Research on how people learn is critical for informing the design of effective education technology products. To design products that improve student learning, we need to understand how students approach solving problems, the information they need to adopt optimal solution strategies, the skills that underlie success in particular academic domains, the best ways to arrange information on a screen to guide student attention to relevant information, and the best study strategies for optimizing learning and retention. Through its research grants programs, IES has invested in research projects to develop and test education technology products based in the science of learning.
The 2021 ED Games Expo, which takes place virtually from June 1-5, features a number of these products, and you can learn more about them through a mix of live and pre-recorded sessions and videos. Most are ready to demo now. Students and educators can send questions about the research, game-play, or ed tech experience directly to the participating researchers. Here are just a few of the many ways you can interact with IES-funded researchers at the Expo:
- The Virtual Learning Lab (VLL) will be hosting a live, virtual session on Friday, June 4th from 4:00-5:30pm Eastern Time to celebrate their 5-year research collaboration to explore precision education in the context of algebra instruction. The VLL developed an AI-powered video recommendation system that personalizes math instruction within Math Nation. The researchers measured student ability and engagement, detected effects of virtual learning environment usage on achievement, and identified characteristics of effective online tutoring. The session will feature short talks and opportunities for Q&A:
- A Video Recommendation System for Algebra (Walter Leite, University of Florida)
- Reinforcement Learning for Enhancing Collaborative Problem Solving (Guojing Zhou, University of Colorado Boulder)
- Natural Language Processing for VLE Research (Danielle McNamara, Arizona State University)
- Identifying Pedagogical Conversational Patterns in Online Algebra Learning (Jinnie Shin, University of Florida)
- Scaling Items and Persons for Obtaining Ability Estimates in VLEs (A. Corinne Huggins-Manley, University of Florida)
- Measuring Student Ability from Single- and Multiple-Attempt Practice Assessments in VLEs (Ziying Li, University of Florida)
- Detecting Careless Responding to Assessment Items in VLEs (Sanaz Nazari, University of Florida)
- Personalization, Content Exposure, and Fairness in Assessment (Daniel Katz, University of California, Santa Barbara)
- Fair AI in VLEs (Chenglu Li, University of Florida)
- The ED Games Expo YouTube Playlist, which will be posted on June 1st on the event page, features 26 products developed with IES grant funding. For ed tech products informed by research on how people learn, check out the products funded through the Cognition and Student Learning topic:
- Graspable Math allows math teachers to assign interactive algebra tasks and turns equations into tangible objects that middle school and high school students can manipulate to practice and explore. Teachers can follow live, step-by-step, student work.
- eBravo Boulder Reading Intervention is a self-paced personalized reading comprehension curriculum that teaches secondary students the problem-solving skills good readers use to learn from challenging texts, in this case in the science discipline of ecology. Reading strategies and exercises are guided by well-researched models of reading comprehension, helping students build deep, durable, and reusable knowledge from text.
- iSTART and Writing Pal are interventions designed for middle school students, high school students, and young adults improve their reading and writing skills. Within these interventions, students play games to practice reading comprehension and writing strategies.
- All You Can Eat, Gwakkamole, and CrushStations are part of a suite of Executive Function skill-building games, designed to improve student shifting, inhibitory control, and working memory respectively.
We hope you can join us for this exciting event in June to learn more about and try out all the research-based products ready to be used in our nation’s schools. For more information on the featured resources and online events, please see this blog.
Written by Erin Higgins (Erin.Higgins@ed.gov), Program Officer for the Cognition and Student Learning program, National Center for Education Research