Daniel D Suthers,
Laboratory for Interactive Learning Technologies,
University of Hawai`i at Manoa, USA.
Representational Guidance for Collaborative Learning
Tuesday, 22nd July, Session Tu1, 9.00-10.00am
Session Chair: Judy Kay, University of Sydney, Australia
About the speaker
Dr. Suthers' research combines cognitive, social and technical
perspectives on designing and evaluating software for learning. His
current focus is on representational support for computer supported
collaborative learning, with applications to secondary school
science, post-secondary online learning, and professional
development of educators. Dr. Suthers is an assistant professor in
the Department of Information and Computer Sciences at the
University of Hawai`i, where he directs the Laboratory for
Interactive Learning Technologies (http://lilt.ics.hawaii.edu).
Dr. Suthers obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts (1979) from Kansas
City Art Institute, and his M.S. (1988) and Ph.D. (1993) in
Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts.
When people engage in conversations for learning or problem
solving, they often reference and manipulate external (visual and
textual) representations. Online, external representations take on
additional importance because they are also the medium of
communication. In this paper I highlight a few important aspects of
the roles that external representations can play in the
meaning-making activities of two or more participants, and how the
particular representation used may influence these activities. I
will draw upon my own research for examples. One line of work
showed how the properties of representations used to support
evidence-based inquiry can affect both discourse activities and
student work. A second line of work showed that the distinction
between communication tools and other representations is blurred
online, with the actual discourse between participants being
accomplished by actions in all of the mutable representations.
These phenomena are unified by the concept of representational
guidance: the constraints, visual properties, and conventions of
use associated with representations should be considered in
designing to guide learning activities.
Centre for Computer-supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo),
University of Sydney, Australia.
Beyond Individual learning: Challenges For Supporting (Socially)
Wednesday, 23rd July, Session We1, 9.00-10.00am
Session Chair: Felisa Verdejo, UNED, Spain
About the speaker
Peter Reimann is currently Professor for Education at the University of
Sydney, co-directing its new Centre for Computer-supported Learning and
He studied psychology at the University of
Freiburg/Germany, where he also completed his PhD. He has worked at
the Learning Research and Development Centre in Pittsburgh and more
recently at in the Department of Psychology at Heidelberg University.
His research interests cover a number of areas: cognitive modelling of
learning processes (inductive learning, self explaining), design of
instructional simulation environments, development of case-based
reasoning tutors, and more recently research on supporting and
scaffolding argumentation and knowledge construction in virtual
In this presentation, two lines of inquiry will be described that provide challe
nges to the
approach by which we think of Intelligent Tutoring Systems.
Challenges arise when learners don't interact
individually with a learning environment, but engage in group activities.
Our work on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is addressing
the question of how groups that work in a highly self-organized manner
can be supported in their interaction and learning.
We have developed and analysed various ways to provide
feedback and scaffolding to groups that co-operate via the Internet.
Both for an asynchronous, document-oriented collaboration platform and for
a synchronous, activity-oriented platform we developed partially automated
feedback mechanisms intended to enhance interaction and group well-being.
We tracked individual contribution behaviour as well as learners motivation.
These data have been used to automatically generate visual aids,
providing feedback about group members
participation as well as motivational clues.
A second feedback mechanism has been applied by aggregating learners
problem solving discourse into a meta-document.
We examined how these feedback methods based on a group's
own behaviour enhanced problem-solving outcomes.
Results suggest positive influences of feedback mechanisms on
problem-solving as well as motivational parameters.
Treating groups as a learning unit requires tackling problems
of socially distributed knowledge
(grounding, transactive memory, etc.).
Challenges for ITS also arise when looking at forms of
learning where knowledge is not only distributed socially,
but also physically.
Learning in chemistry and biology laboratories constitutes a
good example for situations where the socio-physical surround provides
resources for learning and problem solving that are hard to
reproduce in computer-simulated laboratories.
Based on our own work with molecular biologists and
on work by others who studied what laboratory scientists really do,
I will analyse the limitations of simulating such environments in
virtual forms and address the challenges involved in turning
real wet labs into more effective and perhaps adaptive learning environments.
The Mixed Reality Laboratory and The Equator project
University of Nottingham, UK
Pack your lunch, clipboard and raincoat: we're going on a field trip!
Thursday, 24th July, Session Th1, 9.00-10.00am
Session Chair: Ulrich Hoppe, University of Duisburg, Germany
About the speaker
Steve Benford is Professor of Collaborative Computing at the University of
Nottingham where he is a co-founder of the Mixed Reality Laboratory
(www.mrl.nott.ac.uk) and a principal investigator on the UK's Equator
project, a six year, eight partner initiative that is exploring the
interweaving of physical and digital interaction to support everyday life
(www.equator.ac.uk). His driving interest is to create new computer and
communications technologies that can support increasingly rich and dynamic
social experiences with a particular focus on new forms of learning, play
and theatre. His approach to research involves staging and evaluating
large-scale public experiences in collaboration with educators, artists and
performers. Recent publications can be found in the ACM CHI, SIGGRAPH,
Multimedia, UIST, CSCW and CVE conferences and also in Communications of the
ACM and Transactions on CHI. Can You See Me Now?, a collaboration with the
artists group Blast Theory, has been awarded the 2003 Prix Ars Electronica
Golden Nica for Interactive Art.
A strong memory from my early school days is of a field trip to a nearby
forest. We spent a day exploring the woodland, making drawings and recording
observations, and later back at school the whole class created a wall
display from the materials that we had gathered. My talk will explore how
emerging mobile and augmented reality technologies can enhance these kinds
of field-trip experiences. My core theme will be how children can use these
technologies to explore a physical environment - for example, a historical
or scientific site of special interest - capture readings and collect
information that can then be taken back to school, collated, analysed,
discussed and reused in classroom activities. Drawing on the work of the
UK's Equator project (www.equator.ac.uk), I will introduce technologies that
enable children to reveal and capture digital information as they explore
indoor and outdoor physical environments. I will also describe new kinds of
collaborative display that enable them to make further use of this
information within the classroom.