Mining for Problem-solving Styles in a Virtual World
Brian M. Slator, Donald P. Schwert, Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat, North Dakota State Univ., United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Norfolk, VA ISBN 978-1-880094-41-9 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
The Geology Explorer provides a multi-modal virtual environment that implements an educational game for teaching principles of geology. The game is a networked, multi-player, simulation-based, educational environment that illustrates our role-based pedagogical approach. This takes the form of a synthetic, virtual world (Planet Oit) where students are given an authentic experience and the means and equipment to explore a planet as a geologist would. Each student's experience includes elements of exploration of a spatially-oriented, virtual, world; practical, field oriented, expedition planning and decision making; and scientific problem solving (i.e. a "hands on" approach to the scientific method). Students assume a role and learn about real science by exploring in a goal-directed way and by competing with themselves and with other players. In this paper, data are reported from a 1999 study, in which students enrolled in a freshman-level Physical Geology course explored the planet for credit. These data were collected in two forms: 1) a survey of student perceptions, positive and negative; and 2) a data mining analysis of student histories which reveals apparent categories of student problem-solving style. Planet Oit can be visited at http://oit.cs.ndsu.nodak.edu/
Slator, B.M., Schwert, D.P. & Saini-Eidukat, B. (2001). Mining for Problem-solving Styles in a Virtual World. In J. Price, D. Willis, N. Davis & J. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2001--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 2536-2540). Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).