AAAI Publications, 2009 AAAI Fall Symposium Series

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A Case-Based System to Aid Cognition and Meta-Cognition is a Design-Based Learning Environment
Ganesh Prasad Bhat, Janet L Kolodner

Last modified: 2009-10-31


Design-based learning (DBL) has many affordances for promoting deep and lasting learning of both content and complex skills. However, careful orchestration and scaffolding are usually needed to achieve its full potential. In this paper, we describe our efforts at implementing a software suite to meet the cognitive and meta-cognitive needs of learners engaged in DBL. In Study 1, our software suite gave learners the opportunity to design in simulation, to run experiments to learn the effects of variables, and it scaffolded science explanation construction. Through our analysis of study 1 we identified both cognitive and metacognitive needs that the software did not provide for. To meet these additional requirements, we added an interactive science resource and a case library to the software to provide multi-representational content material, to facilitate exploration, and to invite metacognitive reflection needed to do well at learning through design. Learners recognized what they did not understand, took initiative to explore those science concepts, and applied them in novel ways. We present here our analysis of the kinds of metacognitive help learners need to productively learn from design activities and some ways of providing that help. Our conclusion is that cognitive aid without related metacognitive aid is insufficient in a DBL environment.

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