Monday, 25 June 2012

Knewton knows networks...

Knewton is not really a game, it is a teaching-method implemented with some game elements like achievement badges. It is interesting for developers nonetheless.

Welcome to a new layar of adaptivity. A few posts ago I introduced you to item specific adaptivity. has been pioneering a self-organizing system that rates problems through user interaction, while allowing for a 75% success rate of problem-solving to retain motivation. 

The next level is skill-domain adaptivity. Arithmetic can for example be divided in mathematical operation domains like subtraction, addition and multiplication. But underneath these domains the item might be linked at a deeper psychological level. The problem 6+1=x may very well be linked to the concept of 60+10=x.  These connections are theorized to form knowledge/skill domains. I'll probably look into this concept a bit more.

The underlying idea of Knewton is a self-organizing system that automatically detect the links between these concepts, validates and test their coherence. This software uses network science theories to create a network map of item domains and their interdependence. Arithmetic problems in the form of a story might for example require usage of the subtraction domain and story understanding domain. If you make mistakes the system will try to detect a link between mistakes to adjust your curriculum to your weaknesses. Thereby strengthening your weaknesses and increasing your effectiveness in arithmetic.

Item specific adaptivity and knowledge/skill adaptivity may well be combined to develop adaptive teaching-methods, more specifics in the coming future : ).

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