HCII Faculty Among LearnLab Experts Who Participate in NSF Meeting

February 16, 2016
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The National Science Foundation recently hosted a three-day conference to celebrate the success of its six Science of Learning Centers, and three HCII faculty members were among the representatives from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh's LearnLab.

During the conference, key members from each center presented their educational research accomplishments to underscore the importance of establishing a sustainable science of learning community to produce breakthroughs that impact education. LearnLab, which leverages cognitive theory and computational modeling to identify the instructional conditions that lead to robust student learning, was represented by the HCII's Vincent Aleven, Ken Koedinger and Carolyn Rose; as well as David Klahr from CMU's Department of Psychology; and the University of Pittsburgh's Tim Nokes and Lauren Resnick.

Koedinger, director of LearnLab, outlined how the joint CMU-Pitt center has facilitated more than 360 live, cross-domain classroom experiments. By demonstrating successful instructional interventions and using fine-grain process data, the experiments revealed insights into the causal mechanisms of implicit and explicit learning processes and the social and motivational conditions that enable them.

"Integrating insights across the experiments allowed us to advance an education-relevant learning theory that culminated in the Knowledge-Learning-Instruction (KLI) framework, which demonstrates how different knowledge goals require different optimal configurations of instructional techniques because they require different primary learning processes, like memory, induction or sense-making," Koedinger said.

Koedinger and Aleven delivered the talk, "Improving Learning and Learning Science Through Technology," while Rose and Resnick spoke on "Technology-Infused Professional Development: Towards Socializing Intelligence in Urban Classrooms."

"LearnLab researchers have led the way in developing data-driven learner models that allow us to go beyond reliance on intuitions as students and teachers, on how to optimize learning experiences," said Soo-Siang Lim, program director for the NSF Science of Learning Program.

LearnLab is a partner of CMU's Simon Initiative, which harnesses a cross-disciplinary, learning-engineering ecosystem that has developed over several decades at CMU with the goal of measurably improving student learning outcomes.

Read the full story on the School of Computer Science website.