Using educational data mining to assess students' skills at designing and conducting experiments within a complex systems microworld

Janice D. Gobert, Yoon Jeon Kim, Michael A. Sao Pedro, Cameron G. Betts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many national policy documents underscore the importance of 21st century skills, including critical thinking. In parallel, recent American frameworks for K-12 science education call for the development of critical thinking skills in science, also referred to as science inquiry skills/practices. Assessment of these skills is necessary, as indicated in policy documents; however, this has posed a great challenge for assessment researchers. Recently, some science learning environments seek to assess these science skills. These systems log all students' interactions within the given system, and if fully leveraged, these logs provide rich assessments of inquiry skills. Here, we describe our environment Inq-ITS (inquiry intelligent tutoring system), that uses educational data mining to assess science inquiry skills, as described as 21st century skills. Additionally, here, we describe how we measure students' skills at designing controlled experiments, a lynchpin skill of inquiry, in the context of complex systems. In doing so, our work addresses 21st century skill assessment in two ways, namely of inquiry (designing and conducting experiments), and in the context of complex systems, a key topic area of 21st century skills. We use educational data mining to develop our assessment of this skill for complex systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

Keywords

  • 21st century skills
  • Complex systems
  • Educational data mining
  • Inquiry assessment
  • Performance assessment

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