Thesis Proposal

Integrating Effective Learning Principles into Student Study Practices

Abstract: The learning sciences offer more effective, efficient and compelling ways to learn; yet education as practiced too rarely incorporates the resulting recommendations. I present CourseCheck, a web-based software system that scaffolds metacognitive skills to help any student to study as an expert learner. The design of CourseCheck integrates an HCI design process (e.g. contextual inquiry, needs validation) with learning principles from educational theory. From this process two distinct needs were identified and a subsystem was developed to address each. Nudge reminds students regularly what course tasks they can do soon to help them learn and attempts to motivate them through intermittent challenges and rewards. Salved, helps students study worked solutions to problems in the (sometimes counter-intuitive) optimal ways indicating by learning sciences research. One variant of Salved employs the testing effect and the other employs the worked-example effect. I report on designs and evaluations to date and present a study design to understand the relative effects of the learner interactions in these subsystems and variants. I propose to develop causal models of student traits and behaviors to predict among future students how they will use system and how much they will benefit.