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Journal Articles (Educational Psychology)

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  1. Exploring the persuasive writing skills of students with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder [Download]

    Title: Exploring the persuasive writing skills of students with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Creator: Brown, Heather
    Description: Previous studies of students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) have shown great variability in their writing abilities. Most previous studies of students with HFASD have combined individuals with linguistic impairments (HF-ALI) and individuals without linguistic impairments (HF-ALN) into a single group. The current study was the first to compare the persuasive writing of students with HF-ALN with controls, without confounding the effects of language ability and autism on writing achievement, and while considering possible cognitive underpinnings of their writing skills. Twenty-five students with HF-ALN and 22 typically developing controls completed measures of oral language, nonverbal IQ, social responsiveness, theory of mind, integrative processing and persuasive writing. The persuasive texts were coded on 19 variables across six categories: productivity, grammatical complexity, lexical diversity, cohesiveness, writing conventions, and overall quality. The texts were reliably different between groups across measures of productivity, syntactic complexity, lexical complexity and persuasive quality. Specifically, the texts of students with HF-ALN scored lower on overall quality (d = −0.6 SD), contained shorter and simpler sentences (d = −1.0), and had less repetition of content words (d = −0.8 SD). For the HF-ALN group, integrative processing, language ability and age predicted 77% of the variance in persuasive quality.
    Subjects: Theory of mind, Weak central coherence, Persuasive writing, Oral language, Written expression, Autism spectrum disorder
    Date Created: 2014
  2. Interactive Story Authoring: A Viable Form of Creative Expression for the Classroom [Download]

    Title: Interactive Story Authoring: A Viable Form of Creative Expression for the Classroom
    Creator: Carbonaro, Mike
    Description: The unprecedented growth in numbers of children playing computer games has stimulated discussion and research regarding what, if any, educational value these games have for teaching and learning. The research on this topic has primarily focused on children as players of computer games rather than builders/constructors of computer games. Recently, several game companies, such as BioWare Corp. and Bethesda Softworks, have released game story creation tools to the public, along with their games. However, a major obstacle to using these commercial tools is the level of programming experience required to create interactive game stories. In this paper, we demonstrate that a commercial game story construction tool, BioWare Corp.’s Aurora Toolset, can be augmented by our new tool, ScriptEase, to enable students in two grade ten English classes to successfully construct interactive game stories. We present evidence that describes the relationship between interactive story authoring and traditional story authoring, along with a series of factors that can potentially affect success at these activities: gender, creativity, intellectual ability, previous experiences with programming, time playing computer games, and time spent online. Results indicate that students can successfully construct sophisticated interactive stories with very little training. The results also show no gender differences in the quality of these interactive stories, regardless of programming experience or the amount of time per week playing computer games or participating in general online activities, although a subset of female students did show a slightly higher level of performance on interactive story authoring. In the educational context of this study, we show that ScriptEase provides an easy-to-use tool for interactive story authoring in a constructionist learning environment.
    Subjects: Scripting, Interactive story authoring, Neverwinter Nights, Role-playing games
    Date Created: 2008
  3. A demonstration of generating scripting code for computer role-playing games – ScriptEase [Download]

    Title: A demonstration of generating scripting code for computer role-playing games – ScriptEase
    Creator: McNaughton, M.
    Description: The state-of-the-art in game scripting is to manually script individual game objects that interact in the game. Thousands of non-player characters (NPCs) and props need to be scripted before they play a part in a game adventure. This situation introduces serious concerns about programming effort and reliability. We demonstrate ScriptEase, a tool to facilitate the game scripting process. It is based on generative design patterns for automatic code generation of scripts associated with game objects. ScriptEase is intended for a broad audience, from programmers to game designers and users without programming experience. Game designers can use commonly occurring patterns to generate scripting code without any programming knowledge. This demonstration illustrates the entire process of creating and scripting game props and NPCs.
    Subjects: Generative design patterns, Game scripting, Automatic code generation, Scripting code generation, Game design, ScriptEase, Game objects, Non-player characters, Computer role-playing games
    Date Created: 2004
  4. Learning choices predict high-school students’ memory for critical feedback [Download]

    Title: Learning choices predict high-school students’ memory for critical feedback
    Creator: Cutumisu, M.
    Description: Students’ learning choices, such as seeking critical feedback or revising their work, provide insights into the learning processes that unfold when students learn on their own. This research aims to characterize high-school students who choose to seek critical feedback and to revise posters in a digital choice-based assessment game. Ninety-two students from a Western US high school were sampled. A two-step clustering method was employed to automatically identify student groups based on students’ choices in the game. Results showed that two good-quality clusters were identified: students with a low frequency of choosing to seek critical feedback and to revise (50% of students) and students with a high frequency of choosing to seek critical feedback and to revise (50% of students). A one-way ANOVA analysis was conducted to compare students’ memory for critical feedback between the two clusters. Results showed that students in the high frequency cluster of choosing critical feedback and revising remembered significantly more critical feedback than students in the low frequency cluster of choosing critical feedback and revising. Moreover, this model constitutes a better fit for the data [F(2,89) = 4.11, p < .05] than the previous model obtained via a standard linear regression analysis employed to predict students’ memory for critical feedback using students’ choices [F(2, 89) = 20.99, p < .001]. This result suggests that choosing to seek critical feedback and to revise are good choices for improving students’ memory for critical feedback.
    Subjects: Critical feedback, Students, Learning
    Date Created: 2016
  5. Quantifying children’s perceived gender roles and attitudes towards women in computing science [Download]

    Title: Quantifying children’s perceived gender roles and attitudes towards women in computing science
    Creator: Solez, A.
    Description: This research aims to address the acute issue of the retention of female students in STEM domains. Specifically, this work proposes a three-year longitudinal study surveying the attitudes and beliefs of junior high-school students towards gender roles in computing science. This study will contribute to the understanding of how role models influence students’ attitudes towards computing science.
    Subjects: Students, Women, Computing science, Gender roles
    Date Created: 2016
  6. A neural network approach to estimate student skill mastery in cognitive diagnostic assessments [Download]

    Title: A neural network approach to estimate student skill mastery in cognitive diagnostic assessments
    Creator: Guo, Q.
    Description: In computer-based tutoring systems, it is important to assess students’ mastery of different skills and provide remediation. In this study, we propose a novel neural network approach to estimate students’ skill mastery patterns. We conducted a simulation to evaluate the proposed neural network approach and we compared the neural network approach with one of the most widely used cognitive diagnostic algorithm, the DINA model, in terms of skill estimation accuracy and the ability to recover skill prerequisite relations. Results suggest that, while the neural network method is comparable in skill estimation accuracy to the DINA model, the former can recover skill prerequisite relations more accurately than the DINA model.
    Subjects: Student modeling, Prerequisite discovery, Skills, Cognitive diagnosis model , Neural network
    Date Created: 2017
  7. A meta-analysis on the reading comprehension skills of individuals with autism spectrum disorders [Download]

    Title: A meta-analysis on the reading comprehension skills of individuals with autism spectrum disorders
    Creator: Brown, Heather
    Description: This meta-analysis examined 36 studies comparing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and control groups in reading comprehension. Three moderators (semantic knowledge, decoding skill, PIQ) and two text types (high vs. low social knowledge) were examined as predictors of reading comprehension in ASD. The overall standardized mean difference for reading comprehension was g = −0.7 SD. The strongest individual predictors of reading comprehension were semantic knowledge (explaining 57 % of variance) and decoding skill (explaining 55 % of variance). Individuals with ASD were significantly worse at comprehending highly social than less social texts. Having ASD alone does not predict reading comprehension deficits. Instead, individual skills, especially language ability, must be considered before one can accurately predict whether a given individual with ASD will experience difficulties in reading comprehension.
    Subjects: Reading comprehension, Semantic knowledge, Decoding, Autism spectrum disorders, Meta-analysis
    Date Created: 2013
  8. Writing, Asperger syndrome and theory of mindournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders [Download]

    Title: Writing, Asperger syndrome and theory of mindournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
    Creator: Brown, Heather
    Description: This research compared the written compositions of 16 adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders and 16 neurotypical control participants, and examined the influence of theory of mind on their writing. Participants ranging in age from 17 years to 42 years, matched on Vocabulary subtest scores from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (1997), completed the Social Attribution Task and wrote an expository and a narrative text. Texts were assessed on 18 variables representing quality, mechanics, and length. It was found that adults with HFASD wrote lower quality narrative and expository texts, and narratives of shorter length. Theory of mind was positively associated with writing quality and text length across both genres.
    Subjects: Asperger syndrome, Autism, Writing skills, Adults, Theory of mind, Written communication
    Date Created: 2011
  9. MCI-Java: A Modified JVM Approach to Multiple Code Inheritance [Download]

    Title: MCI-Java: A Modified JVM Approach to Multiple Code Inheritance
    Creator: Cutumisu, M.
    Description: Java has multiple inheritance of interfaces, but only single inheritance of code via classes. This situation results in duplicated code in Java library classes and application code. We describe a generalization to the Java language syntax and the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to support multiple inheritance of code, called MCI-Java. Our approach places multiply-inherited code in a new language construct called an implementation, which lies between an interface and a class in the inheritance hierarchy. MCI-Java does not support multiply-inherited data, which can cause modeling and performance problems. The MCI-Java extension is implemented by making minimal changes to the Java syntax, small changes to a compiler (IBM Jikes), and modest localized changes to a JVM (SUN JDK 1.2.2). The JVM changes result in no measurable performance overhead in real applications.
    Subjects: Semantics and reasoning, Inheritance, Theory of computation, Language types, Language features, Software and its engineering, Program constructs, Object oriented constructs, Software notations and tools, General programming languages
    Date Created: 2004
  10. Choosing versus receiving feedback: The impact of feedback valence on learning in an assessment game

    Title: Choosing versus receiving feedback: The impact of feedback valence on learning in an assessment game
    Creator: Cutumisu, M.
    Description: Studies examining feedback in educational settings have largely focused on feedback that is received, rather than chosen, by students. This study investigates whether adult participants learn more from choosing rather than receiving feedback from virtual characters in a digital poster design task. We employed a yoked study design and two versions of an online game-based assessment, Posterlet, to compare the learning outcomes of N=264 Mechanical Turk adults in two conditions: when they chose the feedback valence versus when they received the same feedback valence and order. In Posterlet, players design posters and learn graphic design principles from feedback. We found that the more the participants chose critical feedback, the more time they spent designing posters, but there were no differences in learning, revision, and time spent designing posters between conditions. In each condition, critical feedback correlated with performance and revision, suggesting that feedback valence is important for performance, regardless of being a choice.
    Subjects: Feedback valence, Choice, Game, Learning, Assessment
    Date Created: 2016