June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1597.1 - 22.1597.15
Use of Software Agent-Monitored Tutorials to Guide Student Learning in Computer-Aided Design, Analysis and Mathematics ProjectsIn this research, internet chat-based tutorials are being developed for integrating a variety ofskills into mechanical engineering undergraduate and middle school outreach programs. At theundergraduate level, these tutorials reinforce fundamental concepts through dynamic dialoguesbetween tutorial agents and student user groups. In outreach efforts, participants are led toconsider how their activities relate to the broad mechanical engineering profession.In undergraduate projects, fundamental technical skills and intuition in interpreting results areemphasized. An important secondary goal is to train undergraduate students to effectivelycommunicate technically with remote team members. A recent emphasis is agent use in projectsemphasizing links between mathematics fundamentals and applied engineering tasks, with thegoal of increasing students’ conceptual links between math and engineering.In a typical assignment, students are asked to perform a design or modeling task. Students workin teams, but team members are distributed within a room or between remote sites, linked by agraphical and text interface. As students collaborate electronically, an intelligent agent monitorstheir text interactions and interjects questions or comments in response to the use of key phrasesor due to other triggers. This platform is being used to help automate some collaborativelearning experiences and to study how students can effectively interact with each other and withthe software agents. It is also being used to evaluate the relative effectiveness of agentinteractions compared to personal interactions with a teaching assistant. This includesincorporating varying amounts of social qualities into the agent’s interactions with students.Evaluations of the effectiveness of student learning are correlated with the amount of socialqualities in the agents’ interactions with students.In addition to offering new methods for engaging students in project tasks, this approach is seenas a potential pathway toward increasing student exposure to collaborative project work,including distance learning experiences. Used properly, agent-guided interactions can automateand greatly reduce the overhead associated with the offering of collaborative projects in courses.
Beuth, J. L., & Kumar, R., & Rose, C. P. (2011, June), Use of Software Agent-Monitored Tutorials to Guide Student Learning in Computer-Aided Design, Analysis and Mathematics Projects Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/19004
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