We are interested in understanding how digital ink and speech are used together in presentation. Our long range goal is to develop tools to analyze the ink and speech channels of recorded lectures. As a first step in this process, we are making a detailed study of instructors' digital ink usage in real university lectures. This work is being done in the context of a Tablet-PC based presentation system we have developed, but is applicable to other systems which record digital ink and speech. In this paper we concentrate on how instructors draw and use diagrams in the process of lecture delivery and identify phenomena which are important when automatically processing the diagrammatic ink.
Effective teaching involves treating the presentation of new material and the assessment of students' mastery of this material as part of a seamless and continuous feedback cycle. We have developed a computer system, called Classroom Learning Partner (CLP), that supports this methodology, and we have used it in teaching an introductory computer science course at MIT over the past year. Through evaluation of controlled classroom experiments, we have demonstrated that this approach reaches students who would have otherwise been left behind, and that it leads to greater attentiveness in class, greater student satisfaction, and better interactions between the instructor and student. The current CLP system consists of a network of Tablet PCs, and software for posing questions to students, interpreting their handwritten answers, and aggregating those answers into equivalence classes, each of which represents a particular level of understanding or misconception of the material. The current system supports a useful set of recognizers for specific types of answers, and employs AI techniques in the knowledge representation and reasoning necessary to support interpretation and aggregation of digital ink answers.
Column n The Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence column discusses and shares innovative educational approaches that teach or leverage AI and its many subfields at all levels of education (K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels). By restructuring the course into a format that was roughly half lecture and half small-group problem solving, I was able to significantly increase student engagement, their understanding and retention of difficult concepts, and my own enjoyment in teaching the class. The ACTIVE Center's design was based on research on the power of collaborative learning to promote student success and retention, particularly for women, underrepresented minorities, and transfer students, who benefit greatly from building stronger connections with their peers through shared active learning experiences (Zhao, Carini, and Kuh 2006; Rypisi, Malcolm, and Kim 2009; Kahveci, Southerland, and Gilmer 2006). The ACTIVE Center, a 40-student classroom, includes movable furniture (20 trapezoidal tables and 40 lightweight rolling chairs) that is typically grouped into 10 hexagonal table clusters but that can also be arranged into lecture-style rows, a boardroom or seminar-style rectangular layout, or individual pair-activity tables. The room also has an Epson Brightlink "smart projector" at the front of the room, four flat-panel displays (which can be driven centrally by the instructor's laptop or individually through HDMI ports), and 10 rolling 4 x 6 foot whiteboards for use during group problem-solving activities, as well as smaller, portable tabletop whiteboards.
his column describes my experience with using a new classroom space (the ACTIVE Center), which was designed to facilitate group-based active learning and problem solving, to teach an introductory artificial intelligence course. By restructuring the course into a format that was roughly half lecture and half small-group problem-solving, I was able to significantly increase student engagement, their understanding and retention of difficult concepts, and my own enjoyment in teaching the class.
In this paper we describe various AI assignments and how online technologies have made these assignments more interactive. Online or distance courses use technologies such as discussion boards, blogs, wikis, online exams, and surveys, to portray course materials. By incorporating these into our AI courses, we can create a virtual environment that fosters peer-to-peer learning and collaboration.