Dr. Fred Popowich, Director of the Vancouver Institute for Visual Analytics and President of CANVASS, visited us on Jan. 31. Professor Popowich gave a presentation on "Using Natural Language Processing to Support On-Line Learning"
Abstract: When instructors prepare learning materials for students, they frequently develop accompanying questions (prompts) to guide learning. Natural language processing technology can be used to automatically generate such questions but many approaches have not fully leveraged the semantic information contained in the learning materials or the full context in which the prompt generation task occurs. We describe an approach that incorporates semantic role labels and templates into a system that automatically generates natural language prompts to support on-line learning. We then explore how information in a user model along with instructor goals can be incorporated into a full learning context to aid in prompt selection. Our preliminary results indicate our approach is a promising one for supporting learning. The work being presented in being done in collaboration with Alissa Ehrenkranz, David Lindberg, John Nesbit, Lydia Odilinye, and Phil Winne.