Carnegie Mellon University
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Promoting Learning in Mathematics: Script Support for Collaborative Problem Solving with the Cognitive Tutor Algebra

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journal contribution
posted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Dejana Diziol, Nikol Rummel, Hans Spada, Bruce M McLaren
We combined two different instructional methods both of which have been shown to improve students’ learning in mathematics: Learning with intelligent tutoring systems (Koedinger, Anderson, Hadley, & Mark, 1997) and collaborative problem solving (Berg, 1993). The problem-solving guidance provided by an intelligent tutoring system is effective, but because it places emphasis on learning problem solving skills, a deep understanding of underlying mathematical concepts is not necessarily achieved (Anderson, Corbett, Koedinger, & Pelletier, 1995). Collaborative activities can yield elaboration of learning content (Teasley, 1995) and thus increase the potential for the acquisition of deep knowledge, but students are not always able to effectively meet the challenges of a collaborative setting and tap this potential (Rummel & Spada, 2005). Collaboration scripts that prompt fruitful interaction have proven effectively in supporting collaborative learning (Kollar, Fischer & Hesse, in press). We believe that by combining intelligent tutoring and collaborative learning we could foster the advantages of both instructional methods and overcome their disadvantages. Collaborative interaction could augment the effects of an intelligent tutoring system by promoting deeper elaboration, and script support integrated in the tutoring environment could provide guidance to students as they collaborate and thus improve the quality of their collaboration.




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