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Acquiring and transferring intellectual skills with modifiable software advisors in a virtual inquiry support environment

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3 Author(s)
Shimoda, T.A. ; California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; White, B.Y. ; Frederiksen, J.R.

Our previous work with the ThinkerTools Inquiry Curriculum found that students who were prompted to reflect on their work performed better on inquiry projects, and attained a better understanding of the inquiry process. These prompts, however, were in a pencil-and-paper form, which did not allow for individual, on-line needs. We hypothesize that improvement will be further enhanced by introducing an adaptive, user-controlled system of software agents that can advise students on completing specific inquiry tasks and their application of general intellectual and collaborative skills. In addition, students can modify the system to help students meet their own knowledge-building goals. Factors such as an advisor's goals, the type of help an advisor can offer, when the advisor gives advice, and an advisor's personality can be modified. For example, an inquiry task advisor, the Hypothesizer, helps students come up with alternative hypotheses that are testable. The students and the advisors work in a virtual inquiry support environment of typical artifacts such as a journal, progress report, meeting rooms and a dialogue box for communication.

Published in:

Systems Sciences, 1999. HICSS-32. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on  (Volume:Track1 )

Date of Conference:

5-8 Jan. 1999