Welcome to the Educational Technology Group!
Our research is a collaborative effort between departments of cognitive science, computer science, informatics, linguistics, design and media sciences from Swedish and North American universities with two common goals: i) to develop pedagogical software that is grounded in empirical findings about the human mind and ii) to use this software as research tools to further explore the human mind, and learning processes in particular.
Please feel free to browse around, or contact us if you have any questions.
The project oriented Interaction courses, ‘Neuro-Modelling, Cognitive Robotics & Agents’ and ‘Virtuality & Cognitive Modelling’, given at LUCS to Master’s student in Cognitive Science and Information and Communication students at the Faculty of Engineering, has recently received attention in the local media for its way of fuzing thinkers with doers. The idea is that the projects conducted within the courses will benefit from the collaboration of students with a more theoretical background and students with a more applied or technical background. The courses is also preparatory for working in real projects, where people of different disciplines and with different expertise are supposed to cooperate towards a joint goal.
Read the article [in Swedish] here.
Movies from the 14 different student projects is found here!
The R&D (research and development) carried out by the Educational technology group has two goals.
The first is to develop and make use of educational technology systems to find out more about learning:
- At what age can a child learn for herself by teaching someone else? How does this relate to the development of a capability to solve false belief tasks, understand that there are different perspectives, inhibitory functions, etc?
- Is it possible to support the development of number sense in young children by a Teachable-Agent game? What role does, in that case, the social interaction have for children’s motivation and performance ?
- How do different students behave when they do not make progress?
- How do they make meaning of situations of non-progress and their own behaviour in these?
- Can thinking strategies in situations of non-progress be influenced by different pedagogical approaches?
- Can a chat-with-your-TA-option in a math learning game increase interest for and appreciation ofthe game for some students (and which?)?
- Will there be differences in history learning for two groups of 10-11 year olds that both teach a digital tutee (TA),but one group having a regular TA and the other a “trouble-maker” TA?
- How important is the precise timing between speech and gesture for an addressee’s ability to understand what is communicated? How important is it for children with hearing disabilities? How important is it for children with autism?
The second is to actually come up with educational technology systems with a real-world value as practical pedagogical tools, reflecting the knowledge we gained through our research.
Our work can be divided in two main areas depending on the targets of the research as well as the systems/tools. The first area concerns the broad population of students (and teachers) within school, K-9. The second area, which represents a more novel strand in our work targets specific populations: children and young people with communicative and learning difficulties.
Elementary school (K9)
List of current and previous projects:
(2012-) mWorld. R&D project of a Teachable Agent based learning game in mathematics for 4-year olds. In collaboration with Daniel Schwartz and Kristen Pilner Blair, School of Education, Stanford University. The project addresses questions on early mathematics learning, or rather learning that seems crucial in order to prepare a child so that s/he is receptive to mathematics teaching in pre-school and early years in school. We are extending the project to also address developmental issues relating to “a theory of mind” by performing real-world empirical studies on children’s choices while playing the learning-game as well as exploring their meaningmakings of what happens in the game, in particular for their digital protége. Funded by Wallenberg Network Initiative + applying for funding for the novel extensions of the project.
(2011-) From Failure to Success – Learning History by Teaching. R&D project of a Teachable Agent based learning game for 10-11 year olds, targeting history, i.e. the first TA-game outside the STEM area. The project explores the effects of i) a “regular” TA, that in general accepts the student-teachers ideas, and ii) a “trouble-maker” TA, that is more questioning and challenging. Another research issue targeted in the project is how different students behave when they do not make progress any more. How do they make meaning of situations of non-progress and their own behaviour in these? Can thinking strategies in situations of non-progress be influenced by a pedagogical approach such as Learning-by-Teaching (LBT)? Funded by Excellence Grant, Linköping University + Applying for additional funding.
(2009-2012) K2D2: Knowledge & Competence – Digital Dialogues. Within the Swedish Knowledge Foundation’s research programme “Young Net Cultures”. The math game used in the “Seeing and Talking Maths in Games” project is here extended into a more complex and multifaceted educational artefact by embodying the teachable agents and complementing the on-task dialogue with open social chat-related off-task dialogue. The project focuses on how the visual and social shaping of digital pedagogical agents effect dialogue between students and characters in a chat. Possibilities for pedagogical interventions via the combination of knowledge oriented and socially oriented “digital dialogues” are explored. Involves researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, Lund University, Sweden, University West, Sweden and University of Texas, USA. Project partners: the e-strategy group at Natur & Kultur, Sweden, the organization CARDET and schools in Katrineholm, Linköping and Lund. Funded by the Swedish Knowledge Foundation (main funder) and Linköping University.
(2008-2011) Seeing and Talking Maths in Games. An international research project with three nodes: i) researchers and schools in Lund (where Gulz leads the activities), ii) researchers at University West, Trollhättan and schools in Uddevalla and Gothenburg, iii) researchers and schools in Stanford, USA. Students, age 7-12, use of an educational math game within their regular mathematics classes. Studies on the softwares’ effects on math understanding and on motivation are studied, together with models for implementation.The math game has been developed and is being further developed by researchers in the group. Funded by Wallenberg Global Learning Foundation.
(2007-2009) Choice Blindness: Trust in Virtual Reality. A comparative study of trust and confidence in digital contexts, departing from the phenomenon “choice blindness”. Funded by Erik Philip-Sörensens Stiftelse.
(2006-2007) Challenging Gender Stereotypes using Virtual Pedagogical Agents. An exploration of role modelling and identification in the context of web-based information about university educational programmes In collaboration with and funded by: GLIT, LearnIT & The Swedish Knowledge Foundation.
(2006) The impact of Dialect, Gender and Professional Roles. Study of virtual experts presenting a health related topic and effects on people’s attitudes and evaluation of the information content. Focus on visual and voice-related aspects regarding gender, dialect and professional roles.
(2002-2005) The importance of cognitive variation for the design of pedagogical multimedia. Studies of visual style, social style and pedagogical roles in a pedagogical learning game. Funded by The Swedish Research Council.
Young children with special needs
List of current projects:
(2012–) Supporting Understanding of Gesture-based Information in the Context of Speech for Children with High-functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. R&D-project in collaboration with the unit for child and youth psychiatry, Lund University Hospital. [Applying for funding].
(2010–) Narratives and the Brain: The Impact of Synchronization of Gestures and Speech for the Viewer/Listener. A subproject within The Linnaeus environment: Cognition, Communication and Learning, Lund University. Development of digital characters as a tool for systematic research of aspects of the interplay between body movements and speech and the impact of this on a viewer/listener. Funded by The Swedish Research Council / Linnaeus environment.
(2009-) Towards Improving Diagnosis for Children with Communicative Disorders – LU-Trog. A subproject within The Linnaeus environment: Cognition, Communication and Learning, Lund University. Development of a digitalized test as tool for research on children with language disorders and in longer terms as a support for refined diagnoses in these contexts. Funded by The Swedish Research Council / Linnaeus environment.
Selected Student Work
Recent student papers and theses:
Recent publications and conference presentations
• Pareto, L., Haake, M., Lindström, P., & Sjödén, B. & Gulz, A. (2012). A Teachable Agent Based Game Affording Collaboration and Competition – Evaluating Math Comprehension and Motivation. Educational Technology Research and Development.
• Tärning, B., Haake, M. & Gulz. A. (2011). Off-task Engagement in a Teachable Agent based Math Game. In T. Hirashima et al. (Eds.) (2011). Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Computers in Education. Chiang Mai, Thailand.
• Sjödén, B. (2011). Social Motivation and Goal Orientations with a Teachable Agent: Implications for Improving Test Performance. Poster presentation at the 19th International Conference on Computers in Education. Chiang Mai, Thailand. Award for best Poster Presentation.
• Lindström P., Haake, M, Sjödén, B. & Gulz, A. (2011). Matching and mismatching between the pedagogical design principles of a maths game and the actual practices of play. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27, 90-102.
• Gulz, A., Haake, M., Silvervarg, A., Sjödén, B. & Veletsianos. (2011). ”Building a Social Conversational Pedagogical Agent – Design Challenges and Methodological Approaches”. In Conversational Agents and Natural Language Interaction: Techniques and Effective Practices (Eds.) D. Perez-Marin & I. Pascual-Nieto, IGI Global.
• Haake, M., Silvervarg, A., Tärning, B. & Gulz A. (2011). Teaching Her, Him…or Hir? Challenges for a Cross-Cultural Study. Intelligent Virtual Agents, 2010. In (Eds.) S. Kopp, S. Marsella,K. Thorisson & H. Vilhjalmsson, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer-Verlag.
• Gulz, A., Haake., M., & Silvervarg, A. (2011). Extending a Teachable Agent with a Social Conversation Module – Effects on Student Experiences and Learning. Proceedings of The 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education. Auckland, New Zealand, 27 June 2 July, 2011. In G. Biswas et al. (Eds.): AIED 2011, LNAI 6738, pp. 106-114, 2011. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
• Sjödén, B., Tärning, B., Pareto. L., & Gulz, A. (2011): Transferring Teaching to Testing – an Unexplored Aspect of Teachable Agents. Proceedings ofs The 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education. Auckland, New Zealand, 27 June 2 July, 2011. In G. Biswas et al. (Eds.): AIED 2011, LNAI 6738, pp. 337-344, 2011. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
• Pareto, L., Arvemo, T., Dahl, Y., Haake., M., & Gulz, A. (2011). A Teachable-Agent Arithmetic Game’s effects on Mathematics Understanding, Attitude and Self-Efficacy. Proceedings of The 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education. Auckland, New Zealand, 27 June 2 July, 2011. 247-255.
• Haake, M., Silvervarg, A., Tärning, B., Sjödén, B., Pareto, L., & Gulz, A. (2011) Pedagogical Agents: Pedagogical Interventions via Integration of Task-oriented and Socially Oriented Conversation. Part of the AERA 2011 Symposium Proposal ”Pedagogical Agent Presence, Appearance, and Agent-learner Interactions: Current Research and Future Directions”.
• Silvervarg A. & Jönsson A. (2011). Subjective and Objective Evaluation of Conversational Agents. In Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Knowledge and Reasoning in Practical Dialogue Systems . Barcelona, Spain.
• Silvervarg, A., Haake. M., Pareto, L., Thomas Strandberg & Gulz, A. (2011). AIED interactive event: ”The Brick Game” demonstration. Proceedings of The 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education. Auckland, New Zealand, 27 June 2 July, 2011.
• Sjödén, B., Silvervarg, A., Haake, M. & Gulz A. (2011). Extending an educational math game with a pedagogical conversational agent: facing design challenges. In: S. DeWannemacker, G. Clarebout, P. DeCausmaecker (Eds.): ITEC2010,CCIS 126, pp. 116-130. Springer, Heidelberg