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Promoting Transfer through Case-Based Reasoning: Rituals and Practices in Learning by Design ™ Classrooms. Janet L. Kolodner College of Computing Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA, USA (and the Learning by Design™ project team). Learning by Design ™.

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Promoting Transfer through Case-Based Reasoning:Rituals and Practices in Learning by Design™ Classrooms

Janet L. Kolodner

College of Computing

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA, USA

(and the Learning by Design™ project team)

learning by design
Learning by Design™
  • A project-based inquiry approach to science education for middle school
  • Students learn science concepts and practices in the context of attempting to achieve design challenges.
  • Highly collaborative
  • A variety of practices and scaffolding tools are embedded in the approach to promote the kinds of experiences and reflection that promote transfer.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

science practices
Science Practices
  • Understanding a problem and what might need to be investigated
  • Investigation with a purpose: experimentation, modeling, learning from cases, library lookup, ...
  • Informed decision making, reporting on and justifying conclusions
  • Iteration towards understanding
  • Explaining scientifically
  • Teamwork, collaboration across teams, giving credit

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

our units
Our Units
  • Physical Science
    • Apollo 13– introduction to practices of design and science
    • Vehicles in Motion– motion and forces
    • Machines that Help– simple machines and mechanical advantage
  • Earth Science
    • Digging In -- launcher unit
    • Managing Erosion – erosion and accretion
    • Tunneling through Georgia– geology, rocks and minerals, rock formations, underground water
  • Looking for a publisher

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

novel features
Novel Features
  • Ritualized classroom activities matched to science practices
  • Design diary pages matched to activities provide scaffolding for performance and reflection
  • Software scaffolding matched to activities and presentations promotes summary and interpretation
  • Launcher units introduce practices and culture
  • Orchestration such that students need each others' results
  • Lots of presentations to promote good kinds of reflection
  • Highly iterative to promote explanation and iterative refinement of conceptions

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

lbd s community rituals
LBD's Community Rituals
  • Gallery walk-- scaffolds explanation
  • Pin-up session-- scaffolds justification
  • Results presentation-- scaffolds justification and data interpretation
  • Design rules of thumbgeneration-- scaffolds data interpretation
  • Messing About and Whiteboarding -- scaffold question asking

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

novel features7
Novel Features
  • Ritualized classroom activities matched to science practices
  • Design diary pages matched to activities provide scaffolding for performance and reflection
  • Software scaffolding matched to activities and presentations promotes summary and interpretation
  • Launcher units introduce practices and culture
  • Orchestration such that students need each others’ results
  • Lots of presentations to promote good kinds of reflection
  • Highly iterative to promote explanation and iterative refinement of conceptions

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

two design diary pages
Two Design Diary Pages

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

smile
SMILE
  • Design discussions
    • Investigation planning and presentation
    • Design plans and decisions (pin-up)
    • Design experiences (gallery walks)
  • Summary authoring
    • Goals, plans, results, science used
    • Two most important iterations
    • Lessons learned and how they might be used

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

our experiment
Your question

Your hypothesis

How you will test it

Your procedure

Variable you will vary

Values you will give it

Properties you will hold constant

Data

Interpretation of results

Rule of thumb

Scaffolding is of three kinds

structuring with a leading question or topic

hints

examples

Our Experiment

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

describe a design iteration
Describe a design iteration
  • Describe your design iteration. Be sure to tell us what is different this time and why.
  • Describe what you expected to happen when you implemented this design.
  • Describe scientifically the positive aspects of this design. Tell why these aspects were positive, using scientific vocabulary. Make sure to specify the constraints you took into account and the criteria your design achieved.
  • Describe scientifically the negative aspects of this design. Tell why these aspects were negative, using scientific vocabulary.
  • Describe the parts of the challenge that were not solved.
  • What, if anything, needed to be changed?
  • Anything else?

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Choose one of the things you learned and describe it. Be as specific as possible. Explain so that someone who doesn't yet know what you know could understand.
  • Describe the experience when you learned it.
  • Describe another situation when you have experienced this.
  • Explain why what you learned might be important to someone else. When and how might they use it?
  • Describe a situation in the future in which you might use what you have learned again.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

novel features13
Novel Features
  • Ritualized classroom activities matched to science practices
  • Design diary pages matched to activities provide scaffolding for performance and reflection
  • Software scaffolding matched to activities and presentations promotes summary and interpretation
  • Launcher units introduce practices and culture
  • Orchestration such that students need each others’ results
  • Lots of presentations to promote good kinds of reflection
  • Highly iterative to promote explanation and iterative refinement of conceptions

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

vehicles in motion
Vehicles in Motion
  • Design and build a vehicle that can propel itself over several hills and beyond; the farther the better
    • Coaster Car Challenge
      • Friction and keeping things going
    • Balloon Car Challenge
      • Getting and keeping things going
    • Rubber-band and Falling Weight Challenge
      • Comparing different kinds of propulsion
    • Put it all together

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

lbd s sequencing
Pose design challenge.

"Messing about" leads to question posing. (Messing About)

Investigation following scientific methodology. (My Experiment; SMILE)

Balloon-car challenge

W/balloon engines

Size of balloons?

Length of straw?

Diameter of straw?

Double balloon?

Double engine?

Each group chooses a question and designs and runs an experiment

LBD's Sequencing

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

from group work to class discussion
Sharing results

Drawing out design rules of thumb (My Rules of Thumb)

Why were the results of that run so different?

Maybe you didn't blow up the balloons the same every time.

Two engines are better than one

...

From Group Work to Class Discussion

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

getting to the science
Design planning (SMILE)

Pin-up session (Pin-up Notes)

Construction and testing (Testing my Design)

Gallery Walk (SMILE; Gallery Walk Notes)

Need for science (My Rules of Thumb)

Let's use two engines and double the balloons in each because …

When we did that, the wheels spun out. … We don't know why.

Read text pages about ...

Getting to the Science

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

summary pulling it all together
Iterative refinement

Final gallery walk

Product history (SMILE)

Application problems and scenarios

Lessons learned (SMILE)

Individual and group writeups

About science, science practice, collaboration, ...

Summary; Pulling it all together

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

more on sequencing
More on Sequencing
  • Iteration towards better solutions provides opportunities for iteration towards better understanding.
  • Sharing experimental results, design ideas, and design experiences promotes focus on investigative methodologies.
  • Design diary pages and software provide scaffolding for doing and reflection in the context of ritualized activities.
  • Multiple opportunities for students to engage in and learn science process, communication, collaboration, planning, reflection, design in the process of learning and applying science content.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

lbd s foundations
LBD's Foundations
  • Case-based reasoning's model of learning from experience (Kolodner, Schank, Hammond, …)
  • Problem-Based Learning's model of the classroom (Barrows, …)
  • Communities of Learners (Brown, Campione), Constructionism (Papert, Harel, Kafai, …), Cognitive Apprenticeship (Collins, Brown, …), architecture studio, Decision-Based Design (Mistree, …), …
  • Transfer literature (as in How People Learn)

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

transfer
Transfer
  • The ability to apply something learned in one situation in another situation that wasn’t directly targeted in the learning
    • Example 1: sliding up the driveway (reusing knowledge)
    • Example 2: “we did a little pin-up …” (participating in practices)

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

near and far transfer low road and high road
Near and Far Transfer (Low-Road and High-Road)
  • Near:
    • Measuring water during baking ==> measuring liquid in a beaker or pipette in chemistry class
  • Really far (between two contexts):
    • Texture of shark skin makes sharks aerodynamic ==> maybe same texture in bathing costumes will make people more aerodynamic

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

what how people learn tells us about transfer
What How People Learn Tells Us About Transfer
  • Initial learning is necessary for transfer, and a considerable amount is known about the kinds of learning experiences that support transfer.
  • Knowledge that is overly contextualized can reduce transfer; abstract representations of knowledge can help promote transfer.
  • Transfer is best viewed as an active, dynamic process rather than a passive end-product of a particular set of learning experiences.
  • All new learning involves transfer based on previous learning, and this fact has important implications for the design of instruction that helps students learn.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

what does this tell us about designing classroom practices
What Does This Tell us About Designing Classroom Practices?
  • Help learners generalize across individual experiences and examples.
  • Help learners use what they know.
  • Help learners develop the ability to transfer.
    • Help them practice transferring
    • Make reasoning explicit
    • Give them experience over a variety of situations
  • Here is where Case-Based Reasoning comes into the picture.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

a case based reasoner is constantly engaged in transfer
A Case-Based Reasoner is Constantly Engaged in Transfer
  • It applies lessons learned in old situations to new ones.
  • Sometimes it succeeds in its endeavors; sometimes it fails.
  • When it fails, it attempts to explain what was responsible for the failure and updates its memory accordingly.
  • It learns by adding new cases, re-encoding and re-indexing old cases, and abstracting out generalizations.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

case based reasoning
Case-Based Reasoning
  • Developed as a way to allow the computer to solve complex problems and learn from its experiences.
  • The computer remembers and applies the lessons learned in one situation to another, storing its experiences in its case library.
  • Much like people ...

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

our computer models
Our computer models
  • we give our computer programs memories to store their experiences;
  • we have our programs keep track of their experiences in memory, intepret their experiences so as to extract lessons that could be learned from them and the conditions of applicability for those lessons, and encode those experiences based on those lessons learned and their conditions of applicability;
  • we give our programs means of retrieving applicable cases from their memories, judging which of several potential cases might be most applicable in a new situation, and merging, adapting, and applying the lessons learned in new situations;
  • we provide our computer programs with feedback on their decisions, helping them explain mistakes and/or poor predictions, and helping them revise memory’s encodings and interpretations as those explanations suggest; and
  • we have our programs notice similarities and general rules and draw abstractions to use for more sophisticated encoding.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

cbr defines transfer as spontaneously reusing some past experience productively
CBR defines transfer as spontaneously reusing some past experience productively.
  • Three steps involved in reuse:
    • remembering (access)
    • deciding on applicability
    • application
  • “Getting to productive transfer” is a developmental process:
    • practice and explanation
    • articulation of lessons learned
    • iterative and reflective application of lessons learned

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

slide31
Our computer implementations provide insights into the processes involved in "getting to productive transfer."
  • Remembering
  • Application
  • Learning

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

remembering the indexing problem
Remembering (the indexing problem)
  • Depends on the quality of three processes:
    • Interpretation at encoding: How well and how completely the reasoner interpreted the old situation
    • Interpretation at retrieval (situation assessment): How well and how completely the reasoner interprets a new situation
    • Matching: How good the reasoner's partial matching capabilities are

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

interpretation the better one encodes the more chance there is of noticing relevant similarity
Interpretation -- the better one encodes, the more chance there is of noticing relevant similarity
  • Making of connections
  • Extraction of lessons learned
  • Making conditions of applicability of those lessons explicit
  • Allows indexing (labeling according to most important complexes of descriptors)

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

implications
Implications
  • The better a reasoner can extract lessons and conditions of applicability from a situation, the better (s)he will see connections between new and old situations.
  • Help learners interpret their experiences to extract what can be learned from them; anticipate the kinds of situations in which lessons might be applied; and abstract across a variety of experiences to extract general principles.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

application
Application
  • With a description of a problem situation and its solution, an old solution can be repeated.
  • If, in addition, the reasoner knows whether the solution succeeded when applied, there is a basis for deciding whether or not to reuse the old situation.
  • If, in addition, the reasoner knows what happened as a result of applying the solution, more reasoned judgments are possible (e.g., does that old result make sense in my new situation?).
  • If, in addition, factors responsible for the result (success or failure) are known, judgment of applicability is possible.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

implications36
Implications
  • If we help people embellish their understanding of “what happened” in ways that include rich connections between goals, actions, and results, and if we help them explain the factors responsible for “what happened”, ability to judge applicability of what’s remembered and to apply it will be more likely.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

what we do in lbd preview
What we do in LBD (preview)
  • That students need each others’ results provides reasons for presentations.
  • The need to present coherently encourages rich interpretation.
  • The need to give advice to others encourages anticipation.
  • Design diary pages and software provide scaffolding for that interpretation and reminders to anticipate use.
  • The need to understand applicability of the advice of peers encourages active listening, questioning of peers, and the drawing of lessons from presentations.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

learning
Learning
  • A case-based reasoner learns when it extends its knowledge by
    • incorporating new experiences into memory in ways that are consistent with what is already in memory,
    • re-encoding old experiences to more accurately reflect what one can learn from them and their applicability, and
    • abstracting out generalizations from experiences.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

what is required for learning
What is required for learning?
  • failure and explanation
  • useful feedback from the world – what happens when I try it out?
  • the want and ability to explain
  • iteration towards better and better explanations
  • the want to iterate towards better and better explanations
  • All of this requires that learners have goals they are trying to achieve and that they want to achieve and that they have the ability to make predictions.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

how do we help students learn
How do we help students learn?
  • we ask them to achieve engaging goals that can be achieved in ways that provide feedback and that require several iterations;
  • we help them keep track of their experiences in memory, intepret their experiences so as to extract lessons that could be learned from them and the conditions of applicability for those lessons, and encode those experiences based on those lessons learned and their conditions of applicability;
  • we give them practice retrieving applicable cases from their memories, judging which of several potential cases might be most applicable in a new situation, and merging, adapting, and applying the lessons learned in new situations;
  • we make sure they get feedback on their decisions, help them explain mistakes and/or poor predictions, and help them revise memory’s encodings and interpretations as those explanations suggest; and
  • we have them notice similarities and general rules and draw out abstractions to use for more sophisticated encoding.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

novel features42
Novel Features
  • Ritualized classroom activities matched to science practices
  • Design diary pages matched to activities provide scaffolding for performance and reflection
  • Software scaffolding matched to activities and presentations promotes summary and interpretation
  • Launcher units introduce practices and culture
  • Orchestration such that students need each others’ results
  • Lots of presentations to promote good kinds of reflection
  • Highly iterative to promote explanation and iterative refinement of conceptions

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

lbd s community rituals43
LBD's Community Rituals
  • Gallery walk-- scaffolds explanation
  • Pin-up session-- scaffolds justification
  • Results presentation-- scaffolds justification and data interpretation
  • Design rules of thumbgeneration-- scaffolds data interpretation
  • Messing About and Whiteboarding -- scaffold question asking

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

what makes the rituals work
What makes the rituals work
  • A systematic way of carrying out some important skill set that
    • systematizes practices to make them methodical; promotes habits
    • situates practices in several contexts; promoting adaptability
    • engages students in public practice as collaborators; affording noticing, asking, discussion, productive reflection

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

show and tell rituals
“Show and Tell” Rituals
  • Gallery walks(explanation)
  • Pin-up sessions(justification)
  • Results presentation (experimental method)
  • Ritualized public ways of participating in science practices
  • Well-articulated expectations
  • Repeatedly practiced and publicly discussed

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

lbd s connections to cbr
LBD’s Connections to CBR
  • The design challenge gives kids goals – both learning goals and performance goals.
  • Messing about and experimentation with rules of thumb as results helps kids make predictions.They articulate predictions in pin ups.
  • They discuss results and get help explaining in gallery walks, with focus on justification and use of evidence.
  • Gallery walks and pin-ups give them the chance to vicariously experience and explain a wide range of applications of science content and practices of scientists.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

where s the cbr
Where's the CBR?
  • Students reason using cases
  • Students collect lots of cases
  • They are helped to index their cases well
  • They expect, try, fail, explain, try again – iteratively moving toward better solutions and better understanding at the same time.
  • They experience and interpret feedback from the real world as they run what they design and build.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

what how people learn tells us about transfer48
What How People Learn Tells Us About Transfer
  • Initial learning is necessary for transfer, and a considerable amount is known about the kinds of learning experiences that support transfer.
  • Knowledge that is overly contextualized can reduce transfer; abstract representations of knowledge can help promote transfer.
  • Transfer is best viewed as an active, dynamic process rather than a passive end-product of a particular set of learning experiences.
  • All new learning involves transfer based on previous learning, and this fact has important implications for the design of instruction that helps students learn.

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

how is transfer promoted
How is transfer promoted?
  • Motivating activity keeps students’ attention
  • Reflection on their experiences in ways that promote abstraction from experience, explanation of results, comparing and contrasting, understanding conditions of applicability
  • Repeated use of concepts; repeated practice of skills; experience with concepts and skills over a variety of circumstances
  • Reasons to reflect on their experiences (they have to explain to others; others need their results)
  • Help with reflecting on their experiences, help with remembering, help with judging applicability, help with application, help with explanation

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

evidence of transfer
Evidence of Transfer
  • Reuse of content:
      • bookstand remindings while doing bridge
        • triangle, truss shape, distribution of weight
      • new bridge in neighborhood; what kind of bridge is it?
      • Water skiing
  • Enculturation into community practices:
      • pin up episode
      • community support for doing and learning
        • gallery walks
        • planfulness in post-tests
        • work together in post-tests
      • science fair projects

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

more evidence
More evidence
  • Students initiate their own use of these practices
    • the pin-up session story
    • creating rules of thumb
    • messing about during interviews and performance assessments
    • whiteboards science fair projects
  • Students adapt the rituals to later needs
    • e.g., when teacher stops calling gallery walks

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

evidence from performance assessment
Evidence from Performance Assessment

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany

the big design question how do you get from what the learning literature says to classroom design
The Big Design Question … How do you get from what the learning literature says to classroom design?
  • Find an approach to practice that almost matches what you're aiming for
    • ours was Problem-Based Learning
  • Adapt it to your constraints
  • Iterate

Instructional Design; Kolodner; Germany