Forbus, Kenneth D. (Northwestern University) | Garnier, Bridget (University of Wisconsin-Madison) | Tikoff, Basil (University of Wisconsin-Madison) | Marko, Wayne (Northwestern University) | Usher, Madeline (Northwestern University) | McLure, Matthew (Northwestern University)
Sketching can be a valuable tool for science education, but it is currently underutilized. Sketch worksheets were developed to help change this, by using AI technology to give students immediate feedback and to give instructors assistance in grading. Sketch worksheets use visual representations automatically computed by CogSketch, which are combined with conceptual information from the OpenCyc ontology. Feedback is provided to students by comparing an instructor’s sketch to a student’s sketch, using the Structure-Mapping Engine. This paper describes our experiences in deploying sketch worksheets in two types of classes: Geoscience and AI. Sketch worksheets for introductory geoscience classes were developed by geoscientists at University of Wisconsin-Madison, authored using CogSketch and used in classes at both Wisconsin and Northwestern University. Sketch worksheets were also developed and deployed for a knowledge representation and reasoning course at Northwestern. Our experience indicates that sketch worksheets can provide helpful on-the-spot feedback to students, and significantly improve grading efficiency, to the point where sketching assignments can be more practical to use broadly in STEM education.
"Our unwavering commitment to promoting the progress of science has opened new windows on the universe, made possible new industries, and improved the lives of all Americans," MIT Vice President for Research Maria T. Zuber told members of the U.S. House of Representatives at a March 21 hearing of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, speaking in her role as chair of the National Science Board (NSB). "The question before us," she continued, "is will the world's richest, most powerful nation continue to invest in our future? Do we still want to be the first to know, to understand, to discover, to invent?" The 25-member NSB is the governing board for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Zuber appeared before the subcommittee at the second in a series of hearings examining the foundation's role in the federal research enterprise.
Geoscience has traditionally struggled with metadata for datasets. There are many fixed metadata schemas to facilitate the search and retrieval of datasets but they have trouble representing the richness of datasets coming from an ever-evolving science. For the IRI Data Library of datasets, we want a more relational and extensible paradigm for metadata. The RDF/OWL framework in the form of OWL ontologies presents that possibility.