1. Ronald Cole
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ronald_Cole2
  3. President & Principal Scientist
  4. My Science Tutor (MyST)
  5. http://boulderlearning.com/products/myst/
  6. Boulder Learning Inc, Boulder Learning Inc
  1. Nicholas Knight
  2. Chief Operating Officer
  3. My Science Tutor (MyST)
  4. http://boulderlearning.com/products/myst/
  5. Boulder Learning Inc, Boulder Learning Inc
  1. Wayne Ward
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Wayne_Ward
  3. Chief Financial Officer & Principal Scientist; Research Professor
  4. My Science Tutor (MyST)
  5. http://boulderlearning.com/products/myst/
  6. Boulder Learning Inc, Boulder Learning Inc, University of Colorado Boulder
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Richard Hudson

    Richard Hudson

    Senior Executive Producer
    May 17, 2016 | 09:25 a.m.

    In this new world of Siri and Cortana, this is very intriguing! (I couldn’t help but recall the fascinating and revealing analysis of misconceptions about batteries and bulbs in the classic series, Minds of Our Own, from Harvard-Smithsonian.) How do the students who participate in these virtual conversations perform when presented with real batteries and bulbs? What other concepts are you teaching with this tool?

  • Icon for: Ronald Cole

    Ronald Cole

    Lead Presenter
    President & Principal Scientist
    May 17, 2016 | 11:34 a.m.

    Thanks Richard, I will check out the Minds of Our Own series. To answer your question, at least indirectly, about hos kids do in hands-on activities, ALL of the tutorial dialogs that 3rd-5th graders have with the virtual tutor Marni occur soon after the participate in small group classroom science investigations using the kit-based FOSS (Full Option Science System program).

    So, all students who conversed with Marni previously worked together in hands-on activities, to build circuits, etc. The tutorial dialogs assume the students have experienced and developed ideas about the science. The tutorial dialogs are designed to help the student construct accurate explanations about the science encountered in the investigations, and to extend their understanding of the science through visualizations and hypothetical questions that stimulate them to reason about and explain it; e.g., “What would happen to the flow of electricity if you flipped the D-Cell?”. In the animations and simulations, students can view the flow of electricity, and see the flow change when the D-cell is flipped. Other researchers have shown these visualizations can lead to deeper learning. The half grade learning gains we obtained in summative evaluations compared kids in classrooms, in 8 areas of science, who did or did not receive supplemental tutoring with Marni. So, it appears that tutorial dialogs with a virtual tutor following hands-on investigations can improve students’ understanding of the science taught in the classroom.

    As to misconceptions, we made a decision early on not to explicitly address common misconceptions that kids have during the dialogs. Rather, Marni’s dialog moves and presentation of media are designed to provide sufficient scaffolding to stimulate reasoning leading to correct answers.

  • Icon for: Robert Tinker

    Robert Tinker

    May 17, 2016 | 04:01 p.m.

    This is a clear demonstration of what can be possible by combining tutoring with voice recognition and automatic text recognition. I’m curious, how robust is it? Kids come up with crazy answers—can Marni deal with, for instance, kids worrying about the gaps in the circuit or thinking water is flowing???

  • Icon for: Jerry Valadez

    Jerry Valadez

    May 17, 2016 | 04:12 p.m.

    Thank you for the sample video. Another venue for teaching circuits is through the “making” genre of activities such as those promoted by the Exploratorium and the Community Science Workshops in California. We call it “Tinkering with circuit” and promote the idea of putting the materials in the hands of children to explore and investigate using their own questions to begin with. I do think it is also important for teachers who are told to incorporate technology into their classroom have options such as MyST. I reviewed the attached documents and find the research done on this over the last several years interesting. However there does not seem to be a direct connection from the research to the real classroom. At least the video itself does not go deep enough to represent all the work you’ve done. Do you have the teachers who instruct with FOSS involved in the analysis of the videos? Performance assessments? I also think it important to have a way of assessing prior knowledge before going into the video. Is it assumed that the teacher does this prior to engaging with the video tutor? For example, the sample included above could support a common misconception children have about the flow of electricity from a battery to a device. The video should show electricity also flowing through the battery.

    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to the conversations this week.

  • Icon for: Ronald Cole

    Ronald Cole

    Lead Presenter
    President & Principal Scientist
    May 23, 2016 | 07:00 p.m.

    Jerry, The NSF and IES grants that funded the R&D leading to My Science Tutor required summative evaluations of the program. So once the tutorial dialogs were developed, students left the classroom and went to a resource room for their dialog sessions with Marni.

    The tutorial dialogs were aligned to the FOSS classroom instruction and individual science investigations. FOSS investigations are very much like the maker workshops you describe, with students given materials and asked to build a circuit, etc. We had teacher input during initial development of the tutorials, including input from the FOSS team at UC Berkeley and teacher focus groups. However, once the study began, we were obligated by the summative evaluation design to assign students to supplemental tutoring or control classrooms. Kids in the tutoring condition left their classrooms, so teachers did not see them tutored. However, teachers reported the students who were tutored returned to their classrooms with great excitement, shared their experiences with other students, and generally benefited their classmates who were not consented and thus did not receive tutoring. All teachers said they would like to use the program again, and would recommend it to other teachers.

    We do hope to scale up the program in the future and let teachers decide how they would like to use it. We are working with district curriculum directors in an ongoing IES replication and efficacy study who have told us they would like teachers to have the flexibility of choosing the tutorial dialogs their individual students will do. We are eager to do work with teachers give them control and scheduling of the tutorial dialogs Teachers rule! Our goal is to provide teachers with flexible tools that improve their efficiency and their students’ motivation and outcomes.

    Our hope for the future is to extend dialogs with Marni to small groups of children. Marni will listen to each of the students, figure out what they know and don’t know, what misconceptions different students have, and ask questions to help students build on each other’s ideas as they learn how to engage in scientific discourse and argumentation. We’d love to present a video of this in a few years… (smile).

  • Melvin Pomerantz

    May 19, 2016 | 03:43 p.m.

    It may be more than you wish to present, but the conventional flow of electric charge is the direction POSITIVE charges move. Your video shows the direction the electrons, negative charges, move. This may lead to confusion in a later course of study.

  • Icon for: Teresa Eastburn

    Teresa Eastburn

    Digital Learning & UCAR Connect Lead
    May 20, 2016 | 01:37 a.m.

    Well, what do you know. A fellow Boulderite! Kudos Ronald for your work on MyST! I’ll read the content from above to see what else I can learn about it but it certainly sounds intriguing! Good luck!

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.