SIS Colloquium


Dr. Glenn BlankPlease join SIS for a colloquium by Dr. Glenn Blank, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Lehigh University, on Thursday, April 26, 2007.  Dr. Blank will discuss “A Tutoring System for Novices Learning Object-Oriented Design" from 3:00 to 4:00 pm in Room 501 of the Information Sciences building, 135 North Bellefield Avenue.  Guests are invited to come meet the speaker at 2:45 on the same day. 

The colloquium will focus on how learning object-oriented design and programming is a challenging task for many beginning students. The DesignFirst-ITS (intelligent tutoring system) supports a novel curriculum for introductory courses, introducing an "objects first" approach to lessons that also incorporate object-oriented analysis and design, using elements of UML before implementing any code.

The ITS will coordinate student learning in two different client programs: web-based multimedia courseware and a UML plug-in for the Eclipse IDE, each of which post student interactions to a server-based databases. The Expert Evaluator analyzes student work in the IDE, comparing novice with expert solutions. The Student Model combines knowledge from the expert evaluator and the multimedia in "Atomic" Bayesian networks that guarantee real time analysis of students' current and developing understanding of object-oriented concepts as well as problem-solving strategies. Finally, the Pedagogical Advisor, guided by updates from the student model as well as a learning styles inventory, interacts with the learner by selecting from several possible tutorial strategies. Experimental evidence with simulated and real students demonstrates the effectiveness of components and the overall tutoring system.

Glenn D. Blank, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Lehigh University, develops curricula and tools designed to increase accessibility into computer science. The CIMEL (Constructive Inquiry-Based Multimedia E-Learning) project created interactive multimedia courseware, including an introductory course covering the breadth of computer science and an "objects first" approach to Java.  Dr. Blank is also the Principal Investigator of two NSF-sponsored outreach projects in the K-12 STEM program.