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Promoting critical thinking dispositions in children and adolescents through Human-Robot Interaction with Socially Assistive Robots

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Paper presented at the 1st International Conference on Technology and Innovation in Learning, Teaching and Education (TECH-EDU 2018), June 20-22, 2018, Thessaloniki, Greece.

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Promoting critical thinking dispositions in children and adolescents through Human-Robot Interaction with Socially Assistive Robots

  1. 1. Promoting critical thinking dispositions in children and adolescents through Human-Robot Interaction with Socially Assistive Robots Dimitrios Pnevmatikos, Panagiota Christodoulou & Nikolaos Fachantidis SPECIAL TRACK: BUILDING CRITICAL THINKING IN HIGHER EDUCATION-MEETING THE CHALLENGE International Conference on Technology and Innovation in Learning, Teaching and Education June 20-22, 2018 - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Thessaloniki, 21/6/18
  2. 2. Skills and competencies for the 21st century 20th century • Industrialized society • Education emphasizes on content & knowledge acquisition 21st century • Knowledge-based society • Education emphasizes on skills and competencies 2 (Dede, 2010; Griffin, McGaw & Care, 2012)
  3. 3. Skills and competencies for the 21st century 3 (Ananiadou & Claro, 2009; Dede, 2010; NRC, 2013) Critical Thinking Creative Thinking Communication Collaboration Digital Literacy Problem solving Decision making 4CCs
  4. 4. Teaching for Critical Thinking (CT): A difficult task Epistemological presuppositions Disagreements on definition Disagreements on nature (subject specificity vs. domain general) Teacher’s personal epistemology unaware of the necessity to teach cognitive skills do not recognize explicit CT instruction as part of the educational process Implications for instruction Many approaches and strategies Higher order skill=> improve lower order thinking skills 4 (Anastasiadou & Dimitriadou, 2011; Dwyer, Hogan & Stewart, 2014; Gelder, 2005; Maiorana, 1992; Lai, 2011) CHALLENGE: to develop innovative interventions that will promote critical thinking skills in individuals
  5. 5. Aim of the current study - To present a preliminary concept on the development of an approach that will integrate Socially Assistive Robots (SAR) as part of the explicit instruction for promoting CT in children and adolescents (i.e., between 10 and 18 years old) 5
  6. 6. Defining Critical Thinking 6 Critical Thinking Critical Thinking Skills - Interpretation - Analysis - Inference - Evaluation - Explanation - Self-regulation Critical Thinking Dispositions - Truth-seeking - Open-mindedness - Analyticity - Systematicity - Self-confidence - Inquisitiveness - Maturity of judgement (Facione, 1990, 2000; Facione & Facione, 1996; Facione, Sanchez, Facione & Gainen, 1995)
  7. 7. Instruction for Critical Thinking: a few examples from the literature (I) -Ennis (1985): General, Infusion, Immersion & Mixed approach -Halpern (1998): Motivate towards Critical Thinking Dispositions, Explicit Instruction of CTS, Exploitation in problem solving situation for transferability, enhance metacognition -Abrami et al (2015): mixed approach-more effective for learners -Abrami et al (2015): dialogue related type of strategies (e.g., questioning, peer discussion, debate) and authentic or anchored instruction (e.g., problem-solving techniques, simulations, case studies and role-plays)=>most effective teaching strategies for CT 7
  8. 8. Instruction for Critical Thinking: a few examples from the literature (II) -Fung, 2017: collaborative group activities, instructor guided questions & group debates=> more effective for secondary school students in promoting CTD than whole class instruction -Fung, 2014: primary education students’ critical ability was significantly enhanced when engaged in collaborative-problem solving activities -Ku, Ho, Hau & Lai, 2014: direct instruction & inquiry-based teaching: A= direct instruction dominates, B=balanced approach, C= inquiry-based teaching dominates, D= no training=>improvement in A, B, C at CTS & CTD for upper secondary students 8
  9. 9. Socially Assistive Robots Socially Assistive Robot: a physically embodied robot that provides motivational, personalized and long-term support to humans by engaging in social interaction following social behaviors and rules according to its role (Edwards, Edwards, Spence, Harris, & Gambino, 2016; Feil-Seifer, & Mataric, 2005) 9 Education & Special Education Elderly care Rehabilitation
  10. 10. Socially Assistive Robots & social capabilities -social capabilities of the robot enhance motivation towards behavior changes and engagement in learning and instruction e.g. ▪ Baroni et al (2014): robot that engages in verbal and non- verbal communication motivated primary school children to change their lifestyles and eating habits ▪ Hood, Lemaignan & Dillenbourg (2015): elementary schoolchildren who interacted with a robotic partner, which they taught handwriting were more motivated to engage in the activity. Also, metacognitive aspects were stimulated by the interaction with the robot as children had to reflect and consider why the robot failed to learn writing ▪ Spaulding, Gordon & Breazeal (2016): children that played an interactive story-telling game with a physically embodied, affect-aware robot tutor in comparison to a tablet, generated stronger engagement and enjoyment during the interaction 10
  11. 11. Socially Assistive Robots & social capabilities: Personalization - Personalization is an important social capability for the current study - Personalization of the robot’s behavior: - increase of the friendliness or social presence, - the customization of the robot’s appearance, - the customization of the robot’s personality, - the task preferences, - the feedback provided to the user -According to SDT (Ryan & Deci, 2000) satisfaction of users’ psychological needs leads to enhancement of motivation 11
  12. 12. Socially Assistive Robots: Importance of personalized robotic tutor -Gordon & Breazeal (2015)=>assessed students skills and the behavior of the robotic tutor was personalized according to each student’s level vs. random tutoring=>in the first condition students optimized their information gain and revealed substantial engagement in the task -Janssen, van der Wal, Neerincx, & Looije (2011): personalization of the task’s level of difficulty according to child’ performance vs. no personalization=>primary school children were more motivated and engaged longer with the robot in the personalized mode -Jones, Bull & Castellano, 2017; Jones & Castellano, 2018: personalization of the feedback according to users’ performance=>enhanced primary school students’ self regulation 12
  13. 13. The concept of the current study: Research design -Experimental design -Pre-intermediate-post measurement -Participants between 10-18 y.o. -Individual session ≅ 20 − 30 𝑚𝑖𝑛 -8 sessions (two-months duration) 13
  14. 14. The concept of the current study: Materials -STIMEY robot -Detachable android smartphone -Personalized appearance & personality (e.g. change colors, add-on components, coating surfaces) -Personalized behavior (e.g., feedback and responses according to user’s performance) 14
  15. 15. The concept of the current study: Evaluation -Scales and inventories will not be employed due to the complex nature of CT and reliability and validity issues (Carter, Creedy & Sidebotham, 2015) -Qualitative measurement with a self-evaluation task (i.e., describing the CTD they are involved) -A task similar with the experimental to evaluate transferability of CTD 15
  16. 16. The concept of the current study Experimental set-up (I) Familiarization phase (≅3 min) -The robot greets the user and vice versa -The robot informs about an internet article it read and asks the user to provide an opinion on it 16
  17. 17. The concept of the current study Experimental set-up (II) 18 Main test phase (≅ 20-25 min)
  18. 18. The concept of the current study Experimental set-up (III) 19
  19. 19. The concept of the current study Experimental set-up (IV) Concluding phase -Depending on the final answer of the child, some gestures and noises will be employed by the robot (e.g. positive or sympathetic) -In case of irrelevant search the robot suggests alternative entries to the user -The robot reflects on the CTD that the child involved during the process of inquiry e.g., “I think it really helped you that you sought for the truth of the original argument. This is a first step towards critical thinking, seeking the truth! Also, you found a lot of evidence that made your opinion more solid than before and made you understand the problem more; you should do it more often!” -Cheer offs and goodbye 20
  20. 20. The concept of the current study Experimental set-up (V) Different questions for different CTD 21 CT Dispositions Robot response Truth-seeking -Is this argument true? -Did you question any of your beliefs? -Is this the best knowledge on which you can build your argument? -Did you find information on both sides of the argument? -Are there any consequences related to your argument? Open- mindedness -Did you respect different opinions on your argument? -Did you appreciate or laugh at others’ arguments? Analyticity -Did you think the outcomes of your decisions? -Did you use evidence when tried to resolve the problem? -Did you think in advance any difficulties related to your argument? Systematicity -Did you organize your approach to solve an issue or problem? -Which steps did you follow to search for evidence -Did you try to solve a problem without thinking in advance how to solve it? Self-confidence -Did you have confidence when you tried to solve a challenging problem? -Did you work on the problem or did you asked for help? Inquisitiveness -Did you learn something new? -Was this new information/evidence important for you? -Did you engage in an activity because it is useful for you? Maturity of judgment -Did you reconsider your argument according to other opinions? -Did you change your original belief according to the scientific evidence? -Were you willing to reconsider your argument at all? CT Dispositions Robot response
  21. 21. The concept of the current study Experimental set-up (VI) Scaffolding in additional sessions -After a few sessions the robot would minimize the scaffold towards the child -In case a child systematically uses evidence to support an argument, the robot asks the child to describe the procedures he/she involves to evaluate a stimulus e.g., “What is your first step in evaluating the argument I gave you?” - When the child masters the activity congratulation responses will be initiated -In case a child has difficulties engaging with the appropriate CTD, the robot will provide hints 22
  22. 22. Summary Aspects taken under consideration -SAR promote user’s motivation and engagement in a task -SAR support skills development and long term behavior change -SAR improve learning outcomes for users -We suggest the integration of SAR for promoting CTD -Start with CTD because: is the internal motivation of thinking in a critical manner towards a problem -Development of CT is not a task that can happen overnight=>a longitudinal approach is required as a starting point 23
  23. 23. Aspects to take under consideration: -Limitation: There is no direct instruction on CTD=>mitigation plan: explicit introduction of the CTD beforehand by the robot followed by student’s engagement -Limitation: participants might not be able to address directly the CTD involved with =>mitigation plan: Rubric development to facilitate self- evaluation and reflection -Limitation: lack of positive feedback=> mitigation plan: increase positive reinforcement after engagement with CTD -Limitation: There is no direct instruction on CTS=> mitigation plan: include direct introduction of the CTS as a next step of intervention 24
  24. 24. Promoting critical thinking dispositions in children and adolescents through Human-Robot Interaction with Socially Assistive Robots Dimitrios Pnevmatikos, Panagiota Christodoulou & Nikolaos Fachantidis THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! International Conference on Technology and Innovation in Learning, Teaching and Education June 20-22, 2018 - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Thessaloniki, 21/6/18

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