Reviewing research on teaching robotics Barker and Ansorge (2007) Robotics as a means to increase achievement scores in an informal learning environment. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(3), 229-243. Combining the teaching of robotics with collaborative technologies and task-based design has potential for increasing university students' science and technological skills. This potential can only be realised if clear objectives are established and if we know how to understand and measure the most effective ways to do this.
Second Life & Learning
Processes, outcomes and metrics
for assessing synchronous and
asynchronous collaboration in
Supported by UK Prime Minister’s Initiative - PMI2,
and JAIST Japan.
• Technology adoption in Higher
• replicate = zero order change
• explore = first order change
• innovate = second order change
Cuban (2001) Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom. Harvard University Press
Virtual Worlds + HEI
• Enthusiastic adoption of virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life)
– but most represent a ‘mirror world’ - mimics real world
(avatars sitting down, traditional lecterns, etc)
– such replication = zero order change.
• For first (explore) and second (innovate) order change,
educators require guidance on task construction,
implementation and assessment.
Reviewing research on teaching robotics
1) an effective tool for teaching science, engineering, and
2) students who have engineered and programmed robots
are exposed to other disciplines that are important for
robotics, science and engineering
3) exposure to real world conditions with multiple possible
4) effective teamwork is a significant outcome
5) female students respond positively to working with robots.
Barker and Ansorge (2007) Robotics as a means to increase achievement
scores in an informal learning environment. Journal of Research on
Technology in Education,
• Use NXT Mindstorms as a means to develop metrics for effective tasks
in a virtual world (e.g. Second Life ... later QWAQ).
• Group A in Japan: Group B in UK.
• Design Experiment (Brown, 1992)
– Iteratively collect and analyze data to develop an hypothesis for
good tasks in virtual spaces.
• Capture all actions (screen capture as video) and link to transcribed
– measure degree of success of task completion (by comparing
robots): TE + IE
– increase task difficulty
– follow up interviews + Flow questionnaire(Csikszentmihalyi)
• Remotely located science students
• Robotics programming
• Communicating and collaborating in a virtual world.
• Metrics for assessing success of tasks in virtual worlds.
• Different collaborative processes (synchronous and
• Develop framework for successful implementation of
collaborative tasks in virtual worlds
• Aug+Sept 2009:
– tasks between JPN + UK being undertaken
– repeat in QWAQ
– transcription + tagging + iterative analysis
– financial - seek further funding
– technical - can an interface between a/any
virtual world and a robot be developed?
– Can you help? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org