June 15, 2006
Educating myself about Education
I began my research about Education by starting with a question:
What would the College of Education teach a first-year student about how to be a teacher? What topics would a course like "Education 101" cover?
I hunted around, hoping to find a course website with assignments or even a reference to a textbook... but no luck. I even (very) briefly considered enrolling myself in the college and signing up for a couple of the courses, heh heh.
Somewhat defeated, I switched tracks back off of Education towards my home territory in Computer Science. I dug up this paper written by my favourite German researcher, Carsten Ullrich, and read about how his ActiveMath computer system models pedagogy in Pedagogical Rules in ActiveMath and their Pedagogical Foundations. He makes reference to an Educational Technology researcher named M. David Merrill, who has worked on an excellent and thorough review of instructional design theories in First Principles of Instruction. Hurray!
From skimming Merrill's work, I found these particularly interesting, also in brackets I've marked Ullrich's hooks back into Computer Science terminology:
- Instructional design theories:
- Problem - "Learning is facilitated when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems."
- Acivation - "Learning is facilitated when relevant previous experience is activated." (Learner recalls, describes, applies)
- Demonstration - "Learning is facilitated when the instruction demonstrates what is to be learned rather than merely telling information about what is to be learned." (Examples)
- Application - "Learning is facilitated when learners are required to use their new knowledge or skill to solve problems." (Feedback/error diagnosis)
- Integration - "Learning is facilitated when learners are encouraged to integrate (transfer) the new knowledge or skill into their everyday life." (Motivation)
- Student modelling
- Topic mastery levels / Learning outcomes
- Knowledge / Comprehension / Application
- Cognitive modelling
- individual tends to organise information into wholes or parts
- individual is inclined to represent information during thinking verbally or in mental pictures
- Topic mastery levels / Learning outcomes
Reading about Scenarios in the ActiveMath system was also very interesting:
- Overview Scenario - general overview of course concepts
- Guided Tour - can take 3 different angles on the course, one for each of Bloom's Knowledge/Comprehension/Application
- Knowledge Scenario - runs the student through a dimension of the course (or can be thought of as a separate course altogether) that enables the student to recall/describe/name concepts
- Comprehension Scenario - generates a course that enables the student to explain/identify/grasp concepts
- Application Scenario - generates a course that enables the student to apply/use concepts.
- Union Scenario - Honestly, I didn't understand this one. I quote from the paper, "The fourth scenario, in principle the union of the above scenarios, teaches the student about the chosen concepts without focusing on a cognitive domain. These scenarios use the ActiveMath extension competence-level of the OMDoc  metadata. Using this metadata, an autho can cencode whether the learning outcome of an element mainly targets knowledge, comprehension, or application." ....Perhaps this is the one that adapts each concept to the learner.(???)
- Excercises-only Scenario
- Concepts-only Scenario (exam preparation)
- Rehersal Scenario - shows the learner learning objects that they've already seen
- Terse scenario - removes all well-mastered content
- Polya-style proof-presentation scenario - not much detail on this one
I think I'll go get another cup of coffee and read Merrill's paper more thoroughly.
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Index to Steph's NotesFeb. 24th 2007 - Weee! This new part of my website is not an entry, but rather a permanent fixture whose purpose is to "Look Down on All Those Notes With Some Grand Vision of Organization". Wish me luck. LOL
- Representing meta-data (fuel) & the different kinds of "hooks" that intelligent systems can use (how fuel is injected into the motor of the engine)
- Motivation: Semantic net / Rationalizable to a machine
- Semantic network
- Genetic graph
- Prerequisite AND/OR graph
- Constraint Satisfaction Problems
- Bayesian networks / causal graphs
- Technology & Philosophy: RDF, modus ponens,
- Predicates, Logic & situation calculus
- What kinds of data? - What kinds of meta-data would an AIEd system possibly need, and how is it represented?
- task domain knowledge
- "is-prerequisite-to"-type knowledge
- interactions with learning objects & other learners - (location, composition is-a/part-of, sequencing by restricting navigation, personalization, ontologies for LO context)
- lesson plans, curriculum plans, practicing sessions (What is stored, what is generated on the fly? What is remembered?)
- How to organize it - When is it stored in a database? Meta-data? Agent memory banks? Protocols? Repositories? XML files? Home-servers? WSDL services? Frameworks? Portable banks? P2P access?
- Database of object-agent interactions
- Concept of "Home" on a P2P network -- maybe the bulk of a learning object's usage data is on its home server and can be queried using WSDL or something ? Similar homes for each student's usage history, etc. Baggage problem.
- Links to the ontologies
- referring to a concept/relationship - ex. AgentOwl?
- Generation of this data
- Rationalization: For use by other AIEd systems
- What is generated - discuss items under part I.C.
- When it's generated - describe procedural model, which parts of the engine generate what (isa-part-of data, XML feeds, web services, meta data bout groups and collaboration, protocols, examples Friend of A Friend FOAF project)
- Technical notes of HOW it's generated: JENA, issues of implementation demo, my Hermione & Ron agent examples, lol
- Usage of this generated data - see part IV. A.
- Given the engine, who uses it?
- Students / Learners / "Me"
- instructional planning, student model, pre-requisites, tutoring, coaching, collaboration,constructivism
- Teachers / Educators / "Me"
- putting together lessons
- be able to browse through task domain knowledge in an objective / encyclopaedia format, then be able to pick-and-choose what you need for your students
- compose examples, design explanations, pull together diagrams, learning objects, etc. Haystack Relo?
- Administration / Governement / Structure / Crowd Control
- as restrictions/obstacles/sand pit to the robot in agent environment
- can't just have a swarm of students and teachers out there -- need structure of courses, curriculum, objectives, requirements (at least, we do in this day and age!) - Report cards, evaluation, feedback
- government, marks, certificates, requirements, funding, curriclum, attendance, delinquent, non-attending, motivation
- school''s images, goals, strengths, payroll, HR, security, accounts, permissions, privacy
- registration, failed courses
- User Environment -- How does this engine work? What does the user see on the screen?
- Introduction - Given a background in educational psychology, how does the system present itself -- what does the user see, and were does this data come from? Links to thoughts from part I.)
- Task Domain Browsing - Suppose you're you're just idly browsing through the "raw" content. How would it look when it's not wrapped around a learning-context or lesson or tutorial or anything. 'Cross between browsing a raw task domain ontology and browsing a learning object repository.
- Cleaning up the data -- Visualizing the data for humans to pick through the task domain and work on it. Suppose the "Subject Expert" discovers an advancement in science and needs to update the "world's" domain knowledge. (I used the "Subject Expert" terminology from Ontologies to Support Learning Design Context - Thanks Chris) How would they make corrections to ontologies and learning objects, or at least point the users of "old" objects towards adopting the newer ones.
- "Modes" - Learning & Lessons / Checklist - Homework, Assignments, Courses being taken / Collaborative mode / Teaching mode / Calendar- email -adminisrative mode -- See also the different kinds of scenarios in the ActiveMath system
- Evolution of this engine
- target some key implementation hooks discussed in part I - design an experiment/demo
- scrape a page - (Note, scraping can only give objective data, not in-context dat)
- LO repository - related to browsing the task domain?
- a learners "To Do" list - where does it come from? Assignments, courses.
- sample group scenario
- sample teacher lesson planning
- sample data "left behind"
- sample use of that data
- Data mining (for what? lol )
- discovery / generation of ontologies - when do you need to hunt for them, and when do you have to have a solidly-known & predictable ontology?
- I/O - where it happens, which languages, protocols, which agents perform i/o and when, precepts, actuators
- Role Assignments
- My Environment Adapts to me
- Displaying feedback from the server on JSP pages (Software engineering considerations)
- Sketching out a design (Content planning vs. Delivery planning)
- agent negotiations / social structures / ummm... Web 2.0 ?
- garbage collection of meta data
- Artificial Intelligence & Evolution
- Memory Culling: Necessary part of intelligence? (artificial or human)
- Applications for the Genetic/Evolutionary algorithm
- open learning environments
- Agents, pets, grouping, Community modelling
- Protocols - finding groups, cyber dollars, state diagrams (?)
- "Community Studies" - graphs & communication hubs, types of communities (free-for-all, hierarchy of authority, etc.)
- implications of joining a community - what do you share, which parts of your student model are relevant
- Walls & sand traps -- deliberate restrictions as problem-solving for learning
- Communication channels - individual-to-individual, individual-to-community, chat channels, agent-only "administrative" communications, ex. requests for related learning objects in a particular community, etc.
- Educational/Pedagogical focus (this part probably shouldn't be its own section but rather incorporated into the whole picture, but it's separate for me right now because I'm still only just starting to learn about it.)
- Semantics - what there is to talk about in Education
- ex. Merril's First Principles of Instruction, linking educational terms to AI terms
- Pedagogical skills for tutors -- supporting human *and* artifical tutors
- Student modelling - what the machine needs to know about the student, pedagogically-speaking, about learning history/preferences
- Roles - Simulated students, Coaches, Tutors, Teachers,