Cristina Conati: “Learner Modeling Beyond Problem Solving Activities”

November 6, 2013 | USC ICT

Speaker: Cristina Conati

Abstract: The field of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) has successfully delivered techniques and systems to provide student-adaptive support for problem solving in variety of domains. There are, however, other educational activities that can help learners acquire the target skills and abilities at different stages of learning, such as exploring interactive simulations, playing educational games and practicing meta-cognitive skills relevant for learning.

Like for problem solving, learners can benefit from receiving individualized pedagogical support during these activities. Providing this support, however, rises unique challenges, because it requires modeling and responding to student behaviors and skills often not as structured and well-defined as those involved in traditional problem solving. This talk illustrates how we tackle these challenges with learner models that leverage data-mining techniques as well as advanced input sources such as eye-tracking data.

Bio: Cristina Conati is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She and her students conduct research in affective user modeling, mixed-initiative interface customization, tailored support for exploration and self-explanation, and modeling of meta-cognitive skills. Cristina recently served as a co-editor for the book “Eye Gaze in Intelligent User Interfaces” and last summer, attended the Microsoft Summer Institute on “Crowdsourcing Personalized On-Line Education.” Cristina received her PhD in Intelligent Systems from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 and is currently on sabbatical. You can find out more about her research at her website.