My research focuses on improving student learning from educational technologies. I am most interested in the areas of intelligent tutoring systems, human-computer interaction and user modeling. My Ph.D. dissertation focused on adapting tutoring strategies to students of differing proficiencies. My work is interdisciplinary and I have collaborated with researchers in the fields of Computer Science, Cognitive Psychology, Education, Mathematics and Psychometrics.
I was a postdoctoral researcher for the Center for Knowledge Communication. The CKC is a research group in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst that develops tutoring systems that are capable of functioning responsively, comprehensively, and flexibly to a wide variety of students, within a variety of domains, and with multiple tutoring strategies. I worked on a system called 4mality for 3rd and 4th grade students learning to solve math word problems. For each problem in 4mality, there are strategies and suggestions authored from a particular problem-solving point of view. Four virtual coaches are designed to capture the character of different problem-solving approaches.
I was a primary member of the ASSISTment Project which is a web-based tutoring system that assesses while it tutors. My role in this project was Content Director, where I was in charge of designing how problems are tutored to students. This can involve writing question text, drawing images and animations and designing tutor strategies. I was also in charge of approving content that other group members have designed. I spent a large amount of time in middle schools and high schools in the Worcester area, helping teachers use the system in their classrooms and running randomized controlled studies to determine the best tutoring practices. I have helped to advise many undergraduate students who have completed projects with the ASSISTment Project.