Submitted by Youssef Ballo on Mon, 07/07/2014 - 1:38am.

Two economics professors have found that a method to an undergraduate’s brain is to use a computer game that shows the theory of economics. Playconomics is an online game about economics and it allows students to cooperate with other agents in an economic environment. Students are allowed to make economic decisions and study the outcomes. This game can be played on any device and players progress at their own pace. According to Alberto Motta, one of the creators of the game, "Playconomics plays like a video game, but also teaches like a regular textbook. It puts the student into a vibrant, simulated world, but is also very academically accurate."

New 3D Tablets Being Developed

Submitted by Khalil Abubakar on Sun, 07/06/2014 - 11:51pm.

There have been topics regarding 3D devices like machines, printers and televisions in recent years. However, the 3D technology that amazes me most is the new tablet developed by Google. According to Wall Street Journal, 4,000 prototypes of the Google tablet will be available by July and equipped with advanced 3D image capturing cameras, among others. Imagine being able to see maps, images and gaming apps in 3D? This will help us see the world in a whole new dimension. The table will make learning subjects like math and science much more easier and understandable.

Benefits of Sports on Health

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Sun, 07/06/2014 - 11:08pm.

Most people have the notion that sports are only meant for professionals. Engaging in sports does not require any extra ordinary skill. For most sports, learning the basics is key to being able to play. Both indoor and outdoor sports come with great benefits to participants' health. Studies have proven that, after learning the basics in every sport, the individual has to be focused in order to acquire the full benefits of the sport they play. Apparently, other aspects of our lives require us to stay focused. When individuals stay focused at work or at school, there is increase in productivity.

Global Entrepreneurship

Submitted by Jeffrey Hado on Sun, 07/06/2014 - 9:45pm.

During last Wednesday’s seminar when I asked Jeff Levy what were his reasons for starting Office Hours, he said the timing was right for such a tool. He highlighted the general interest in MOOCs and data collection as principal motivating factors. One of the key factors every aspiring entrepreneur must consider when starting a business is timing and whether the product has a sustainable market. This article asks whether India is the most entrepreneurial country in the world. The article cites the Global Entrepreneurial Report, which looked at entrepreneurship in 33 countries. The countries were mainly developed (USA, China, Russia, etc.,) and developing economies (Turkey, Brazil, India, etc.,).

One of the major conclusions from the report is that the entrepreneurial spirit seems more alive in developing economies than developed ones. People in the developing countries strive to make a living from any opportunities they are exposed to and in India; business activity takes off at a very early stage.

EDM'14 - Zoran Popović Keynote: Generative Adaptivity for Optimization of the Learning Ecosystem

Submitted by Sharon Hsiao on Sun, 07/06/2014 - 4:09am.

Dr. Popović is the Director of Center for Game Science at the University of Washington and founder of Engaged Learning

Most of the current work on improving learning outcomes focuses on a small subset of variables of an immensely multi- dimensional space of the learning ecosystem. With ITS, learning games, and other digital content we consider only individual students, other research focuses only on teacher development, or only on curriculum improvement. In this talk I will describe our efforts on how to discover optimal parameters of this system that considers student factors (engagement and mastery), classroom factors (blended learning and group learning variations), curriculum factors (multidimensional variation of existing curricula), and teacher factors (in-class tools that mitigate weaknesses, and promote teacher development). I will describe our work on algorithms to discover optimal learning pathways in this high-dimensional space and conclude with recent outcome

EDM'14 - EduRank: A Collaborative Filtering Approach to Personalization in E-learning

Submitted by Sharon Hsiao on Sat, 07/05/2014 - 10:50am.


The growing prevalence of e-learning systems and on-line courses has made educational material widely accessible to students of vary- ing abilities, backgrounds and styles. There is thus a growing need to accomodate for individual differences in such e-learning systems. This paper presents a new algorithm for personliazing educa- tional content to students that combines collaborative filtering algo- rithms with social choice theory. The algorithm constructs a “dif- ficulty” ranking over questions for a target student by aggregating the ranking of similar students, as measured by different aspects of their performance on common past questions, such as grades, number of retries, and time spent solving questions. It infers a difficulty ranking directly over the questions for a target student, rather than ordering them according to predicted performance, which is prone to error.

Education Key to Ending Poverty in Vietnam

Submitted by Bismark Appiah on Sat, 07/05/2014 - 10:42am.

Many undeveloped countries struggle to provide a better education for its citizens mainly due to poverty. A lot of things can be done when there is money. On the other hand, many things cannot be accomplished when there is no money. Vietnam is one of many countries that are poverty-stricken. The vialogue below highlights the opinions of 300 students who were asked talk about how they will end poverty in Vietnam. Most of the student’s answers concerned education. Students claim that improving the quality of education will help end poverty. Also, students believe that building infrastructure will also be a good cause to end poverty. Many of the ideas presented by these students are fantastic. Moreover, they are the right steps the government needs to take. I believe that ending poverty in Vietnam will be plausible. However, the process has to be gradual. Vietnam needs to aim at how to diminish poverty before thinking about ending it completely. It is possible to end poverty but then again, it is a hard task to achieve.

EDM'14 - Choice-based assessment:

Submitted by Sharon Hsiao on Sat, 07/05/2014 - 6:51am.

Another fascinating paper:
Can Choices Made in Digital Games Predict 6th-Grade Students' Math Test Scores?

In this paper, we mined students' sequential behaviors from an instructional game for color mixing called Lightlet. Students pkaying the game have two broad strategies. They can either test candidate color combinations in an experiment room without risking an incorrect answer. Or they can choose colors from a faux shopping Catalog containing several different mixing charts. While the results shown in the Experiment Room are always correct, only a few of the charts in the Catalog are correct. Thus, if students use the catalog students must apply critical thinking skills to determine what charts to trust. Our primary goal in this work was to identify the crucial choice pattern(s) in students' game play that would contribute to their learning or subsequent performance.

EDM'14 - Who’s in Control?

Submitted by Sharon Hsiao on Sat, 07/05/2014 - 6:26am.

Who’s in Control?: Categorizing Nuanced Patterns of Behaviors within a Game-Based Intelligent Tutoring System

The authors use dynamical analyses to investigate the relation between students’ patterns of interactions with various types of game-based features and their daily performance. High school students (n=40) interacted with a game-based intelligent tutoring system across eight sessions. Hurst exponents were calculated based on students’ choice of interactions with four types of game- based features: generative practice, identification mini-games, personalizable features, and achievement screens. These exponents indicate the extent to which students’ interaction patterns with game-based features are random or deterministic (i.e., controlled). Results revealed a positive relation between deterministic behavior patterns and daily performance measures. Further analyses indicated that students’ propensity to interact in a controlled manner varied as a function of their commitment to learning. Overall, these results provide insight into the potential relations between students’ pattern of choices, individual differences in learning commitment, and daily performance in a learning environment.

EDm'14 - A Data-Driven Approach: Learning Individual Behavior in an Educational Game

Submitted by Sharon Hsiao on Sat, 07/05/2014 - 5:58am.



Modeling and predicting individual behavior in such interactive environments is crucial to better understand the learning process and improve the tools in the future. A model-based approach is a standard way to learn student behavior in highly-structured systems such as intelligent tutors. Defining such a model relies on expert domain knowledge.

They propose a data-driven approach to learn individual behavior given a user’s interaction history. This model does not heavily rely on expert domain knowledge. They use framework to predict player movements in two educational puzzle games, demonstrating that our behavior model performs significantly better than a baseline on both games. This indicates that our framework can generalize without requiring extensive expert knowledge specific to each domain.

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