Talk by Dr. Pantelis Papadopoulos, Aarhus University, Denmark

Monday December 3rd, 9:30, RLC D1 661

Tangibles, Audience Response Systems, and Conversational Agents: Supporting Collaboration in Classrooms and MOOCs

The talk discusses three ongoing research efforts at Aarhus University (DK): Cube, SAGA, and colMOOC. Despite their different theoretical foundations and technological dimensions, the three projects share a common theme: supporting collaborative learning in online and face-to-face settings.

The “Innovative and Emerging Technologies in Education” project aims at exploring the ways in which the learning affordances offered by different technologies can be meaningfully integrated into an educational context. The Cube (cooler name is pending!) is a recently developed tangible prototype of the project that is designed to support collocated collaboration. Based on an Arduino system and using screens, microphones, and a set of sensors, the Cube can provide immediate individual/group feedback, assist classroom orchestration, and facilitate collaboration scripts.

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The Self Assessment/Group Awareness (SAGA) tool is an audience response system (ARS) that offers a better picture of the class than most similar tools. Apart from the commonly provided percentage metric (i.e., class population under each question choice), feedback in SAGA also includes metrics such as students’ previous performance, confidence, preparation, and self-assessment, along short justifications. Empirical evidence has shown that this enriched feedback can be significantly helpful in questions where student answers diverge.

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The colMOOC Erasmus+ project, started early 2018, aims at enhancing the MOOC experience by integrating collaborative settings based on conversational agents. Incorporating such agents to trigger peer interaction in discussion groups is expected to considerably increase the engagement and the commitment of online students (and, consequently, reduce MOOCs dropout rate). Moreover, colMOOC employs learning analytics techniques, as a method to support teachers’ orchestration and students’ learning during MOOCs by evaluating students' interaction and participation.

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Pantelis M. Papadopoulos is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, Denmark. Dr Papadopoulos holds a BSc in Informatics, and MSc and PhD in Information and Communication Technologies in Education from the School of Informatics at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Before joining AU, he held research positions at the International Institute for Software Technology at United Nations University, Macau SAR, China, and at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. His research interests include Educational Technology, Game-Based Learning, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education, and Open and Distance Education. His work is published in more than 60 top ranking international peer-reviewed journals and conferences. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS), and the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

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