DANCE: Discussion Affordances for Natural Collaborative Exchange

DANCE Talk Series

DANCE Talk Series

In this online talk series, distinguished invited speakers from academia and industry present focus topics related to the DANCE efforts. Talks are scheduled every four to six weeks. During the talks, you will be able to submit questions which will be discussed with the speaker after the presentation. All talks are being archived and remain available for you to watch at any time. You are also invited to discuss topics covered in previous talks in our Google group. If you are interested in giving a talk, contact us.

Conversational support for learning in productivity-focused project contexts

Speaker: Sreecharan "Sree" Sankaranarayanan, Ph.D. Student, Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Date: May 22, 2020, 12 noon Pacific Time
Recorded Talk: Note that this talk was delivered to the Digital Learning Lab at the University of California, Irvine Zoom Recording
Slides (Download to see animated content)

Group projects in project-based courses are designed as opportunities for students to learn from each other in a collaborative setting. In a race to maximize efficiency, however, students often resort to divide-and-conquer strategies subverting the opportunity to learn from the collaboration. These challenges are exacerbated online as differing student schedules make it harder to work together on projects. This work investigates the use of a task structuring and role-assignment paradigm to support collaborative project-based learning that discourages divide-and-conquer. (read more)

FROG: A Platform for the Authoring and Running of Complex Collaborative Scripts

Speaker: Stian Haklev, Post-Doc, EPFL, Lausanne
Date: February 5, 12 noon Eastern Time (view in your time zone)
Live Talk Video and Live Chat (YouTube Live)

FROG is an open-source web-platform to author (design) and run rich collaborative learning activities. It introduces a concept of pluggable activity types (like video player, quiz, brainstorming or programming exercises), which can be configured by the designer, and connected in a learning graph, with data from one activity being transformed and reused in another (ideas from a brainstorm flowing into a concept map tool), and with pluggable "operators", which can transform data, intelligently group students, etc. through the use of algorithms and machine learning. (read more)

Methods and Paradigms of Learning Analytics in Current Research

Speaker: H. Ulrich Hoppe, Full Professor, Universiry of Duisberg-Essen
Date: June 12, 12 noon EDT (view in your time zone)
Live Talk Video and Live Chat (YouTube Live)

Learning Analytics features an inherent interest in algorithms and computational methods of analysis. This makes Learning Analytics an interesting field of study for computer scientists and mathematically inspired researchers. A differentiated view of the different types of approaches is relevant not only for technology developers but also those involved for the design and interpretation of analytics applications. (read more)

Growing Academic Innovation in a Digital Innovation Greenhouse

Speaker: Timothy McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics, Astronomy, Education; Director of the Digital Innovation Greenhouse
Date: April 10, 12 noon EDT (view in your time zone)
Live Talk Video and Live Chat (YouTube Live)

In an age of digitally mediated education, it is possible to personalize education at scale, even when teaching thousands of students. Approaches to personalization span a spectrum from supporting individual agency to instructional tailoring by expert systems. At the University of Michigan, faculty members have created an array of innovations which span this spectrum, including tools like ECoach, the Academic Reporting Toolkit, GradeCraft, and MWrite. Each emerged from a research group as a promising seedling. (read more)

Three paradigms in developing students' statistical reasoning

Speaker: Dani Ben-Zvi, Faculty of Education, LINKS I-CORE, University of Haifa, Israel
Date: March 27, 12 noon EST (view in your time zone)
Live Talk Video and Live Chat (YouTube Live)

This talk is a reflection on more-than-a-decade research in the area of statistics education in upper primary school (grades 4-6, 10-12 years old). The goal of these studies was to better understand the emergence of young students' statistical reasoning as they were involved in authentic data investigations and statistical model simulations in a technology-enhanced learning ecology entitled Connections. The talk describes three main evolving paradigms that guide our educational and academic efforts: EDA, ISI, and Modeling. The first, EDA, refers to Exploratory Data Analysis – children investigate sample data they have collected without making explicit inferences to a larger population. The second, ISI, refers to Informal Statistical Inference - children make inferences informally about a larger population than the sample they have at hand. The third, Modeling ... (read more)

Developing Predictive Analytics to Strengthen Learning (Activity) Design that Promotes Criticality in African Higher Education Contexts: Can the Use of Social Media Support this Process?

Speaker: Rita Kizito, PhD, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Date: December 7, 2016, 11.00am EDT (view in your time zone)
Live Talk Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

The recent South African student protests of 2015 demanding free, decolonised, quality higher education provision for academically-deserving students from less privileged backgrounds raises questions around how one should design for learning in these contexts. There is an urgent need to transform curricular in order to address past inequalities and embrace social innovation simultaneously. What knowledge forms and dispositions should the higher education learning activity designer prioritise or privilege? What pedagogic forms of support are appropriate for buttressing learning in these environments? ... (read more)

Teaming in Team Based MOOCs

Speaker: Miaomiao Wen, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University
Date: October 31, 2016, 12.00pm EDT (view in your time zone)
Live Talk Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

This talk reports on dissertation research focused on support of productive team formation in team-based MOOCs. The key idea is that students should have the opportunity to interact meaningfully with the community before they are assigned to teams. That discussion not only provides evidence of which students would work well together, but also provides students with significant insight into alternative task-relevant perspectives prior to collaboration. A validation study demonstrates that this teaming procedure increases team performance at a knowledge integration task by at least 3 standard deviations while also increasing the prevalence of positive collaborative processes during collaboration... (read more)

DiscourseDB Tutorial

Speakers: Oliver Ferschke, Carnegie Mellon University
Chris Bogart, Carnegie Mellon University
Date: August 25, 2016, 09.00am EDT (view in your time zone)
Session 1 Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)
Session 2 Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

This tutorial introduces the core concept of DiscourseDB, gives an overview of the codebase and provides hands-on training for developers and users interested in implementing data converters for new data sources or analytics pipelines for DiscourseDB data. It furthermore introduces the new web-based data browser along with interfaces to text annotation and machine learning tools... (read more)

Scripting and Orchestration at Scale: New Frontiers in Pedagogy for Large Online Courses

Speakers: Jim Slotta, University of Toronto
Stian Håklev, University of Toronto
Date: July 07, 2016, 11.00am EDT (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

"Teaching with technology and inquiry" (INQ101x) was a six-week MOOC designed for in-service teachers interested in learning how to integrate technology and inquiry into their own practice. The course was co-led by a professor and a school principal... (read more)

A MOOC for programmers in the developing world

Speaker: Riaz Moola, Hyperion Development
Date: June 09, 2016, 11.00am EDT (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

Computer Science education is uniquely empowering in the developing world. No skill can more rapidly empower individuals to enter life-changing careers, but no skill is as hard to learn in the global south. Hyperion Development has built... (read more)

Tutorial: Agent-supported online discussion with Bazaar

Speaker: Gaurav S. Tomar, Carnegie Mellon University
Date: May 13, 2016
Lecture Part 1: 9.00am - 11.30am EDT (view in your time zone)
Lecture Part 2: 1.30pm - 3.00pm EDT (view in your time zone)
Q&A/Hands-on: 3.00pm - 5.00pm EDT (view in your time zone)
Session 1 Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)
Slides session 1
Session 2 Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)
Slides session 2

This online tutorial will familiarize you with the Bazaar agent framework. You will learn how to implement agents and conduct studies using those agents in a synchronous online chat environment. (more details and agenda)

Unhangout - experiments in participant-driven online events

Speakers: J. Philipp Schmidt, MIT Media Lab
Katherine McConachie, MIT Media Lab
Date: April 14, 2016, 11.00am EDT (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

Unhangout is an open source platform for running large-scale, synchronous, participant-driven events online. Drawing inspiration from the unconference model, Unhangout seeks to provide an opportunity for users to engage in participatory online learning experiences. Since it’s launch in 2013, Unhangout has supported more than 17,500 users in events hosted by organizations like the National Writing Project, edCamp, and HarvardX... (read more)

Collaborative (Math) Assessment with CPSX

Speaker: Yoav Bergner, ETS
Date: March 24, 2016, 12.00pm EDT (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

At LWMOOCs II, we released CPSX, a bare-bones XBlock to include small-group chat sessions that accompany any instructional or assessment sequence in Open edX. In this talk I will describe the psychometric research that my colleague Peter Halpin (NYU) and I are doing with this tool. This work started out... (read more)

ProSolo: A Platform for Personalized, Competency-based Learning

Speaker: Dragan Gašević, University of Edinburgh
Date: February 17, 2016, 11.00am EST (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

This talk will describe underlying principles, design, and experience gained with ProSolo, a platform that supports personalized, competency-based learning through social interaction. Traditional educational models are primarily focused on classroom education and training typically associated with the notion of credit hours as the (only) route towards formal credentials. This limits opportunities for creating personalized learning pathways in the changing educational context. ProSolo provide users... (read more)

Supporting and assessing classroom discussion in an active learning seminar

Speaker: Ari Bader-Natal, Minerva Project
Date: January 28, 2016, 1.00pm EST (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

In a small seminar classroom, how might we actively engage every student in the discussion? How might we provide each student with timely and actionable feedback on their contributions to a classroom discussion? How might we structure summative feedback so that students are evaluated not on what they produce for a final exam, but instead on what they demonstrate that they have mastered and can apply in new contexts, years later? These are a few of the questions that have guided the design of the Active Learning Forum, the core technology used to support and assess learning in every class at the Minerva Schools at KGI. (read more).

Tutorial: DiscourseDB

Speaker: Oliver Ferschke, Carnegie Mellon University
Date: January 8, 2016
Material: Slides and code
Video recording

This tutorial introduces the core concept of DiscourseDB, gives an overview of the codebase and provides hands-on training for developers and users interested in implementing data converters for new data sources or analytics pipelines for DiscourseDB data.

xBlock Design Panel

Panel: Carolyn P. Rosé, CMU
Erik Klopfer, MIT
Erland Stevens, Davidson
Piotr Mitros, edX
Date: December 22, 4.00pm EST (view in you time zone)
Event: Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

In the december session of the DANCE Talk series, we are presenting the collaborative XBlock we have been building during the last months. A feedback panel with several MOOC stakeholders will discuss the design as well as opportunities for future expansion of the system and talk about practical aspects of making use of the XBlock in coming MOOCs and MOOC research. Feedback from the audience is welcome during the panel session via the Hangout Q&A tool or any time in our Google Group.

Orchestration Graphs

Speaker: Pierre Dillenbourg, EPFL
Date: November 5, 11.00 ET (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

The goal of orchestration graphs is to describe how rich learning activities, often designed for small classes, can be scaled up to thousands of participants, as in MOOCs. A sequence of learning activities is modeled as a graph with specific properties ... (read more)

Avenues for underrepresented learners in MOOCs: Understanding prevalence, geographic representation, and homophily in MOOC-associated Facebook groups

Speakers: Amy Ogan, Carnegie Mellon University
Jessica Hammer, Carnegie Mellon University
Date: October 15, 11.00 ET (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (YouTube)

Although xMOOCs are not designed to directly engage students via social media platforms, some students in these courses are choosing to join MOOC-associated Facebook groups. We present our foundational work that suggests that learners from underrepresented groups may encounter challenges with connecting with anonymous peer learners on MOOC forums, and thus turn to other sources of support. Our subsequent study explores ... (read more)

MOOClets - A Framework for Enhancing and Personalizing Online Education

Speaker: Joseph Jay Williams, HarvardX
Date: September 10, 11.00 EDT (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (mobile option)

The formalism of a MOOClet provides a Framework for how instructors, engineers, and scientific researchers can conceptualize, design and use technology for digital education. It guides the alignment of instructional improvements in digital educational resources (like lessons, exercises, questions) with the advancement of scientific research on learning technologies. The Framework defines MOOClets as... (read more)

Leveraging Global Diversity through Small Group Discussions in Massive Online Classes

Speaker: Chinmay Kulkarni, Stanford University / Carnegie Mellon University
Date: August 13, 11.00 EST (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (mobile option)

How can global diversity act as a pedagogical design opportunity? In a global classroom, diversity can both impede familiarity and create opportunities for students to learn from peers around the world. Our Talkabout system assigns students to small geographically-diverse video discussion groups in real-time, and structures these discussions. ... (read more)

Assessment and Feedback on Group Processes: Supporting Self-Directed Learning in Team Based Online Courses

Speaker: Marcela Borge, Penn State University
Date: July 17, 11.00 EST (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (mobile option)

In this talk I will present and assess the utility of a model and different reflective activities to improve the quality of collaborative reasoning. Thirty-seven online students, belonging to one of 13 teams, formed the participants of the study. Teams completed five discussion sessions as part of required course activity, using one of two reflective assessment conditions. Each team also received feedback on their actual performance. We assessed the quality of processes between groups using content analysis techniques... (read more)

From Discourse Analytics to Design

Speaker: Carolyn P. Rosé, Carnegie Mellon University
Date: June 18, 11.00 EST (view in your time zone)
Talk: Video (mp4)
Video (YouTube)
Slides: [pdf]

Computational models of social interaction in textual form reveal layer upon layer of insight about student orientation towards one another as well as towards their experiences in the environment. These insights allow us to make sense of patterns of attrition and learning that occur in online courses and inform design of interventions to support improved outcomes. In this talk I will discuss a methodology for text mining applied to discourse in a MOOC context that allows us to estimate measures of student attitudes, motivation, cognitive engagement, and confusion... (read more)

Social Learning in edX

Speaker: Piotr Mitros, edX
Date: May 14, 10.30 EST (view in your time zone)
Talk: Hangout on air
Video only (mobile option)
Slides: [pdf]

edX was born following two revolutions in technology: cheap, robust video streaming and the growth of on-line social, in a belief that this progress would allow us to create effective, at-scale digital learning experiences. Indeed, the first MOOCs, predating edX, were born purely based on the rise of on-line social. Three years in, we are still in the early ages of social in MOOCs... (read more)