Learning with Interactive Knowledge Representations

Bert Bredeweg, Marco Kragten, Joanna Holt, Patricia Kruit, Tom van Eijck, Monique Pijls, Anders Bouwer, Malou Sprinkhuizen, Emile Jaspar, Muriel de Boer

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Computers are promising tools for providing educational experiences that meet individual learning needs. However, delivering this promise in practice is challenging, particularly when automated feedback is essential and the learning extends beyond using traditional methods such as writing and solving mathematics problems. We hypothesize that interactive knowledge representations can be deployed to address this challenge. Knowledge representations differ markedly from concept maps. Where the latter uses nodes (concepts) and arcs (links between concepts), a knowledge representation is based on an ontology that facilitates automated reasoning. By adjusting this reasoning towards interacting with learners for the benefit of learning, a new class of educational instruments emerges. In this contribution, we present three projects that use an interactive knowledge representation as their foundation. DynaLearn supports learners in acquiring system thinking skills. Minds-On helps learners to deepen their understanding of phenomena while performing experiments. Interactive Concept Cartoons engage learners in a science-based discussion about controversial topics. Each of these approaches has been developed iteratively in collaboration with teachers and tested in real classrooms, resulting in a suite of lessons available online. Evaluation studies involving pre-/post-tests and action-log data show that learners are easily capable of working with these educational instruments and that the instruments thus enable a semi-automated approach to constructive learning.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5256
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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