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Liu, Shuangyan
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: QA76
The delivery of intelligent support for group work is a complex issue in\ud collaborative learning environments. This particularly pertains to the construction\ud of effective groups and assessment of collaboration problems. This is because the\ud composition of groups can be affected by several variables, and various methods\ud are desirable for ascertaining the existence of different collaboration problems.\ud Literature has shown that current collaborative learning environments provide\ud limited or no support for teachers to cope with these tasks. Considering this and the\ud increasing use of online collaboration, this research aims to explore solutions for\ud improving the delivery of support for group work in collaborative learning\ud environments, and thus to simplify how teachers manage collaborative group work.\ud In this thesis, three aspects were investigated to achieve this goal. The first\ud aspect emphasises on proposing a novel approach for group formation based on\ud students‘ learning styles. The novelty and importance of this approach is the\ud provision of an automatic grouping method that can tailor to individual students‘\ud characteristics and fit well into the existing collaborative learning environments.\ud The evaluation activities comprise the development of an add-on tool and an\ud undergraduate student experiment, which indicate the feasibility and strength of the\ud proposed approach — being capable of forming diverse groups that tend to perform\ud more effectively and efficiently than similar groups for conducting group\ud discussion tasks.\ud The second focus of this research relates to the identification of major\ud group collaboration problems and their causes. A nationwide survey was conducted\ud that reveals a student perspective on the issue, which current literature fails to\ud adequately address. Based on the findings from the survey, an XML-based\ud representation was created that provides a unique perspective on the linkages\ud between the problems and causes identified.\ud Finally, the focus was then shifted to the proposal of a novel approach for\ud diagnosing the major collaboration problems identified. The originality and\ud significance of this approach lies in the provision of various methods for ascertaining the existence of different collaboration problems identified, based on\ud student interaction data that result from the group work examined. The evaluation\ud procedure focused on the development of a supporting tool and several\ud experiments with a test dataset. The results of the evaluation show that the\ud feasibility and effectiveness are sustained, to a great extent, for the diagnostic\ud methods addressed.\ud Besides these main proposals, this research has explored a multi-agent\ud architecture to unify all the components derived for intelligently managing online\ud collaborative learning, which suggests an overarching framework providing\ud context for other parts of this thesis.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Chapter 2 Background and Related Work....................................................... 10 2.1 Collaborative Learning Environments ................................................ 10 2.2 Group Formation for Collaborative Group Work ............................... 14 2.2.1 Methods & Tools for Group Formation.............................. 14 2.2.2 Learning Style Theories...................................................... 18 2.2.3 Impact of Learning Styles on Group Collaboration............ 19 2.3 Review of Group Collaboration Problems.......................................... 24 2.3.1 Technical Problems ............................................................ 24 2.3.2 Student-induced Problems .................................................. 25 2.4 Group Collaboration Problem Diagnosis............................................ 28 2.4.1 Interaction Analysis ............................................................ 28 2.4.2 Predictive Modelling .......................................................... 31 2.5 Summary............................................................................................. 33
    • Chapter 4 Evaluating the Effectiveness of the iGLS Grouping Algorithm ... 68 4.1 Introduction......................................................................................... 69 4.2 Evaluation Methodology..................................................................... 70 4.2.1 Experiment Design ............................................................. 70 4.2.2 Population and Sampling.................................................... 72 4.2.3 Data Collection Procedure .................................................. 73 4.2.4 Data Analysis Methods....................................................... 74 4.3 Results................................................................................................. 77 4.3.1 Grouping Results ................................................................ 77 4.3.2 Group Achievements .......................................................... 79 4.3.3 Individual Student Achievements....................................... 81 4.3.4 Qualitative Findings from Group Processes ....................... 83 4.3.5 Student Feedback................................................................ 87 4.4 Discussion........................................................................................... 91 4.5 Summary............................................................................................. 95
    • Chapter 5 A Student Perspective on Group Collaboration Problems and Causes ................................................................................................ 96 5.1 Introduction......................................................................................... 96 5.2 Methodology..................................................................................... 100 5.2.1 Research Design ............................................................... 100
    • 5.2.2 Participants ....................................................................... 101
    • 5.2.3 Data Collection ................................................................. 101
    • 5.2.4 Data Analysis Methods..................................................... 102
    • Survey Results .................................................................................. 103
    • 5.3.1 Participants' Demographic Information ........................... 103
    • 5.3.2 Perceptions on the Problem Scenarios and the Factors Causing the Problems ....................................................... 104
    • 5.3.3 Associations between Student Background and Their Perceptions on the Factors ................................................ 108
    • 5.3.4 The Popularity of Various Asynchronous Collaboration Tools ................................................................................. 110
    • Major Group Collaboration Problems and Their Causes.................. 112
    • Representing the Collaboration Problem-Cause Linkages ............... 113
    • 5.5.1 An XML-based Representation of the Linkages .............. 114
    • 5.5.2 Discussing the Potential Applications of the XML-based Representation .................................................................. 118
    • Summary........................................................................................... 119
    • Chapter 6 An Approach for Diagnosing Group Collaboration Problems ... 120 6.1 Overview........................................................................................... 121 6.2 The Diagnostic Mechanism .............................................................. 126 6.2.1 Introduction....................................................................... 126 6.2.2 Constructing the Forum Data Set ..................................... 129 6.2.3 The GCPD Predictive Models .......................................... 136 6.2.4 The GCPD Algorithms ..................................................... 147 6.2.5 The Grammar and Spelling Checker ................................ 155 6.3 Data Collection and Processing ........................................................ 158 6.4 Presentation of Diagnostic Products ................................................. 163 6.5 The GCPD Implementation .............................................................. 165 6.5.1 Introduction....................................................................... 165 6.5.2 Implementation Scope ...................................................... 166 6.5.3 The GroupDoctor Tool ..................................................... 168 6.6 Summary........................................................................................... 173
    • Chapter 8 Exploring A Multi-Agent Architecture for Online Collaborative Learning........................................................................................... 204 8.1 Introduction....................................................................................... 204 8.2 Scope of the Pedagogical Process Supported ................................... 207 8.3 Development Methodology .............................................................. 210 8.4 Analyzing and Designing the Architecture Using Gaia Methodology 214 8.4.1 The Role Model ................................................................ 215 8.4.2 The Interaction Model ...................................................... 219 8.4.3 The Agent Model.............................................................. 221 8.4.4 The Service Model............................................................ 223 8.4.5 The Acquaintance Model.................................................. 227 8.5 Overview of the Multi-Agent Architecture....................................... 228 8.6 Summary........................................................................................... 232
    • Chapter 9 Conclusions and Future Work....................................................... 233 9.1 Conclusions....................................................................................... 233
    • Table 4.5 Results of the t-tests to compare the number of units of interactions........................................................................................ 85
    • Figure 3.7. Screenshot of ―design the learning process for the lesson ‗Cold Siberia'‖......................................................................................... 63
    • Figure 3.10. Screenshot of ―grouping result for the lesson of ‗Cold Siberia'‖ ....................................................................................................... 66
    • Figure 4.1. The group scores by SLS groups (Group Task 1) and DLS groups (Group Task 2)................................................................... 80
    • Figure 4.2. Percentage of meaningful interactions by SLS groups and DLS groups ............................................................................................ 81
    • Figure 4.3. The single student scores of each participant in the SLS and DLS groups.................................................................................... 82
    • Figure 6.7. GroupDoctor Diagnosis Setting screenshot.................................. 170
    • Figure 6.8. GroupDoctor Diagnosis Results screenshot ................................. 172
    • Figure 8.1. Agent-oriented software development methodologies (adapted from [34]) .................................................................................... 213
    • Figure 8.2. Schema for role Grouping ............................................................ 218
    • Figure 8.3. Definition of protocols associated with the Grouping role: (a) GetLearningStyles, (b) GetGroupingParameter, and (c) GetGroups.................................................................................... 220
    • Figure 8.4. The agent model ........................................................................... 222
    • Figure 8.5. The acquaintance model ............................................................... 227
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