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Team: Collaborative Learning in College Education

1. your major achievement(s) so far

We designed, implemented,and tested an original software program called FEEL "Feedback Enahnced Environment for Learning." We have also conducted user evaluation of FEEL.

2. most difficult (sub)problem you encountered (and solved) in your work

We discussed various ways and scenarios of collaboration in the classroom. But, in terms of the time we have, we have to choose a set of representitive functions, that are not too complex but still comprehensive enough, to implement. Making the system flexible and extensible is another challenge.

3. relate your project to 3-5 major themes/papers which we discussed in the class (and briefly articulate the relationship)

  • Meta-design & Beyond "Couch Potatoes": Collaboration needs and methods could be different for different courses, instrutors and students. We use the "meta-design" methodology to allow users customize and extend their collaboration space.

  • Models of Teaching and Learning: Learning is not a one-way knowledge trasmission from instructor, but a collaborative process where both instructor and students are involved. FEEL provides tools, which allow both instructor and students to participate and initiate collaboration.

  • Knowledge management: Part of the in-class interaction is knowledge. Currently, FEEL only organizes and supports the interaction. But, in the future work, we will discuss how to convert these data into knowledge which has a longer life.

  • Home alone: Human factor is a big issue in the success of FEEL-like technology. We found that some intructors use credits to encourage students user "Clickers". FEEL is a more sophisticated system and requires more student participation. How to use non-techical strategies, together with technology support, to encourage active participation is something left out in current work.

  • Beyopnd Recommender Systems: One potential future work of FEEL is to, by utilizing student in-class behavior, form student groups with similar interests for further peer to peer learning.We envision this as a new and more effective way to form successful student groups.

4. describe the remaining work to be done before May 3

We need to analyze user evaluation results and make some modifications to the system and discuss more options for future work. We also need to finalize our final presentation and report.

5. articulate any questions which you might have at this point of time

  • Are you aware of other related work in either industry or academia?
  • What do you think of the future of FEEL-like technology? What is the research challenge? Will universities adopt this kind of technology?

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