CycleTalk: Dialogue Technology for Supporting Simulation Based Learning

Funded by: the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research
PIs: Carolyn P. Rose, Jack Beuth, Vincent Aleven
Students, Staff, and Collaborators: Rohit Kumar, Iris Howley

Project Overview

In order to encourage productive patterns of collaborative discourse, we are using language technologies to develop an infrastructure for scaffolding the interactions between students in computer supported collaborative learning environments, to help coordinate their communication, and to encourage deep thinking and reflection. Students who work with a partner using this support learn 1.25 standard deviations more than their counterparts working individually in the same environment without the collaboration support, where 1 standard deviation translates into 1 full letter grade. An important part of this work is dialogue technology capable of interacting with groups of humans that is designed to draw out reflection and engage students in directed lines of reasoning. , This work builds on previous results demonstrating the effectiveness of these tutorial dialogue agents for supporting learning of individuals working alone in this domain.

Recently we have begun to expand into other areas of engineering education, such as Freshman engineering.


  1. Kumar, R., Chaudhuri, S., Howley, I., Rose, C. P. (2009). VMT-Basilica: An Environment for Rapid Prototyping of Collaborative Learning Environments with Dynamic Support, Community Event Proceedings of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (interactive poster, nominated for best technical design award)
  2. Howley, I., Chaudhuri, S., Kumar, R., Rose, C. P. (2009). Motivation and Collaboration On-Line, submitted to Artificial Intelligence in Education (poster)
  3. Chaudhuri, S., Kumar, R., Howley, I., Rose, C. P. (2009). Engaging Collaborative Learners with Helping Agents, submitted to Artificial Intelligence in Education
  4. Chaudhuri, S., Kumar, R., Joshi, M., Terrell, E., Higgs, F., Aleven, V., Rose, C. P. (2008). It.s Not Easy Being Green: Supporting Collaborative .Green Design. Learning, in Proceedings of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS .08) (poster)
  5. Kumar, R., Rose, C. P., Wang, Y. C., Joshi, M., Robinson, A. (2007). Tutorial Dialogue as Adaptive Collaborative Learning Support, Proceedings of Artificial Intelligence in Education (nominated for Best Student Paper)
  6. Joshi, M. & Rose, C. P. (2007). Using Transactivity in Conversation Summarization in Educational Dialog. Proceedings of the SLaTE Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education