List of current and previous ETG-projects

Current Projects

The Magical Garden Research Platform :: 2012 – …
A Teachable Agent based learning game in mathematics for 4-year-olds. Developed in collaboration with Daniel Schwartz and Kristen Pilner Blair, School of Education, Stanford University.
On the basis of the Magical Garden research platform, we run a number of ETG-projects. Some address questions on early mathematics learning, or learning that seems crucial in order to prepare a child so that s/he is receptive to mathematics teaching in preschool and early years in school. Others address developmental issues relating to children’s mentalizing abilities, including their understanding of a “teacher-tutee” relation and their ability to ascribe responsibility for errors, mistakes and success to different agents, by performing real-world empirical studies on children’s choices while they use the learning-game and exploring their meaning-makings of what happens in the game. Others focus on the iterative development of the educational software as a real-world value pedagogical tool, where we for instance study how preschool teachers make use of the game in a formative process. Yet others focus on attentional behavior in young children, e.g. their ability to stay focused, when they use an informationally rich educational software such as Magical Garden.
Funded by: Wallenberg Network Initiative and Erik Philip-Sörensens stiftelse.

Supporting Students’ Productive Choices when Learning gets Difficult :: 2015 – …
How do students actually respond to non-progress situations during their learning process, such as a situation when the do not succeed in solving a task or when they do not pass a test. There is limited knowledge, in particular on a detailed level and for large samples, on this. In this project we explore:
(i) Students’ responses when learning is no longer easy: What do they chose to do and how do they make meaning of the situation and their own choice of action?
(ii) Can these choices and meaning makings be affected by pedagogical approaches?
Specifically, the project compares the pedagogical approach learning by teaching someone else (LBT) with the standard approach learning by learning for oneself (LFO). Both approaches are implemented in an educational software in history targeting ”source criticism” for 11-12-year-olds. The software, which is also a central research instrument in the project, enables us to come close to learning processes as they happen and provides a non-intrusive data collection method. The large amount of data from a large set of students allows the use of statistical methods and data mining techniques to search for patterns in behavior/choices for different student groups where we include the variables: gender, level of achievement, self-efficacy and goal orientation. Furthermore, students generally experience the use of a (well-designed) educational software as a meaningful school-activity, which strengthens the ecological validity of the studies.
   The project is situated in the international research frontline of the cognitive and learning sciences in several respects. It expands the idea of LBT-based software beyond the STEM area into the humanities, and the conversational dialogue between student and her digital tutee, implemented in the software, is unique in its kind.
Funded by: Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation

From Failure to Success – Learning History by Teaching :: 2011 – …
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 behavior in these? Can thinking strategies in situations of non-progress be influenced by a pedagogical approach such as Learning-by-Teaching (LBT)?
Funded by: Linköping University Excellence Grant
>> This project is followed by: Supporting Students’ Productive Choices when Learning gets Difficult (see above).

Narratives and the Brain: The Impact of Synchronization of Gestures and Speech for the Viewer/Listener :: 2010 – …
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: Swedish Research Council / Linneaus Centre CCL.

Improving Diagnosis for Children with Communicative Disorders – Digital TROG-2 :: 2009 – …
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: Swedish Research Council / Linneaus Centre CCL.

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].

Previous Projects

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.