Diane Litman has been elected to be an Association of Computational Linguistics Fellow. The Fellows program recognizes ACL members whose contributions to the field have been most extraordinary in terms of scientific and technical excellence, service to the association and the community and/or educational or outreach activities with broader impact. Diane has been specifically chosen for her key contributions to dialogue systems research, especially the application of reinforcement learning and multimodal analysis to tutoring dialogue. Find more information on ACL Fellows here.
The American Psychological Society has selected Jamie Hanson as a Rising Star. The Rising Star designation recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions.
Ming-Te Wang, Psychology in Education, is a featured grantee on the Spencer website for having been awarded the Lyle Spencer Research Award. His work is titled "In Spite of Parents? Exploring the Value of Family Involvement in Educating African American Adolescents," which seeks to develop a comprehensive framework of best practices on how African American caretakers effectively advance their children's educational outcomes in adolescence.
The Experiences of Female Students in an Introductory Physics Course
By Emily Marshman, Zeynep Y. Kalender, Timothy Nokes-Malach, Christian Schunn, and Chandralekha Singh
Imagine you are sitting in a classroom full of 200 students in an introductory physics course at a large university. Looking around the room, you don’t think you can relate to your classmates, and you are not sure if you will be able to succeed in the course. During discussions with your classmates, sometimes it feels as though they aren’t paying attention to your ideas, and you begin to further doubt your ability to succeed. As the course progresses, it is difficult for you to identify how the subject matter is relevant to your life and future career. It seems like in this particular course, either you "get" the topics or you don’t—and you definitely don’t "get it". After a few weeks, you think that perhaps you just don’t belong, decide to keep quiet in class discussions, and seriously consider dropping the course.
This experience appears to be quite common for female students in STEM courses—especially introductory physics courses. The experience illustrates that students’ motivation can play a large part in the extent to which they engage in physics courses. While there have been some efforts to improve the experiences of female students and make physics courses more inclusive, the reasons for the frequently documented low enrollment percentages and the under-performance of women in physics are still not fully understood. Researchers are now examining the relationship between students’ motivation and learning and, in particular, the motivation of female students.
Read the entire research article here.
LRDC will host the 6th International Workshop on the Advanced Learning Sciences (IWALS2018) at the University of Pittsburgh, June 6-8, 2018. The theme for IWALS 2018 is "Perspectives on the Learner: Cognition, Brian, and Education." This theme embraces cross-discipline and cross-method perspectives on learning: its neural bases, its cognitive, social and motivation components and how learning occurs in formal and informal education settings. For more information on the conference; submit a proposal; or register, go to www.iwals2018.pitt.edu
In the News
Mary Kay Stein and LRDC colleagues are among recipients of the James S. McDonnell Foundation's new program in educational research, which has awarded $24.5 million for studies of Teachers as Learners. TMC News featured an article on the award on January 17, 2018.
The Washington Post featured an article written by Lindsay Page, titled "America's Teacher Shortage Can't be Solved by Hiring More Unqualified Teachers" on January 9, 2018.
Harvard Business Review featured an article by Lindsay Page titled "How Georgia State University Used an Algorithm to Help Students Navigate the Road to College" on January 16, 2018.
Ben-Eliyahu, A., Moore, D. Dorph, R. & Schunn, C. D. (2018). Investigating the multidimensionality of engagement: Affective, behavioral, and cognitive engagement across science activities and contexts. Contemporary Educational Psychology. Article here.
Witherspoon, E., Schunn, C. D., Higashi, R., and Shoop, R. (2018). Attending to structural programming features predicts differences in learning and motivation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Article here.
Fan, Q., Nummenmaa, A., Wichtmann, B. Witzel, T., Mekkaoui, C., Schneider, W., Wald, L. L., & Huang, S. Y. (in press). Validation of diffusion MRI estimates of compartment size and volume fraction in a biomimetic brain phantom using a human MRI scanner with 300 mT/m maximum gradient strength. NeuroImage. Article here.
Tuninetti, A., & Tokowicz, N. (2018). The influence of a first language: Training nonnative listeners on voicing contrasts. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience. Article here.
Litman, D. J., & Nguyen, H. V. (2018). Argument mining for improving the automated scoring of persuasive essays. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Article here.
Ben-Eliyahu, A., Moore, D., Dorph, R., & Schunn, C. D. (2018). Investigating the multidimensionality of engagement: Affective, behavioral, and cognitive engagement across science activities and contexts. Contemporary Educational Psychology. Article here.
Page, L. C., Iriti, J. E., Lowry, D. J., & Anthony, A. M. (2018). The promise of place-based investment in postsecondary access and success: Investigating the impact of the Pittsburgh Promise. Education Finance and Policy. Article here.
Derringer, C., & Rottman, B. (2018). How people learn about causal influence when there are many possible causes: A model based on informative transitions. Cognitive Psychology. Article here.