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Rakesh Agrawal, Sreenivas Gollapudi, Anitha Kannan, and Krishnaram Kenthapadi

The rapid proliferation of hand-held devices has led to the development of rich, interactive and immersive applications, such as e-readers for electronic books. These applications motivate retrieval systems that can implicitly satisfy any information need of the reader by exploiting the context of the user’s interactions. Such retrieval systems differ from traditional search engines in that the queries constructed using the context are typically complex objects (including the document and its...

Publication details
Date: 4 November 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Marios Kokkodis, Anitha Kannan, and Krishnaram Kenthapadi

The emergence of tablet devices, cloud computing, and abundant online multimedia content presents new opportunities to transform traditional paper-based textbooks into tablet-based electronic textbooks, and to further augment the educational experience by enriching them with relevant supplementary materials. The use of multimedia content such as educational videos along with textual content has been shown to improve learning outcomes. While such videos are becoming increasingly available, even a highly...

Publication details
Date: 1 July 2014
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2014-62
Marios Kokkodis, Anitha Kannan, and Krishnaram Kenthapadi

The emergence of tablet devices, cloud computing, and abundant online multimedia content presents new opportunities to transform traditional paper-based textbooks into tablet-based electronic textbooks. Towards this goal, techniques have been proposed to automatically augment textbook sections with relevant web content such as online educational videos. However, a highly relevant video can be created at a granularity that may not mimic the organization of the textbook. We focus on the video...

Publication details
Date: 1 July 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: International Educational Data Mining Society
Rakesh Agrawal, Maria Christoforaki, Sreenivas Gollapudi, Anitha Kannan, Krishnaram Kenthapadi, and Adith Swaminathan

We propose a system for mining videos from the web for supplementing the content of electronic textbooks in order to enhance their utility. Textbooks are generally organized into sections such that each section explains very few concepts and every concept is primarily explained in one section. Building upon these principles from the education literature and drawing upon the theory of Formal Concept Analysis, we define the focus of a section in terms of a few indicia, which themselves are combinations of...

Publication details
Date: 1 June 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: Springer
Michael Brooks, Sumit Basu, Charles Jacobs, and Lucy Vanderwende

In comparison to multiple choice or other recognition-oriented forms of assessment, short answer questions have been shown to offer greater value for both students and teachers; for students they can improve retention of knowledge, while for teachers they provide more insight into student understanding. Unfortunately, the same open-ended nature which makes them so valuable also makes them more difficult to grade at scale. To address this, we propose a cluster-based interface that allows teachers to...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACL – Association for Computational Linguistics
Rakesh Agrawal, M. Hanif Jhaveri, and Krishnaram Kenthapadi

Education and learning are currently undergoing transformative changes due to the emergence of tablet devices, cloud computing, and abundant online content. These trends present opportunities to transform traditional paper-based textbooks into tablet-based electronic textbooks, and to further enrich the educational experience by augmenting them with relevant supplementary materials. A natural question is whether this educational intervention, namely, enriching textbooks with relevant web articles,...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Marios Kokkodis, Anitha Kannan, and Krishnaram Kenthapadi

The emergence of tablet devices, cloud computing, and abundant online multimedia content presents new opportunities to transform traditional paper-based textbooks into tablet-based electronic textbooks, and to further augment the educational experience by enriching them with relevant supplementary materials. Given a candidate set of relevant educational videos for augmenting an electronic textbook, how do we assign the videos at the appropriate granularity (a collection of logical units in the book)? We...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Rakesh Agrawal, Behzad Golshan, and Evimaria Terzi

Given a class of large number of students, each exhibiting a different ability level, how can we form teams of students so that the expected performance of team members improves due to team participation? We take a computational perspective and formally define two versions of such team-formation problem: the MaxTeam and the MaxPartition problems. The first asks for the identification of a single team of students that improves the performance of most of the participating team members. The second asks for...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Rakesh Agrawal, Maria Christoforaki, Sreenivas Gollapudi, Anitha Kannan, Krishnaram Kenthapadi, and Adith Swaminathan

We propose a system for mining videos from the web for supplementing the content of electronic textbooks in order to enhance their utility. Textbooks are generally organized into sections such that each section explains very few concepts and every concept is primarily explained in one section. Building upon these principles from the education literature and drawing upon the theory of Formal Concept Analysis, we define the focus of a section in terms of a few indicia, which themselves are combinations of...

Publication details
Date: 1 January 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-5
Edward Cutrell, Srinath Bala, Andrew Cross, Naren Datha, Rahul Kumar, Madhusudan Parthasarathy, Siddharth Prakash, Sriram Rajamani, William Thies, Chetan Bansal, and Aldo John

Students in the developing world are frequently cited as being among the most important beneficiaries of online education initiatives such as massive open online courses (MOOCs). However, very little research has actually been done on the effects of online education in developing contexts. We describe a case study of our experience building and deploying Massively Empowered Classroom (MEC), an experimental project designed to explore how online educational content and techniques in blended learning can...

Publication details
Date: 31 December 2013
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Technical Report
Number: MSR-TR-2013-127
Rakesh Agrawal, Sreenivas Gollapudi, Anitha Kannan, and Krishnaram Kenthapadi

We present study navigator, an algorithmically-generated aid for enhancing the experience of studying from electronic textbooks. The study navigator for a section of the book consists of helpful concept references for understanding this section. Each concept reference is a pair consisting of a concept phrase explained elsewhere and the link to the section in which it has been explained. We propose a novel reader model for textbooks and an algorithm for generating the study navigator based on this model....

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Sumit Basu, Chuck Jacobs, and Lucy Vanderwende

We introduce a new approach to the machine-assisted grading of short answer questions. We follow past work in automated grading by first training a similarity metric between student responses, but then go on to use this metric to group responses into clusters and subclusters. The resulting groupings allow teachers to grade multiple responses with a single action, provide rich feedback to groups of similar answers, and discover modalities of misunderstanding among students; we refer to this amplification...

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2013
Type: Article
Publisher: ACL – Association for Computational Linguistics
Rakesh Agrawal, Sreenivas Gollapudi, Anitha Kannan, and Krishnaram Kenthapadi

We present study navigator, an algorithmically-generated aid for enhancing the experience of studying from electronic textbooks. The study navigator for a section of the book consists of helpful concept references for understanding this section. Each concept reference is a pair consisting of a concept phrase explained elsewhere and the link to the section in which it has been explained. We propose a novel reader model for textbooks and an algorithm for generating the study navigator based on this model....

Publication details
Date: 15 July 2013
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2013-68
Sumit Basu and Janara Christensen

Given a classification task, what is the best way to teach the resulting boundary to a human? While machine learning techniques can provide excellent methods for finding the boundary, including the selection of examples in an online setting, they tell us little about how we would teach a human the same task. We propose to investigate the problem of example selection and presentation in the context of teaching humans, and explore a variety of mechanisms in the interests of finding what may work best. In...

Publication details
Date: 1 July 2013
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: AAAI - Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Tao Xie, Nikolai Tillmann, and Jonathan de Halleux

We define and advocate the subfield of educational software engineering (i.e., software engineering for education), which develops software engineering technologies (e.g., software testing and analysis, software analytics) for general educational tasks, going beyond educational tasks for software engineering. In this subfield, gaming technologies often play an important role together with software engineering technologies. We expect that researchers in educational software engineering would be among key...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Nikolai Tillmann, Jonathan De Halleux, Tao Xie, Sumit Gulwani, and Judith Bishop

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have recently gained high popularity among various universities and even in global societies. A critical factor for their success in teaching and learning effectiveness is assignment grading. Traditional ways of assignment grading are not scalable and do not give timely or interactive feedback to students. To address these issues, we present an interactive-gaming-based teaching and learning platform called Pex4Fun. Pex4Fun is a browser-based teaching and learning...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Benjamin Mako Hill and Andres Monroy-Hernandez

In this article we argue that there is a trade-off between generativity and originality in online communities that support open collaboration. We build on foundational theoretical work in peer production to formulate and test a series of hypotheses suggesting that the generativity of creative works is associated with moderate complexity, prominent authors, and cumulativeness. We also formulate and test three hypotheses that these qualities are associated with decreased originality in resulting...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2013
Type: Article
Publisher: American Behavioral Scientist
Darren Edge, Kai-Yin Cheng, and Michael Whitney

Games that engage both mind and body by targeting users’ kinesthetic intelligence have the potential to transform the activity of learning across a wide variety of domains. To investigate this potential in the context of second language learning, we have developed SpatialEase: a Kinect game for the body-based learning of language that is grounded in space and motion. In this game, learners respond to audio commands in the second language by moving their bodies in space, while a game mechanic based on...

Publication details
Date: 29 April 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Andrew Cross, Mydhili Bayyapunedi, Edward Cutrell, Anant Agarwal, and William Thies

Recent years have seen enormous growth of online educational videos, spanning K-12 tutorials to university lectures. As this content has grown, so too has grown the number of presentation styles. Some educators have strong allegiance to handwritten recordings (using pen and tablet), while others use only typed (PowerPoint) presentations. In this paper, we present the first systematic comparison of these two presentation styles and how they are perceived by viewers. Surveys on edX and Mechanical Turk...

Publication details
Date: 29 April 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Steve Hodges, James Scott, Sue Sentance, Colin Miller, Nicolas Villar, Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche, Kerry Hammil, and Steven Johnston

In this paper we present the features of a new physical device prototyping platform called Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer along with our initial experiences using it to teach computer science in high schools. Gadgeteer makes it easy for newcomers to electronics and computing to plug together modules with varied functionality and to program the resulting system's behavior. We believe the platform is particularly suited to teaching modern programming concepts such as object-oriented, event-based programming and...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Benjamin Mako Hill and Andres Monroy-Hernandez

In this paper, we use evidence from a remixing community to evaluate two pieces of common wisdom about collaboration. First, we test the theory that jointly produced works tend to be of higher quality than individually authored products. Second, we test the theory that collaboration improves the quality of functional works like code, but that it works less well for artistic works like images and sounds. We use data from Scratch, a large online community where hundreds of thousands of young users share...

Publication details
Date: 1 February 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Sue Sentance and Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche

This paper reports on a study carried out in secondary schools in the UK with students learning to use .NET Gadgeteer, a rapid prototyping platform for building small electronic devices. A case study methodology has been used. Some of the students involved in this four-month-long project had some prior background in computer programming whereas for others this was completely new. The teaching materials provided a two-phase model of learning: an instruction phase followed by a creative phase, the latter...

Publication details
Date: 8 November 2012
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Nikolai Tillmann, Michal Moskal, Jonathan de Halleux, Manuel Fahndrich, and Sebastian Burckhardt

Mobile devices are becoming the prevalent computing platform for most people. TouchDevelop is a new mobile development environment that enables anyone with a Windows Phone to create new apps directly on the smartphone, without a PC or a traditional keyboard. At the core is a new mobile programming language and editor that was designed with the touchscreen as the only input device in mind. Programs written in TouchDevelop can leverage all phone sensors such as GPS, cameras, accelerometer, gyroscope, and...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2012
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Andrew Cross, Edward Cutrell, and William Thies

Electronic response systems known as “clickers” have demonstrated educational benefits in well-resourced classrooms, but remain out-of-reach for most schools due to their prohibitive cost. We propose a new, low-cost technique that utilizes computer vision for real-time polling of a classroom. Our approach allows teachers to ask a multiple-choice question. Students respond by holding up a qCard : a sheet of paper that contains a printed code, similar to a QR code, encoding their student IDs. Students...

Publication details
Date: 7 October 2012
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: UIST
Darren Edge, Kai-Yin Cheng, Michael Whitney, Yao Qian, Zhijie Yan, and Frank Soong

Learning a second language is hard, especially when the learner’s brain must be retrained to identify sounds not present in his or her native language. It also requires regular practice, but many learners struggle to find the time and motivation. Our solution is to break down the challenge of mastering a foreign sound system into minute-long episodes of “microtraining” delivered through mobile gaming. We present the example of Tip Tap Tones – a mobile game with the purpose of helping learners acquire...

Publication details
Date: 21 September 2012
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
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