-About the Research-


The ISP (Inquiry-based Science Project) Tutor Project is funded by a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES grant R305A170176) to Carnegie Mellon University Psychology Professor David Klahr (PI) and Dr. Stephanie Siler (Co-PI). The aim of this project is to build upon a previously-developed computer tutor, the TED Tutor, which helps elementary and middle school students learn how to design controlled experiments. Under this grant, we have added more experimental domains to the TED Tutor as well as instructional modules on other aspects of experiment-based science inquiry, including: selecting research questions; developing hypotheses; conducting background research; interpreting experimental outcomes; drawing conclusions.

What is the TED Tutor? Developed under prior IES grants (R305H060034 and R305A100404), the TED Tutor provides instruction on designing controlled experiments, focusing on the reason that variables must be controlled. The TED Tutor includes: (1) pretests and posttests that assess students' ability to design and evaluate experiments in several problem domains, (2) instructional activities where students decide whether experimental comparisons would allow them to find out about the effect of the focal variable and why, and (3) incremental remedial instructional pathways (adaptive based on students' performance on pretests and during instruction).

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