Assessing Approaches to AI/Robotics Education Formal Measures of Learning in a Secondary School Mobile Robotics Course

Illah R. Nourbakhsh, Emily Hamner, Kevin Crowley, and Katie Wilkinson

During the summer of 2002, Robotic Autonomy was taught to thirty students at Carnegie Mellon West in cooperation with NASA/Ames (Moffett Field, CA). The authors at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center planned a methodology for formally evaluating the educational efficacy of Robotic Autonomy. This article describes the educational analysis methodology and the statistically significant results of our analysis, demonstrating the positive impact of Robotic Autonomy on student learning beyond the boundaries of specific technical concepts in robotics. Educational robotics is gaining traction at all levels of the educational system, however formal analysis of its effectiveness has been lacking. This research project seeks to address this weakness by presenting statistically significant evidence of broad learning.

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