with regard to educational technology [...]

IBM Watson in medical education

IBM recently posted this video which suggests the relevance of Watson’s capabilities to medical education. The demo uses cases such as occur on the USMLE exam and Waton’s ability to perform evidentiary reason given large bodies of text. The “reasoning paths” followed by Watson in presenting explanations or decision support material use a nice, increasingly [...]

Suggested questions: Inquire vs. Knewton

Knewton is an interesting company providing a recommendation service for adaptive learning applications.  In a recent post, Jonathon Goldman describes an algorithmic approach to generating questions.  The approach focuses on improving the manual authoring of test questions (known in the educational realm as “assessment items“).  It references work at Microsoft Research on the problem of [...]

Automatic Knowledge Graphs for Assessment Items and Learning Objects

As I mentioned in this post, we’re having fun layering questions and answers with explanations on top of electronic textbook content. The basic idea is to couple a graph structure of questions, answers, and explanations into the text using semantics.  The trick is to do that well and automatically enough that we can deliver effective [...]

Higher Education on a Flatter Earth

We’re collaborating on some educational work and came across this sentence in a textbook on finance and accounting: All of these are potentially good economic decisions. We use statistical NLP but assist with the ambiguities.  In doing this, we relate questions and answers and explanations to the text. We also extract the terminology and produce [...]