Can expert reasoning be taught

first_img“Students who are used to working on well-structured problems struggle when confronted with the multiple challenges of more complex tasks.” writes Professor Ogilvie (Iowa State University), who not only assigns context-rich problems in his course but has also begun researching their effect on the problem-solving strategies adopted by students. The problems are implemented in a computer-assisted learning environment of his own design. When a student group logs into the system, a context-rich problem is presented with a selection of information resources that may or may not be relevant. The students are asked to write not just the solution, but describe their thought process in categories corresponding to the typical stages of expert reasoning: qualitative analysis, identification of relevant concepts, ongoing monitoring (evaluation of the solution as it progresses), and validation of the solution obtained. The beauty of this system is that it not only guides the student into a more ‘expert’ mode, it also tracks the time spent at each step, the resources accessed, and so on.So, has this learning environment helped train a new generation of experts?The answer is yes, with some caveats. First, as with any group project it is hard to track which students are working and which ones are learning. Second, Ogilvie’s course presents only five such problems to the students. (There is still all the core material to get through, after all!)As for the results, there is some good news and some bad news.In the first problem of the course, students completed the ‘qualitative analysis’ section an average of ten minutes before completing the assignment. In the last problem, this section was completed about twenty minutes beforehand. Another encouraging point is that very few students wasted time reading all the available information in later problems. “Taken together, the student groups show some progression towards expert-like behavior” Ogilvie writes, “earlier qualitative analysis and more selective requests for information.” By the end of the course, students were also identifying the most relevant concepts earlier.In other words, the students grew more likely to think about the problem before attacking it. That’s the good news!The bad news is that there is no evidence for improvement in one of the most important aspects of expert reasoning: ongoing monitoring. Monitoring is a form of critical thinking, the general (and highly useful) cognitive skill of evaluating the quality of information. Experts in a field will examine their solutions repeatedly as they work them out. Have any of their initial assumptions been violated along the way? Is the solution making progress, or is it getting sidetracked? Is the math becoming simpler or more complicated? If an expert senses that a solution isn’t working well, they may abandon it to look for a better approach.In all fairness, this is also probably the most difficult skill to measure. Computer tracking can only show that students usually filled in the “monitoring” summary right before completing the assignment. No doubt this skill can be taught as well, but it might lie beyond the scope of computer instruction. I still vividly remember one of my professors taking only ten minutes to solve a physics problem that had taken me hours to work out. Perhaps the lesson of monitoring solutions can only be learned by sincerely regretting the time you just wasted.Note: 1groups.physics.umn.edu/physed/ … rch/CRP/crintro.htmlCitation: “Understanding Student Pathways in Context-rich Problems” by Pavlo Antonenko, John Jackman, Piyamart Kumsaikaew, Rahul Marathe, Dale Niederhauser, Craig Ogilvie, and Sarah Ryan is available online at xxx.arxiv.org/abs/physics/0701284By Ben Mathiesen, Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Can expert reasoning be taught? (2007, February 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-02-expert-taught.html In addition to mastering a large body of knowledge, successful researchers must acquire a host of high-level cognitive skills: critical thinking, “framing” a problem, ongoing evaluation of the solution as it progresses, and ruthless validation of one’s final answer. Some students pick these skills up on their own as they advance towards their degree, especially those who participate in research, but they rarely appear in a curriculum. Students working on a context-rich problem fall naturally into two groups. Teams above the line demonstrate expert-like behavior, in that they completed their qualitative analysis of the problem before accessing the relevant information and submitting a solution. Those teams below the line demonstrate novice-like behavior, in that they appear to read through as many resources as they can before attempting a solution and submit their analysis of the problem only after a solution has been recognized. Credit: Craig Ogilvie Expert mathematicians stumped by simple subtractionscenter_img Explore further Professor Craig Ogilvie of Iowa State University has developed a problem-solving environment that not only encourages students to practice these skills but also monitors their progress.As a physics professor, I often find myself torn between competing educational goals. On the one hand, most courses have a laundry list of fundamental theories and techniques that must be taught if the students are to advance further in the subject. On the other hand, there are a number of higher cognitive skills that I would also like to emphasize. The cognitive skills are more useful in life, but how much subject matter can I reasonably sacrifice to make room for teaching them?Traditional teaching methods reinforce the course content by assigning busy work — practice makes perfect, after all. Homework assignments consist of simple “plug and chug” problems that students can solve easily by finding the appropriate formula. While such assignments do help students learn the main topics of a course and prepare for the inevitable final exam, they promote a very limited style of problem-solving. More importantly, they provide little motivation for students to absorb the lessons of scientific thought.One solution is to raise the bar on the problems. Why not strip them of their hand-holding language, and present information in a more realistic setting? The result may be too difficult for one student, but is probably suitable for a group of students. Researchers in physics education at the University of Minnesota, for example, have created an archive of such context-rich problems for their introductory physics courses1. Context-rich problems force students to practice some of the cognitive skills used by experts, in particular the skill of analyzing a problem qualitatively before looking for the proper formula.I don’t wish to bore my readers, so I will present the briefest possible example of this qualitative analysis. When confronted with a collision problem, students should ask themselves whether friction is an important factor before they look up Newton’s laws. Figuring out how a problem relates to known principles is the first step taken by experts when they approach a new situation. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Google engineers to pump up MOOCorg website from edX

first_img What will Google bring to the project? Google will work on core platform development. Google’s Dan Clancy, Director of Research, said Tuesday, “We are taking our learnings from Course Builder and applying them to Open edX” for the latter’s new platform.By Course Builder, Clancy is referring to the open source experimental platform that Google started in 2012 with the similar spirit of support for online learning, providing the tools for those who want to create an interactive online course. Though it was Google’s first step into this kind of project, Course Builder attracted a community of education-focused people around the world. In 2014, however, the edX alphabet soup is going to have a key main ingredient, yet another catchy phrase to watch, called MOOC.org. This will go live in 2014 with courses.”We look forward to contributing to edX’s new site, MOOC.org, a new service for online learning which will allow any academic institution, business and individual to create and host online courses.” said Clancy. For those involved in Course Builder, questions remain as to what next year’s MOOC.org means for them. Google’s Clancy said Google will provide “an upgrade path to Open edX and MOOC.org from Course Builder.”According to the Course Builder site, in a notice titled Hi Course Builder community, “As we transition our focus to Open edX, we will minimize Course Builder feature development. However, we are committed to providing support to current and future Course Builder users in the interim.” For anyone who has customized Course Builder, “we cannot guarantee that these will transfer to Open edX. However, Open edX has a customization framework called XBlocks that may address some of these needs. Additionally, as an open source platform, Open edX can be customized at the source code level.”Meanwhile, Anant Agarwal, president of edX, welcomes the Google move because of the opportunity to work with Google’s world-class engineers and technology, which “will enable us to advance online, on-campus and blended learning experiences faster and more effectively than ever before.” The new site is to invite contributions not only from schools but businesses and individual course authors and instructors. MOOC is shorthand for Massive Open Online Courses. (Phys.org) —Free online courses continue to be a work in progress as the next upheaval in education. Google will be advancing progress momentum, based on Tuesday’s announcement from Google Research: Google is joining the Open edX platform. To get some of this lingo soup out of the way, we start with Open edX, which is a platform for creating courses that can be taken by anyone with Internet access. Behind this open source learning platform is edX, a group of 28 institutions, the xConsortium. Founded by Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, edX is dedicated to transforming online and campus learning. A nonprofit, edX distributes online courses for free. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img More top universities to offer free online courses Citation: Google engineers to pump up MOOC.org website from edX (2013, September 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-09-google-moocorg-website-edx.html More information: groups.google.com/forum/?fromg … announce/vtW1KiK5_Kcmooc.org/index.htmlgoogleresearch.blogspot.com/20 … en-edx-platform.htmlcode.google.com/p/course-builder/last_img read more

Oneway sound tunnel offers novel way to control acoustic waves

first_img The researchers, Yi-Fan Zhu, Xin-Ye Zou, Bin Liang, and Jian-Chun Cheng, from Nanjing University in China, have published their paper on the acoustic one-way tunnel in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.”One-way acoustic devices are believed to have deep implications in various situations by breaking through the conventional concept that sound always propagates symmetrically along a given path,” Liang told Phys.org, noting some of their previous related work here, here, and here. “The realization of an acoustic one-way tunnel goes further beyond simply breaking through this limitation, and enables one-way acoustic manipulation when the acoustic path is kept totally open to other entities. We envision our design with such novel capability and tunability to offer more design possibilities and have promising application potential in various scenarios where special manipulation of sound is desired.”The new tunnel takes advantage of the extraordinary reflection properties of recently developed acoustic metamaterials, which force sound waves coming from one direction to make a U-turn in the 10-cm-wide tunnel and travel back out. By strategically positioning two different acoustic metamaterials with different reflective properties along the insides of the tunnel, the researchers could asymmetrically manipulate the sound waves so that only those coming from one direction are reflected, while those coming from the other direction can pass through. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Yi-Fan Zhu, et al. “Acoustic one-way open tunnel by using metasurface.” Applied Physics Letters. DOI: 10.1063/1.4930300 (Top) When an acoustic wave enters from the side of the tunnel with “acoustic metamaterial 1” (AM1), it makes a U-turn and reflects back out, whereas the majority of an acoustic wave traveling from the other side with “acoustic metamaterial 2” (AM2) can pass through. (Bottom) Simulated acoustic field patterns for the negative direction (ND) that does not allow acoustic wave passage and positive direction (PD) that does. Credit: Zhu, et al. ©2015 AIP Publishing The researchers printed the acoustic metamaterials using a 3-D printer with ABS plastic, which is the same material used to make Legos. They then imprinted multiple tiny grooves into the two metamaterials with different groove periods (0.84 cm and 2.36 cm), which gives them different reflective properties. The tailored groove designs affect the sound waves differently depending on which direction they’re coming from, which ultimately leads to the asymmetric wave manipulation and one-way transmission. Although other methods have been developed for the unidirectional control of sound, all of the previous designs have relied on bulk materials. The drawback of bulk materials is that they partially block the tunnel so that it’s not fully open to other entities, such as light and heat. Because the new tunnel allows light and heat to freely pass through from both directions while blocking the transmission of sound in one direction, it could lead to anti-noise windows that are see-through and ventilated, and may inspire research into the unidirectional control of other kinds of waves. “The acoustic one-way open tunnel may also enable conceptual devices like novel ventilating channels that block sound from one side but allow air or heat flow to pass freely, or serve as building blocks of more complex systems that reduce the reflected wave but do not affect the passage of other objects, which may find extensive applications in the fields of noise control or biomedical imaging/treatment, etc.,” Liang said.In the future, the researchers plan to improve the performance of the one-way open tunnel, for example by boosting the efficiency and broadening the bandwidth. They also want to devise methods for manipulating sound in even more unprecedented ways beyond the one-way manipulation demonstrated in the current work, while keeping the acoustic path fully open. Explore further © 2015 Phys.org (a) The two acoustic metamaterials have different groove patterns, which are positioned at different sides of the tunnel so that they affect the sound waves differently depending on which direction they’re coming from. (b) and (c) Photographs of the open tunnel. Credit: Zhu, et al. ©2015 AIP Publishing Designing an acoustic diode (Phys.org)—Scientists have designed and built an acoustic one-way tunnel that allows sound to pass through in one direction only while blocking it from passing through in the opposite direction. The tunnel is completely open to light and heat, which can pass through in both directions, but sound waves are blocked in one direction due to acoustic metamaterials placed on the sides of the tunnel. The acoustic one-way tunnel has potential applications for anti-noise windows and vent ducts, as well as medical ultrasound. Citation: One-way sound tunnel offers novel way to control acoustic waves (2015, September 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-one-way-tunnel-acoustic.html Journal information: Applied Physics Letterslast_img read more

Tech Is Already Reading Your Emotions – But Do Algorithms Get It

first_img Read the whole story: Forbes From measuring shopper satisfaction to detecting signs of depression, companies are employing emotion-sensing facial recognition technology that is based on flawed science, according to a new study. … A new study in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest is challenging the basic science behind emotion-sensing tech and its claims to be able to infer a person’s mood from their facial expressions. The scientists behind the research, who hail from Northeastern University, Caltech, Ohio State, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, also make clear precisely what’s at stake. If the idea of having your face recorded and then analyzed for mood so that someone can intervene in your life sounds creepy, that’s because it is. But that hasn’t stopped companies like Walmart from promising to implement the technology to improve customer satisfaction, despite numerous challenges from ethicists and other consumer advocates.last_img read more

Matter of choice

first_imgAt times we all feel that life is very complicated but only a few of us are able to express the dilemmas in right manner. Artist Aarti Zaveri expresses the same through her art work at upcoming United Art Fair. The artist believes that, it is very easy to complicate a beautiful life and at the same time very difficult to simplify the essence of life. These thoughts are reflected in her paintings by the use of bold and vibrant colours.  She has created a body of work around these figurative expressions. One can sense the attempt to convey her deep thoughts through the use of symbols and signs in a subtle and minimal manner in each painting. The canvas reflects the basic complexity of a human to find answers in the outside world when all the answers needed are already present within us.The last edition of her installations in United Art Fair, were based on the theme, how a person wears a mask to conceal various truths of life. Which was based on artistes belief that life is a paradox and a puzzle, the ones who solve it, makes it simple and the rest remains to be just a part of the puzzle.With her recent work she is giving out a beautifull message that everyone has an option to make their lives easy or difficult, it depends on us what we choose.last_img read more

Senior bank official arrested for approving loan against fake docs

first_imgKolkata: Police arrested a senior official of a nationalised bank on charges of sanctioning loan against “fake documents” furnished by a borrower. Police said a complaint was lodged against the 52-year-old official, Om Prakash Ram, with the Bidhannagar East Police Station on December 30 in 2017. Based on the complaint, police had initiated a probe and preliminary investigation revealed that the document against which the loan was sanctioned was fake. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsHe is a resident of Haridevpur area. A police officer stated that some borrower showed fake documents to get a loan and the official, who was then the manager of the particular branch of the nationalised bank, sanctioned it. It was alleged that “the man being manager of the branch was instrumental to materialise the loan without proper verification”.Based on the allegations, police had initiated a case under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on charges of Forgery for purpose of cheating (468 IPC), cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property (420 IPC) and acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention (34 IPC). Sources said the police questioned the person in this connection and he was arrested after discrepancies found in his statement.last_img read more

Crooning of love

first_imgHe took the country by storm with his soothing voice when he sang Mitwa in Kabhi Alvida na Kehna. By then he was already a favourite of music  lovers with songs like Mora Saiyyan mohse bole na and Aankhon ke saagar which he performed in the Pakistani band Fuzon.  The man with the golden voice, Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan talks to Naila Manal about his newly released album Muhdikhai…Tell me about your musical journey.I was born in a musical family so music wasn’t something new to me.  We had seven generations of musicians. I was a part of the Pakistani band Fuzon (as the lead singer). I bumped into the band members when I was in Karachi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’When we came up with the album Saagar, which had the song Aankhon ke Saagar, two of my songs were used by Nagesh Kukunoor in his film. Shankar (Mahadevan) called me and signed me. There has been no looking back since.But as far as my overall journey is concerned it has been great so far.  I am coming up with an album Muhdikhai…Unveiling the songs of eternal love. This is my fourth album and my third solo album. My journey has been productive so far. I have learnt a lot, experienced a lot and in the midst of it all distributed and shared a lot too. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixYou came up with your new album Muhdikhai… Unveiling the songs of eternal love recently. Tell me more about it.For quite some time my fans have been demanding an album. Personally, I also wanted to go back to the studios and work. But films and other engagements, especially travelling gave me no time. Baith ke kaam karne ka waqt nahi tha (I didn’t have time to sit and work for the album), but one day I decided. It somehow came by and I started enjoying returning to the studio and recording. I really enjoyed it all, mazaa aya. My album hits stores on March 20. How is coming out with an album different from say, singing a song in a film, or performing in a band?It’s about the joy of creation, the difference between contributing to someone else’s work and creating something all by yourself. Film music is a collective effort and you are a part of someone else’s vision. Here, I was taking care of everything from the music to production and I had to oversee every intricacy. From a raw idea to a final productive, it is all mine, however it is. How is it for you to perform in India?India is like a second home to me. I get so much love here. In fact I have been lucky to get love everywhere lekin yahan aur jagaah ke muqaable zyada pyaar milta hai (I get more love here than anywhere else). Which is your favorite song among all those you have sung?You should pose this question to someone else. All I can say is I perform all my songs with all honesty.Ok, so which is your all time favourite song?That would be Tere Bina Zindagi se koi shakwa nahi.Who is your inspiration?My father, I have always wanted to be like him, sing like him, look like him.  He is my inspiration. It is a compliment for me if someone says that I sound like him.last_img read more

Has CM Mamatas US visit been scrapped under MEA pressure

first_imgKolkata: Mystery has deepened on what prompted Ramakrishna Math and Mission to cancel the scheduled visit of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Chicago. Banerjee was scheduled to visit Chicago to attend a programme of the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission on August 26 to mark the 125th anniversary celebrations of the historic Parliament of World’s Religions that had catapulted Vivekananda to the world stage… and to a permanent place in global history. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAlthough the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago mentioned in a letter to the Chief Minister that the programme has been cancelled due to the death of Assistant General Secretary Swami Abhiramananda and other “unforeseen difficulties”, it is not clear to many how his death in Howrah could be the reason behind cancelling the programme in Chicago.According to sources, Ramakrishna Math and Mission succumbed to the pressure of the Ministry of External Affairs as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is himself visiting Chicago to attend a programme on the 125th anniversary of the Parliament of World’s Religions that has been arranged by a Hindu organisation. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn the letter to the Chief Minister dated June 11, Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago President Swami Ishatmananda stated, “We are thankful that you accepted our invitation to attend our programme celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Parliament of World’s Religions, which was to be held at the Art Institute of Chicago on August 26.”Explaining the reason behind cancellation of the programme, Swami Ishatmananda maintained in the letter, “We are sorry to inform you that due to the sudden demise of Swami Abhiramananda, Assistant General Secretary, Trustee of Ramakrishna Mission and member of the Governing Body of Ramakrishna Mission, as well as unforeseen difficulties, we have had to cancel the August 26 programme. We remain ever thankful for your support and regret any inconvenience this may cause you.” It may be mentioned that the body of Swami Abhiramananda was found in the river Hooghly near a ghat at Belur in Howrah on June 8.The Chief Minister’s scheduled visits to China and Chicago were cancelled within a gap of a few days and it prompted political observers to suspect that the developments are not just mere coincidences. Instead, they are conjecturing that there is a “strong enough political reason” behind the cancellation of Banerjee’s trip to Chicago as her visit was scheduled within a few days of Modi’s visit.Interestingly, the Chief Minister’s visit to China had to be cancelled just a few hours ahead of the journey on Friday as “the political meetings at appropriate level” could not be confirmed.This happened despite the fact that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had a couple of months ago recommended that Banerjee lead a delegation to China under the Union Government’s Exchange Programme with the Communist Party of China’s International Department.So political experts are considering “negligence” in the Centre’s part for “lack of confirmation of the meeting at the appropriate level”.It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister’s Chicago trip has been cancelled when her government has decided to take up character building programmes in schools as a part of the celebration of 125 years of Swami Vivekananda’s address at the Parliament of World’s Religion in Chicago.A programme will also be organised at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan in which 1 lakh students and youths will be participating.last_img read more

Indias US govt securities holdings touch new high at 117 billion

first_imgContinuing to increase its exposure to US government bonds, India’s holding of such securities touched a new high of $117 billion in June, amid mixed global economic trends. India has purchased nearly $45 billion worth such securities in the first six months of this year.In June, China continued to have the maximum exposure with holdings worth over $1.27 trillion, followed by Japan ($1.19 trillion). Since start of this year, India has been steadily hiking its exposure, which stood at $91.2 billion in January. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashAt the end of 2014, the holdings were worth $72.4 billion. Latest data from the US Treasury Department showed that India’s holdings rose to $117 billion in June from $114 billion recorded in May.Among the BRIC grouping, only Brazil trimmed its holdings in June to $256.3 billion while Russia’s rose to $72 billion. China too marginally increased its exposure during the same period.The United States, also the world’s largest economy, saw its GDP grow 2.3 per cent in the three months ended June. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian tourists”Real gross domestic product — the value of the production of goods and services in the US, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 2.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2015,” according to advance estimate released by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis last month.Meanwhile, global economy is witnessing uncertain times and there are rising concerns about Chinese economic health while Europe is seeing a fragile recovery.last_img read more

30yearold youth assaults minor at Basanti

first_imgKolkata: An eight-year-old minor girl from Basanti in South 24-Parganas was allegedly assaulted by a 30-year-old youth from her locality.The family members of the victim alleged that the accused, identified as Sahidul Seikh, tried to kill the girl after torturing her. The victim had several injurymarks on her body.They also alleged that the accused lured the victim with false promises and took her to an abandoned place on Monday afternoon. The minor girl did not hesitate to accompany him as he was an acquaintance. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe accused assaulted the victim, who fell ill after the incident. She was threatened with dire consequences if she revealed anything about the incident.The accused beat up the girl when she threatened to reveal about the incident to her parents. As the victim fell unconscious, the accused youth dumped her there and returned home.After a brief moment, the girl gained consciousness and locals heard her screams. They rushed the victim to Basanti block health centre and later, to Canning Sub-divisional hospital as her condition deteriorated. Meanwhile, her family members reached hospital. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThey later lodged a complaint at the local police station on the basis of which police have started a probe. Medical tests also confirmed that the girl was tortured.Police are yet to record her statement. Her health condition is stated to be serious. The family members demanded stern action against the accused youth. Police have started a probe into the incident following the complaint. Raids are being conducted at various places of the district to nabthe culprit.last_img read more