Using Multiple Representations to Simultaneously Learn Computational Thinking and Middle School Science

AAAI Conferences

Computational Thinking (CT) is considered a core competency in problem formulation and problem solving. We have developed the Computational Thinking using Simulation and Modeling (CTSiM) learning environment to help middle school students learn science and CT concepts simultaneously. In this paper, we present an approach that leverages multiple linked representations to help students learn by constructing and analyzing computational models of science topics. Results from a recent study show that students successfully use the linked representations to become better modelers and learners.


Curiosity and the Development of Question Generation Skills

AAAI Conferences

The current study investigates the relationship between children’s curiosity and question asking ability. Generation of two types of questions was assessed: identification (yes/no questions asked to identify a target from an array) and understanding questions, asked to learn more about a topic. The latter was related to children’s curiosity, as was the ability to recognize the effectiveness of questions in solving a mystery. Training on asking identification questions was effective in improving children’s ability to ask that type of question, but did not transfer to the other task. Training on asking understanding questions was not successful. Children’s curiosity did not influence the effectiveness of the training.


Coroner finds no evidence of trauma in Colton sixth-grader who died after school soccer game

Los Angeles Times

A Colton sixth-grader who collapsed during a school soccer game and died Tuesday suffered from an enlarged heart and early signs of congestive heart failure, according to a preliminary coroner's report. The death of 12-year-old Dominick Gallegos stunned classmates at Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School this week, while the boy's parents claimed that a bully had stomped on their son's chest. On Thursday, however, the San Bernardino County Coroner posted a preliminary autopsy that reported no evidence of trauma in the boy's death. "An autopsy was performed on Dominick today," the report stated. "No evidence of trauma was found.


Do online courses increase access to education?

PBS NewsHour

These papers have not been peer-reviewed, but are circulated by their authors for comment and discussion. With the NBER's blessing, Making Sen$e is pleased to feature these summaries regularly on our page. The following summary was written by the NBER and doesn't necessarily reflect the views of Making Sen$e. Online coursework has been heralded as potentially transformative for higher education, but little is known about whether it increases the number of people pursuing education or simply substitutes for existing options. In "Can Online Delivery Increase Access to Education?"


From Insights to Interventions: Informed Design of Discussion Affordances for Natural Collaborative Exchange

AAAI Conferences

Despite studies showing collaboration to be beneficial both in terms of student satisfaction and learning, isolation is the norm in MOOCs. Two problems limiting the success of collaboration in MOOCs are the lack of support for team formation and structured collaboration support. Lack of support and strategies for team formation prevents teams from being set up for success from the beginning. Lack of structured support during synchronous collaboration has been demonstrated to produce significantly less learning than supported collaboration. This paper describes a deliberation based team formation approach and a scripted collaboration framework for MOOCs aimed at addressing these problems under the umbrella of Discussion Affordances for Natural Collaborative Exchange (DANCE) whose overarching focus is the enhancement of team-based MOOCs. These two examples of current work have been used as illustrations of insights informing interventions in MOOCs.