Empirical Research: Emerging Research: Robust and Efficient Learning: Modeling and Remediating Students' Domain Knowledge

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The project uses an on-line intelligent learning environment to explore students' shallow and deep reasoning in genetics problem solving. The project examines whether new "Conceptually Grounded Learning Activities" will better prepare students for deeper learning in subsequent problem solving. The project also uses cognitive modeling and machine learning to detect superficial and deep reasoning in real time during problem solving. Finally, the project is developing new "Cognitive Mastery" procedures to tailor the sequence of learning activities to individual student needs.


Students from four undergraduate institutions, including a liberal arts college, two research universities, and a historically black regional university will participate in this study. The population of interest is undergraduates enrolled in genetics and other biology courses.

Research Design: 

This is a comparative study designed to generate causal [experimental] evidence. It includes an intervention [One or more conceptually grounded learning activities prior to problem solving] and a comparison condition [problem solving alone]. Original data are collected through assessments of learning or achievement tests, observation [web logs] and step-by-step records of students’ on-line problem solving activities.

ANOVAs and ANCOVAs will be employed to examine the impact of Conceptually Grounded Learning Activities and of Cognitive Mastery procedures on measures of student learning efficiency and effectiveness in problem solving. Machine learning analyses, statistical decision theory and correlational analyses will be employed to model students' depth of understanding during problem solving and to relate depth of understanding to learning outcomes.


This project has not yet generated findings.

Other Products: 

This project expects to produce a small set of conceptually grounded learning activities.

Target Population: 
Research Design: 


Subscribe to RSS - Pennsylvania