Carrie Demmans Epp

Carrie Demmans Epp
University of Alberta | UAlberta · Department of Computing Science

BSc, MSc, PhD

About

88
Publications
21,025
Reads
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699
Citations
Citations since 2017
60 Research Items
577 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
Introduction
I am an educational technology researcher with a background in computer science and language learning. I use techniques from HCI, AI, and linguistics to develop new educational technologies and to better understand how learners use technology. My work focuses on modelling learners to support their learning outcomes and experiences. This support is made possible by providing visual analytics and adaptive experiences that are based on models of the learner's knowledge, skills, or behaviours.
Additional affiliations
October 2021 - present
University of Alberta
Position
  • Research Affiliate
December 2019 - present
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • Research Affiliate
September 2015 - August 2017
University of Pittsburgh
Position
  • Postdoc
Education
September 2010 - November 2015
University of Toronto
Field of study
  • Computer Science (Human-Computer Interaction, Mobile Assisted Language Learning)
September 2007 - June 2010
University of Saskatchewan
Field of study
  • Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence in Education)

Publications

Publications (88)
Article
Full-text available
Adding uncertainty information to visualizations is becoming increasingly common across domains since its addition helps ensure that informed decisions are made. This work has shown the difficulty that is inherent to representing uncertainty. Moreover, the representation of uncertainty has yet to be thoroughly explored in educational domains even t...
Article
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Our current understanding of how migrants use mobile tools to support their communication and language learning is inadequate. This study, therefore, explores the learner-initiated use of technologies to support their comprehension, production, and acquisition of English following migration to Canada. Information about migrant use of technologies a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Classroom community, or students' sense of connectedness and cooperative learning, can strongly influence success, whereas its absence can lead to increased dropout rates, especially in online courses. As more learning becomes technologically embedded and Massive Open Online Courses increase in popularity, measuring and examining classroom communit...
Article
Full-text available
This investigation explores the integration of a mobile language learning application into a high school English course. It uses detailed behavioral data, assessments of student vocabulary and language knowledge, student work, and teacher observations to identify how students use the mobile application; measure student learning; determine which asp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study explores the needs and expectations of Indigenous people of Western Canada with respect to learning their ancestral language through technology. Using a qualitative phenomenological research design, we conducted focus groups. Content analysis of the collected data revealed they face various barriers that inhibit their learning of their a...
Preprint
Full-text available
We propose an AI-based pilot trainer to help students learn how to fly aircraft. First, an AI agent uses behavioral cloning to learn flying maneuvers from qualified flight instructors. Later, the system uses the agent's decisions to detect errors made by students and provide feedback to help students correct their errors. This paper presents an ins...
Article
Full-text available
The field of computational thinking (CT) is developing rapidly, reflecting its importance in the global economy. However, most empirical studies have targeted CT in K-12, thus, little attention has been paid to CT in higher education. The present scoping review identifies and summarizes existing empirical studies on CT assessments in post-secondary...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The need to identify student cognitive engagement in online learning settings has increased with our use of online learning approaches because engagement plays an important role in ensuring student success in these environments. Engaged students are more likely to complete online courses successfully, but this setting makes it more difficult for in...
Conference Paper
The combination of tree search and neural networks has achieved super-human performance in challenging domains. We are interested in transferring to humans the knowledge these learning systems generate. We hypothesize the process in which neural-guided tree search algorithms learn how to solve a set of problems can be used to generate curricula for...
Chapter
Advances in software have enabled an increase in the complexity of online learning environments (OLE). How students perceive learning when these environments are more complex is not yet understood. We conducted a focus group with students who were taking a pilot-training course to understand their experiences with a complex OLE. This online course...
Chapter
Instructors are coming to expect learning analytics dashboards (LADs) within learning management systems (LMSs), and many studies report promising results about their effectiveness. However, how instructors interpret and act based on LADs is an important component of their ability to support online learning, and we do not yet know how they interpre...
Preprint
Full-text available
Augmented Reality (AR) learning games, on average, have been shown to have a positive impact on student learning. However, the exploration of AR learning games in special education settings, where accessibility is a concern, has not been well explored. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore the use of AR games in accessible learning applicat...
Article
Background: Chatbots have been increasingly considered for applications in the health care field. However, it remains unclear how a chatbot can assist users with complex health needs, such as parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) who need ongoing support. Often, this population must deal with complex and overwhelming health...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A common mistake made by language learners is the misguided usage of first language rules when communicating in another language. In this paper, n-gram and recurrent neural network language models are used to represent language structures and detect when Chinese native speakers incorrectly transfer rules from their first language (i.e., Chinese) in...
Chapter
Including contributions from a team of world-renowned international scholars, this volume is a state-of-the-art survey of second language speech research, showcasing new empirical studies alongside critical reviews of existing influential speech learning models. It presents a revised version of Flege's Speech Learning Model (SLM-r) for the first ti...
Article
From massive open online courses (MOOC) to the smaller scale use of learning management systems, many students interact with online platforms that are meant to support learning. Investigations into the use of these systems have considered how well students learn when certain approaches are employed. However, we do not fully understand how course ty...
Article
300,000 immigrants move to Canada each year in search of better economic opportunities, and many have limited English language skills. Improving written literacy of newcomers can enhance education, employment, or social integration opportunities. However, frequent, timely, and personalized feedback is not always possible for immigrants. Online writ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Discussion forums are used to support socio-collaborative learning processes among students in online courses. However, complex forum structures and lengthy discourse require that students spend their limited time searching and filtering through posts to find those that are relevant to them rather than spending that time engaged in other meaningful...
Conference Paper
The chapter was inadvertently published with errors in the reference numbers 28 and 34. The authors’ names of the cited contributions were corrected.
Article
Recent reports suggest an increase in the number of individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities. To ensure equal opportunities for these learners, special education practices must be appropriately improved and scaled. Educational and assistive technologies are a possible avenue for meeting this need. To provide insight into recent tec...
Chapter
Indigenous languages have been dying out due to colonial practices that limited and even punished their use. For this reason, there is a need to support the maintenance and revitalization of these languages as part of the reconciliation process. However, there has been little research to guide the use of technology in supporting language revitaliza...
Conference Paper
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This workshop paper describes the design and experimental application of an automated error detection tool that informs English as a Second Language (ESL) learners about possible negative language transfer effects in their writing. As these effects are known to hinder learners' proficiency in a second language, we hope to increase learners' metalin...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge monitoring is a component of metacognition which can help students regulate their own learning. In adaptive learning software, the system’s model of the student can be presented as an open learner model (OLM) which is intended to enable monitoring processes. We explore how presenting alignment, between students’ self-assessed confidence a...
Poster
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The development of computational models of nehiyawewin (Plains Cree, Y-dialect) using natural language processing techniques.
Poster
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CreeTutor is a language learning website. It aims to teach Plains Cree (nehiyawewin). People hoping to learn nehiyawewin face barriers that include: ● Intergenerational trauma ● Repression via government policies ● Lack of educational resources This project focuses on the co-development of an application to support learner needs.
Poster
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Implement model to identify NLT as learners are writing and provide adequate error feedback that addresses transfer effects. • Conduct study to determine whether error feedback regarding NLT improves learners' writing skills. • Errors are part-of-speech tagged and parsed. • Corpora in the learners' L1s goes through a similar parse process. • L1 par...
Poster
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RESEARCH OUTPUT • A novel recommender system for use in small discussion-based learning environments • A hybrid approach that relies on • social network analysis • the content of student posts • We will deploy the system in a college of education • We will conduct user studies to examine the system's indirect support for collaborative learning proc...
Conference Paper
Seniors are increasingly using the Internet. However, their adoption of available services such as social media is often restricted by their limited experience with new technologies. At the same time, there is significant interest in designing communication applications, especially mobile, that improve seniors' social connectedness. These are mostl...
Conference Paper
Mature English Language Learners (ELLs) learning to write in informal environments have little access to instructor feedback and must rely on other sources to support their writing development. While it is known that mature ELLs trust instructor feedback, their perceptions towards feedback from non-expert sources may be mixed. We report on mature E...
Poster
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According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the mean proficiency in literacy among adults in the US and Canada is at a Level 2. Adults at this level cannot process dense texts, eliminate irrelevant information, perform multi-step operations, or evaluate the reliability of a source. The Reading Tutor is a website c...
Article
Reflective writing is a proven way to increase the quality of learning and knowledge construction. However, its use in computer science education has received little attention. In this mixed-methods study, we investigated the effect of reflective writing practices, including peer review, on students’ reflective writing and writing quality scores in...
Chapter
Full-text available
Social media and other interactive online spaces have been identified as potentially useful tools for supporting learning activities, especially within language learning. It has been argued that these spaces are more appropriate for supporting informal rather than formal learning, particularly when social media platforms such as Facebook are used....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We lack a strong understanding of how those who teach computer science solicit and use feedback to improve both their teaching practice and course designs. This study explores how computer science instructors collect feedback, their attitudes towards different feedback sources, and how they use this feedback to adjust ongoing courses or redesign th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Instructors need better tools to monitor student engagement within online courses. One class of tools that could provide this much needed information is learning analytics dashboards. However, current implementations do not provide instructors with the information they need or want in a format that is easily usable. To address this gap, we are cond...
Chapter
We compared three common usability testing methods—Concurrent Think-Aloud, Retrospective Think-Aloud and Co-discovery—with frail older adults. We found that Co-discovery is the most effective method for this group. Additionally, we interviewed Human-Computer Interaction experts who work with older adults. These experts discussed, for instance, the...
Chapter
English language learners (ELLs) face many challenges. Among them are developing the ability to communicate with others and learning the vocabulary that is needed to enable language comprehension and production. The theories of languaging and extended mapping argue producing language and interacting with language supports learning (Carey, Daedalus...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study was to provide a new characterization of the extent to which learners complete learning activities in massive open online courses (MOOCs), a central challenge in these contexts. Prior explorations of learner interactions with MOOC materials have often described these interactions through stereotypes, which accounts...
Conference Paper
Predicting academic performance has been a topic of research for years, with different factors having been used to predict student grades. One of those factors is personality, with little work having focused on the effect of personality on academic performance in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Contributing to our lack of understanding of how...
Conference Paper
Learning about how to assess a patient’s mental health status is traditionally performed through lectures. While this conveys information, it does not situate the material in real contexts which promotes knowledge transfer to clinical settings. As a result, a mobile app was developed to help nurse trainees learn about mental status assessment. This...
Poster
Full-text available
Current diagnostic imaging identification techniques for skin lesions fail to address the visual nature of this task and do not provide information about the mental models users develop after receiving training. To address this issue, the MSKBLOCK medical training system uses a visual approach to support the development of a user’s mental model. Ou...
Conference Paper
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Reading a book together with a family member who has impaired vision or other difficulties reading is an important social bonding activity. However, for the person being read to, there is little support in making these experiences repeatable. While audio can easily be recorded, synchronizing it with the text for later playback requires the use of f...
Poster
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The methods used in learning analytics for early specification of design requirements are still generally grounded in prior research, theoretical frameworks, and the existing body of practice. These traditional methods provide a strong background for development, but adapting them to a wide range of user needs is challenging. Participatory design a...
Chapter
This chapter examines whether a massive open online course (MOOC) can support specialized vocabulary learning by combining situated-learning and learning-by-testing approaches. This exploration of how student (n = 1,265) performance on MOOC assessments varies based on group membership and the activities students performed within the online course s...
Article
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Identifying which online behaviours and interactions are associated with student perceptions of being supported will enable a deeper understanding of how those activities contribute to learning experiences. Student language is one aspect of their interaction in need of greater exploration within discourse-based online learning environments. As a re...
Article
Full-text available
Fostering a strong sense of community among students within online courses is essential to supporting their learning experience. However, there is little consensus about how different facilitation methods influence students’ sense of community or behaviours. This lack of understanding means instructors do not have the information they need to selec...
Chapter
Instructors face many challenges when trying to integrate mobile technologies within a classroom setting in a way that supports curricular and pedagogical goals. In many cases, mobile tools are being used to support learning outside the classroom rather than being tightly integrated with the curriculum. To better support the integration of mobile-l...
Chapter
Full-text available
The use of mobile applications within Japanese high school English classrooms has been understudied. As a result, teachers have received little guidance in how to use these tools to support language learning. This led us to explore the use of an English vocabulary support tool in an advanced English class at a senior high school in Japan. This inve...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Limited literacy and visual impairment reduce the ability of many to read on their own. Current e-reader solutions rely on either unnatural synthetic voices or professionally produced audio e-books. Neither provide the same enjoyment as having a family member read to a user, especially when the user requires assistive reading (following printed tex...
Conference Paper
Self-assessment is widely used in open learner models (OLMs) as a metacognitive process to enhance students’ self-regulated learning. Yet little research has investigated the impact of the visualisation when the OLM shows the conflict (i.e., uncertainty) between the system’s beliefs about student knowledge and students’ confidence in the correctnes...
Conference Paper
User preferences for indicating uncertainty using specific visual variables have been explored outside of educational reporting. Exploring students’ preferred method to indicate uncertainty in open learner models can provide hints about which approaches students will use, so further design approaches can be considered. Participants were 67 students...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study examined the relationship between sense of community and pronoun usage in online courses that utilized computer mediated communication (CMC) to enable discussion. Using Rovai's (2002) Classroom Community Scale (CCS), we compared pronoun use in three High CCS courses to that in three Low CCS courses. Results revealed students in High CCS...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Fostering a strong sense of community among students within online courses is essential to supporting their learning experience. However, there is little consensus about the facilitation methods that best enable community development or how the length of the course influences the development of community. We explore students' sense of community acr...
Article
We tackle the prediction of instructor intervention in student posts from discussion forums in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Our key finding is that using automatically obtained discourse relations improves the prediction of when instructors intervene in student discussions, when compared with a state-of-the-art, feature-rich baseline. Our s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We tackle the prediction of instructor intervention in student posts from discussion forums in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Our key finding is that using automatically obtained discourse relations improves the prediction of when instructors intervene in student discussions, when compared with a state-of-the-art, feature-rich baseline. Our s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
To advance our understanding of learning in massive open online courses (MOOCs), we need to understand how learners interact with course resources. Prior explorations of learner interactions with MOOC materials have often described these interactions through stereotypes, which does not account for the full spectrum of potential learner activities....
Article
Full-text available
The popularity of online learning has boomed over the last few years, pushing instructors to consider the best ways to design their courses to support student learning needs and participation. Prior research suggests the need for instructor facilitation to provide this guidance and support, whereas other studies have suggested peer facilitation wou...
Conference Paper
Many people who do not know English have moved to English-speaking countries to learn English. Once there, they learn English through formal and informal methods. While considerable work has studied the experiences of English language learners in different learning environments, we have yet to see analytics that detail the experiences of this popul...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper suggests different methods for visualising uncertainty in open learner models (OLM). In order to visualise the uncertainty in OLMs, two factors need to be measured, namely the source of the uncertainty in the data and the level of uncertainty in the learner model. This paper proposes a method to detect the source of uncertainty within a...
Chapter
Full-text available
In spite of the potential for mobile assisted language learning (MALL) tools to enable anytime-anywhere learning, their widespread use has yet to occur (Burston, 2014). This may be partly due to waning learner motivation as a result of the repetitive nature of many MALL tools (Godwin-Jones, 2010). The use of gamification and learning dashboards can...
Article
Full-text available
The increased linguistic and cultural diversity of undergraduate classrooms at English language institutions has imposed additional pedagogical and assessment challenges on instructors, many of whom lack the knowledge necessary to design classroom activities and assessments that are fair to all students regardless of students’ background and langua...
Article
Full-text available
A framework connecting concepts from user interface design with those from information studies is applied in a study that integrated a location-aware mobile application into two special education classes at different schools; this application had two support modes (one general and one location specific). The five-month study revealed several inform...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study employed participatory design (PD) methods to engage a user group of music students, aged 7 through 17. The students were recruited to be active collaborators at each stage of the creation of a technological solution to address various challenges they had experienced when practicing their instrument to develop musical skill. This proposa...
Article
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This work explores the use of an adaptive mobile tool for language learning. A school-based deployment study showed that the tool supported learning. A second study is being conducted in informal learning environments. Current work focuses on building models that increase our understanding of the relationship between application usage and learning.
Conference Paper
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We introduce an independent open learner model for formative assessment and learning analytics based on developments in technology use in learning, also maintaining more traditional numerical and qualitative feedback options.
Conference Paper
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There is now widening use of open learner models to support learn-ing and promote metacognitive behaviours, but the learner model visualisations do not typically include information about uncertainty in the model. This paper considers findings from the field of information visualisation and applies these to open learner models. Examples are given f...
Conference Paper
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Language learners are often isolated because of their inability to communicate. Adaptive mobile communication support tools could be used to scaffold both their interaction with others and their vocabulary acquisition. I propose the exploration of a new tool that is designed to meet this need.
Conference Paper
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We have developed an adaptive communication support tool that also supports vocabulary acquisition. This tool is called VocabNomad; it is one of the few mobile assisted language learning tools that aims to support the call for activities that are fundamentally different than those provided by paper and pencil or computer assisted language learning...
Article
Full-text available
This test section assesses one's ability to produce oral language. The article provides a brief history of the speaking test's development. The article also analyzes the strengths and limitations of the speaking section of the TOEIC. The test's strengths include its delivery method, which helps ensure consistency, and its limitations include the ex...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The needs of special education populations require specific support to scaffold learning. The design and use of intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) has the potential to meet these needs. Difficulty in the development of these systems lies in their validation due to the ethics associated in studying learners from this population as well as the diffic...