Designing CIspace: Pedagogy and Usability in a Learning ...
Designing CIspace: Pedagogy and Usability in a Learning Environment for AI S. Amershi, N. Arksey, G. Carenini, C. Conati, A. Mackworth, H. Maclaren, D. Poole What is ? A set of interactive algorithm visualization tools for demonstrating the dynamics of common Artificial
Intelligence (AI) algorithms. Currently includes 9 Java applets for AI topics such as graph searching, constraint satisfaction, deduction, planning, machine learning, robot control and belief and decision networks. What are interactive algorithm visualizations? Type of software visualization. Use of
images animation interface elements to interactively demonstrate algorithm dynamics. Background Since 1980s, hundreds of visualization systems and repositories have developed Despite availability, such tools have not been widely adopted
Limited by: Pedagogical concerns Usability deficiencies Overview of design process Iterative design process: Identify pedagogical and usability goals Design and implement features to achieve goals Revise choices in light of evaluations Overview of design process
Iterative design process: Identify pedagogical and usability goals Design and implement features to achieve goals Revise choices in light of evaluations Pedagogical Goals P1 - Increase student understanding of AI algorithms and underlying representations P2 - Support different types of learners P3 - Motivate and generate interest P4 - Promote active engagement
P5 - Support various scenarios of learning P2 - Support Different Types of Learners Provide support for students with varying learning styles. Provide support for novices, and continue to provide support as a students expertise increases. Account for individual learning pace. P4 - Promote Active Engagement
Support active construction of knowledge and new understandings. P5 - Support Various Scenarios of Learning Examples: in-class demonstrations assignments individual exploration Usability Goals U1 - Easy to learn
U2 - Straightforward and efficient to use U3 - Easy to integrate into a course U3 - Easy to Integrate into a Course Making visualizations easy to adapt to: individual teaching approaches course content other course resources Overview of design process Iterative design process:
Identify pedagogical and usability goals Design and implement features to achieve goals Revise choices in light of evaluations Coverage Coverage of nine different AI topics Facilitates course integration by: reducing time and effort needed to find visualizations for each new topic enabling CIspace to be used as a resource throughout a
course Modularity Originally modularized based on Computational Intelligence, by David Poole, Alan Mackworth, and Randy Goebel Each applet is self-contained so can be used to support other popular AI textbooks Helps to ease course integration by: giving instructors flexibility in choosing supporting textbooks and other course resources
giving instructors the option to select only those applets that apply to their intended course syllabi Interactive Simulations Multi-scaled stepping mechanisms for control of the simulation Features for exploring different aspects in detail Supports active engagement
Enables students to learn at their own pace Sample Problems Each tool equipped with sample problems Helpful for beginner students. For instructors, this means less time searching for examples. Creation of New Problems Including:
inputting new data creating new knowledge bases constructing new graphs Supports active engagement Supports more advanced students Enables instructors to create their own problems for students. Consistency Including:
common applet layout common menu content and layout similar graphical entities modes for creating and solving analogous methods for executing algorithms Minimizes learning time and facilitates use
Table Summary P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
U1 U2 Coverage and Modularity Visual Representations
Interactive Simulations Control of Algorithm Pace Comparison of Algorithms
Sample Problems Creation of New Problems U3
Each goal is supported by at least two design features. We argue that this level of redundancy provides an adequate foundation for a robust and reliable set of tools. Overview of design process Iterative design process: Identify pedagogical and usability goals Design and implement features to achieve goals
Revise choices in light of evaluations Evaluation Feedback from users Usability inspection: User studies The applet is at least as effective in increasing understanding as the traditional method of studying sample problems on paper. Students liked studying with the applet significantly (ttest, p<.007) more than studying with paper sample problems.
Conclusions Results and feedback about CIspace have been encouraging. Visualizations can be effective for both educators and students when designed to support pedagogical and usability goals. CIspace: www.cs.ubc.ca/labs/lci/Cispace
Questions? Thank You! Future Work We continue to update our tools in light of results from our evaluations. Customizable applets user customizable author customizable
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