Carnegie Mellon Holds 12th Annual LearnLab Summer School
The Simon Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has concluded its 12th annual LearnLab Summer School,
a week-long intensive course that teaches graduate students, working
professionals and researchers about CMU-developed tools that merge
education, data and technology.
This year 55 students worked in
small project teams to gain hands-on experience in one of four learning
tracks: Building Online Courses with OLI (Open Learning Initiative),
Intelligent Tutor Systems Development, Computer Supported Collaborative
Learning or Educational Data Mining. The program matches students with
CMU mentors, who emailed with students as they completed preparatory
work required before the summer school began. Then from July 11 to 15,
students attended lectures, discussions and laboratory sessions where
they developed a small prototype experiment in math, science or
language learning. On the last day, the teams presented their work to
The Building Online Courses with OLI track introduced
students to the "underlying pedagogical approach and design philosophy
that supports OLI learning experiences" and guided them "in the use of
the tools and technologies that constitute the OLI platform," according
to the site. Students applied their learning by refining learning
outcomes to make them more precise and measurable and then developing
content, activities and assessments to support those learning outcomes.
Intelligent Tutor Systems Development track taught students how to
implement a prototype computer-based tutor using tools such as CTAT (Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools), which supports the development of intelligent tutoring systems, or TuTalk, which is used to develop tutorial dialog systems that interact with students through natural language.
The Computer Supported Collaborative Learning track taught students how to use authoring tools such as TuTalk, TagHelper and SIDE to "implement automatic support for collaborative learning
that could be integrated with an existing environment," according to
information on the site.
The Educational Data Mining track
taught students how to analyze an educational data set using data
mining tools and algorithms and then interpret and present the results.
Students had the option of using their own data set or one of the data
sets currently in the LearnLab's DataShop.
The LearnLab is the scientific arm of the Simon Initiative and was originally funded by the National Science Foundation. Further information about the LearnLab Summer School can be found on LearnLab's site.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.