Research Conducted by Andrew S. Jensen

 

Teacher/Administrator Perceptions of Intelligent Tutoring Systems

This study consists of an online survey instrument designed to measure teachers' and administrators' perceptions of risk regarding the use of intelligent tutoring systems technologies in their classrooms. The information collected during this study will be used for research purposes only and all responses are completely anonymous.

This study has been completed. A follow-up study is currently in development (see below).

 

Virtual Human Design

This is a research study related to the design of virtual human characters as potential learning partners. The information collected during this study will be used for research purposes only and will be completely anonymous. The study is currently being conducted in the Future Computing Lab at UNC Charlotte.

 

Cultural Bias in Virtual Worlds

Culture can be defined as a collection of behaviors and beliefs that are characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group. In this study we are attempting to ascertain whether cultural biases typically present in the general population persist in virtual environments. The information collected during this study will be used for research purposes only and will be completely anonymous. The study is currently being conducted in the Future Computing Lab at UNC Charlotte.

 

Teacher Perceptions of an Intelligent Tutoring System Employing a Direct Instruction Delivery Method

This study introduces teachers to an intelligent tutoring system designed specifically for young students with learning disabilities. Participants will view a short video demonstrating the system in action, then will be asked to complete an online survey instrument designed to measure their perceptions of the system and their interest in using it in their classrooms. The information collected during this study will be used for research purposes only and all responses are completely anonymous. The study is entirely online, so you may participate from any computer.

This study is pending approval. A link will be available shortly.

 

Measuring Acute Anxiety Conditions During Interactive Tutoring Sessions through Transparent Biofeedback Devices

Philosopher Andy Clark proposed that “A transparent technology is a technology that is so well fitted to, and integrated with, our own lives, biological capacities, and projects that they are almost invisible in use" (Clark, 2003). Children, especially those with learning disabilities, may experience heightened levels of anxiety when receiving academic instruction, whether it be from a teacher, tutor, or computerized system, and if the anxiety condition is severe enough, it can inhibit the learning process. This study employs biofeedback devices designed to be transparent to the user, thereby avoiding the possibility of distraction or irritation during an individual tutoring session. Through this study we hope to improve the design of these devices so that they may be used to effectively manage acute anxiety conditions that occur in children during interactive tutoring sessions with our newly designed Intelligent Tutoring System.

The information collected during this study will be used for research purposes only and is completely anonymous. The study will be conducted on site at Kannapolis City Schools in Kannapolis, NC.

This study is pending approval. A link will be available shortly.

(Clark, A. Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies and the Future of Human Intelligence. Oxford University Press, New York, 2003, 37.)

 

Intelligent Tutoring Systems for Young Children with Special Needs

One of the greatest obstacles we face in developing intelligent tutoring systems is that there are no set rules, no concrete techniques, for developing these systems. To build systems that can effectively present content across all disciplines, for all students, is simply impossible. The issues are too complex. The essence of this complexity is the simple fact that there is no such thing as the “collective learner.” Learners are individuals, with their own unique ways of assimilating and understanding information. Thus, building learning systems has been and continues to be largely a guessing game. Most systems today are designed to meet the needs of the masses, not the individual. They also tend to be designed with older students - high school and college ages - in mind. But learning does not begin in high school or college, it begins at the earliest ages; learning disabilities most frequently make themselves known at these ages as well. Therefore, it is imperative that we address such issues early. Young children are the students with the greatest need for these systems.

We have designing a system specifically for young children who are performing at an academic level below their peers. We are employing a proven means of intervention-style instruction, through virtual human tutors, known as Direct Instruction. Our initial focus is on mathematics, and our initial target audience will consist primarily of 3rd grade students.

This is a Web-based system. It requires a Windows-based computer running Windows XP or earlier. It will run in Windows 7 only if running in XP mode. To fully take advantage of its capabilities, it must be accessed using Internet Explorer.

This study is pending approval. A link will be available shortly.