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Thesis Defense - Ahmad

CINC 102

Generating Conceptually Personalized Interactions for Educational Digital Libraries Using Concept Maps
Computer Science PhD Candidate

Personalized or one-to-one instruction holds great potential for improving the state of education. But due to lack of well prepared teachers and resources this goal can only be approximated with the help of new and innovative computational technology. My research attempts to improve the state of education by aiming to support personalized student interaction with online learning environments in formal and informal educational settings by developing methods and techniques that are scalable, domain neutral, and can be used with open ended student inquiries. In particular this research focuses on conceptual personalization of interaction within online learning environments based on student and domain concept maps which are used as the semi-formal knowledge representation scheme. To address the conceptual personalization agenda three activities were carried out during the course of this research: (1) Assessment study, (2) Algorithm design and implementation, and (3) Adaptive learning environments prototyping. In the assessment study, cognitive process of human experts were analyzed to understand operations used by human when assessing student understanding by comparing a student concept map to the domain concept map. The synthesized operations were then used to guide the development of algorithms that can automatically assess student conceptual understanding from their concept map. Lastly, the results from the automatic student assessment were embedded into task specific adaptive learning environments.

Committee: Tamara Sumner, Associate Professor (Chair)
James Martin, Professor
Gerhard Fischer, Professor
Eliana Colunga, Department of Psychology
Kirsten Butcher, University of Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center
Francis Molina, American Association for the Advancement of Science

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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