Tamara Sumner

Tamara Sumner
University of Colorado Boulder | CUB · Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS)

PhD in Computer Science

About

186
Publications
26,761
Reads
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2,769
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2014 - present
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 1999 - present
University of Colorado
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 1996 - November 1998
The Open University (UK)
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (186)
Preprint
Full-text available
Transcripts of teaching episodes can be effective tools to understand discourse patterns in classroom instruction. According to most educational experts, sustained classroom discourse is a critical component of equitable, engaging, and rich learning environments for students. This paper describes the TalkMoves dataset, composed of 567 human-annotat...
Article
Talk moves can promote conversations that enable students' equitable participation in a rigorous learning environment. This study examined teachers' perceptions of the usability, utility, and accuracy of a web-based application that provides automated feedback on their use of talk moves. Pilot data from 21 teachers indicates mainly positive percept...
Chapter
Full-text available
Inclusion in mathematics education is strongly tied to discourse rich classrooms, where students ideas play a central role. Talk moves are specific discursive practices that promote inclusive and equitable participation in classroom discussions. This paper describes the development of the TalkMoves application, which provides teachers with detailed...
Preprint
Full-text available
Often neglected in traditional education, spatial thinking has played a critical role in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Spatial thinking skills can be enhanced by training, life experience, and practice. One approach to train these skills is through 3D modeling (also known as Computer-Aided Design or CAD). Altho...
Preprint
Full-text available
TalkMoves is an innovative application designed to support K-12 mathematics teachers to reflect on, and continuously improve their instructional practices. This application combines state-of-the-art natural language processing capabilities with automated speech recognition to automatically analyze classroom recordings and provide teachers with pers...
Article
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) represent important pedagogical transformations that aim at unlimited participation and open access to high-quality educational experiences and resources. MOOCs are quite different from classical distance learning settings in terms of their open-access features , such as open licensing of course content, and thei...
Article
Full-text available
The vision for science proficiency presented in A Framework for K‐12 Science Education calls for significant shifts in both teaching and assessment. In this paper, we describe an effort to develop and validate a set of proximal transfer tasks for high school biology classrooms where teachers were implementing a problem‐based curriculum. The proxima...
Article
Full-text available
Our work builds on advances in deep learning for natural language processing to automatically analyze transcribed classroom discourse and reliably generate information about teachers’ uses of specific discursive strategies called ”talk moves.” Talk moves can be used by both teachers and learners to construct conversations in which students share th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As robots increasingly enter our daily lives, there is a need to understand how to design robots capable of emotional interaction with humans, especially children, due to their sensitivity and vulnerability. For example, robots that provide children with social and emotional support might be more effective at also helping children develop cognitive...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We report on the design and implementation of a 3-week long summer academy introducing high school students to 3D modeling and 3D printing experiences. Supporting youth in developing 3D modeling knowledge can enhance their capacity to effectively use an array of emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and digital fabricati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Our work builds on advances in deep learning for natural language processing to automatically analyze transcribed classroom discourse and reliably generate information about teachers' uses of specific discursive strategies called "talk moves." Talk moves can be used by both teachers and learners to construct conversations in which students share th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study examined the conjecture that engaging students with contemporary science-related ethical dilemmas and modern methods for deliberative dialogue to negotiate such dilemmas will increase their science capital. About 80 students participated in a World-Café out-of-school event, along with about 20 adults (teachers, parents, scientists, commu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This experience report describes two iterations of a curriculum development process in which middle school teachers worked with our research team to collaboratively design and enact instructional units where students used sensors to investigate scientific phenomena. In this report, we examine the affordances of using a sensor platform to support th...
Conference Paper
We have developed, implemented, and studied a 16-week, afterschool engineering program aimed at low-income middle school youth. The curriculum is based on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV/Drones), which participating youth must use and modify as appropriate to conduct a range of scientific investigations, culminating in the aerial survey of a mock tow...
Conference Paper
We report on a 3-week study which was part of a longer (16-week) after-school engineering program built around Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs/Drones). Participating youth are middle school students from low income families (n = 8). These youth are tasked with understanding the capabilities of UAVs and using them to address a societal need: deliveri...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Informal learning programs provide youth with additional opportunities to engage in STEM. Here, we report on an informal engineering program for low-income youth. We describe how a curriculum was modified to reflect the instructional shifts outlined in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and how these changes enhanced youth interests and engag...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific models represent ideas, processes, and phenomena by describing important components, characteristics, and interactions. Models are constructed across various scientific disciplines, such as the food web in biology, the water cycle in Earth science, or the structure of the solar system in astronomy. Models are central for scientists to un...
Conference Paper
Iterative design is a powerful method for developing digital classroom tools and curricula. We explore how infusing learning analytics into this process has influenced our development of EcoSurvey, a digital modeling tool for mapping the organisms and interactions in the local ecosystem. We have found that analytic techniques can help us discover a...
Conference Paper
Modeling has a strong focus in current science learning frameworks as a critical skill for students to learn. However, understanding students' scientific models and their modeling practices at scale is a difficult task that has not been taken up by the research literature. The complex variables involved in classroom learning, such as teacher differ...
Article
Full-text available
Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) approaches to intervention aim for transformative agency, that is, collective actions that expand and bring about new possibilities for activity (Engeström, Sannino, & Virkkunen, 2014). In this paper, we draw on CHAT as a resource for organizing design research that promotes teachers’ agency in designing n...
Article
Full-text available
This research demonstrates the utility of the theory of weak ties for understanding the patterns of resource usage and sharing in an online professional learning community. Our context of study is a community of educators using and sharing teaching resources such as lesson plans, presentation slides and animations. We consider whether the deduced r...
Article
This paper examines the impacts of technology (e.g., Chromebooks, Google Drive) on teacher learning and student activity in the development and implementation of a deeply digital high school biology unit. Using design-based implementation research, teachers co-designed with researchers and curriculum specialists a student-centered unit aligned to t...
Conference Paper
We show that weak ties offer a useful theoretical lens for understanding the sharing and usage of community-contributed resources amongst educators in a large urban school district. Community-contributed resources include a rich variety of teaching and learning resources such as lesson plans, presentation slides, animations and simulations. In this...
Article
This paper presents a computational approach to understanding and predicting the behavior of Earth Science educators using an online curriculum planning tool incorporating digital library resources. It expands on prior work on understanding educators' adoption and use of digital library resources [2] by introducing a methodology for characterizing...
Article
Full-text available
Automatically identifying and extracting key ideas and concepts from educational resources is an important but challenging computational task. We present a supervised machine learning approach to assessing the 'coreness' of concepts expressed by resource sentences. The algorithm has been developed and evaluated in the domain of science education wh...
Article
Full-text available
We present a simple, easy-to-replicate monolingual aligner that demonstrates state-of-the-art performance while relying on almost no supervision and a very small number of external resources. Based on the hypothesis that words with similar meanings represent potential pairs for alignment if located in similar contexts, we propose a system that oper...
Poster
Adoption of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) has created a need for teachers and school districts to realign their curricula to the new standards. While some districts may purchase new, better-aligned materials, many districts will make adaptations to current materials. These adaptations should be seen as both necessary and e...
Article
Full-text available
Efficient learning from Web resources can depend on accurately assessing the quality of each resource. We present a methodology for developing computational models of quality that can assist users in assessing Web resources. The methodology consists of four steps: 1) a meta-analysis of previous studies to decompose quality into high-level dimension...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A key challenge facing educational technology researchers is how to provide structure and guidance when learners use unstructured and open tools such as digital libraries for their own learning. This work attempts to use computational methods to identify that structure in a domain independent way and support learners as they navigate and interpret...
Chapter
This study explored the impact of prior domain knowledge on students’ strategies and use of digital resources during a Web-based learning task. Domain knowledge was measured using pre- and posttests of factual knowledge and knowledge application. Students utilized an age- and topic-relevant collection of 796 Web resources drawn from an existing edu...
Article
Full-text available
The need for automatic methods capable of characterizing adoption and use has grown in operational digital libraries. This paper describes a computational method for producing two, inter-related, user typologies based on use diffusion. Furthermore, a case study is described that demonstrates the utility and applicability of the method: it is used t...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the results of a study designed to assess human expert ratings of educational concept features for use in automatic core concept extraction systems. Digital library resources provided the content base for human experts to annotate automatically extracted concepts on seven dimensions: coreness, local importance, topic, content,...
Article
Understanding the social aspects of digital resource utilization is an area of active research. In this study, we examine the digital library resource utilization and social behaviors of middle and high school Earth Science teachers of a large United States urban school district. We present the results of three analysis based on teachers using an o...
Chapter
When describing teachers’ adoption of new technology, existing conceptual models tend to focus on a single dimension, either quantitative, such as the frequency or amount of technology use, or qualitative, such as the way in which a given technology influences teachers’ instructional practices. Such one-dimensional approaches can fail to adequately...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the impact of prior domain knowledge on students' strategies and use of digital resources during a Web-based learning task. Domain knowledge was measured using pre-and posttests of factual knowledge and knowledge application. Students utilized an age-and topic-relevant collection of 796 Web resources drawn from an existing educa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Assessing the quality of online educational resources in a cost effective manner is a critical issue for educational digital libraries. This study reports on the approach for extending the Open Educational Resource Assessments (OPERA) algorithm from assessing vetted to peer-produced content. This article reports details of changes to the algorithm,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With the growth in operational digital libraries, the need for automatic methods capable of characterizing adoption and use has grown. We describe a computational methodology for producing two, inter-related, user typologies based on use diffusion. Use diffusion theory views technology adoption as a process that can lead to widely different pattern...
Article
Full-text available
Educative sensemaking focuses on the needs of self-directed learners, a nonexpert population of thinkers who must locate relevant information sources, evaluate the applicability and accuracy of digital resources for learning, and determine how and when to use these resources to complete educational tasks. Self-directed learners face a sensemaking p...
Article
Recommender systems have become part of the standard toolkit of web personalization. These same tools and techniques are now making their way into educational and adaptive e-learning systems. In this chapter, we will discuss aspects of a prototype system, the Customized Learning Service for Concept Knowledge (CLICK), an application designed to prov...
Article
Accelerating demographic trends in the United States attest to the critical need to broaden access to customized learning: reports refer to the next decade as the era of ``extreme diversity'' in K-12 classrooms, particularly in large urban school districts. This diverse student body possesses a wide range of knowledge, skills, and abilities in addi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Curriculum planning is perhaps one of the most important tasks teachers must perform before instruction. While this task is facilitated by a wealth of existing online tools and resources, teachers are increasingly over- whelmed with finding, adapting and aligning relevant resources that support them in their planning. Consequently, ripe research op...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Curriculum planning is perhaps one of the most important tasks teachers must perform before instruction. While this task is facilitated by a wealth of existing online tools and resources, teachers are increasingly over-whelmed with finding, adapting and aligning relevant resources that support them in their planning. Consequently, ripe research opp...
Conference Paper
This paper presents preliminary results on a generalizability study that was carried out to evaluate the robustness of a knowledge extraction algorithm.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents an empirical learning study using a prototype system designed to provide fully automatic, domain-independent conceptual personalization algorithms. The prototype system, the Customized Learning Service for Concept Knowledge (CLICK), was implemented as an adaptive essay writing environment in a scientific domain. Results demonstr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
“Share, Remix, Reuse - Legally”, the tagline for creative commons, cogently captures the ethos of peer production. Through the rapid growth of open educational resources (OER), peer production has begun to play a major role in how we teach and learn. OER are teaching and learning resources that reside in the public domain or have been released unde...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Curriculum Customization Service enables science educators to customize their instruction with interactive digital library resources. Preliminary results from a field trial with 124 middle and high school teachers suggest that the Service offers a promising model for embedding educational digital libraries into teaching practices and for suppor...
Conference Paper
This paper describes a customized scaffolding approach to improve learner's conceptual understandings through knowledge visualization. We propose a framework to use natural language processing and graph based algorithms to automatic visualize individual learner's prior knowledge states, domain knowledge, new encountered concepts and to reveal the s...
Article
Full-text available
While digital library development has greatly advanced in the past five years, there is as yet little research demonstrating the efficacy of digital library technology on teaching and learning. This paper presents an initial articulation of a model of the critical dimensions of digital library implementation in educational settings, based on the de...
Conference Paper
Recent years have seen the rise of subject-themed digital li- braries, such as the NSDL pathways and the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE). These libraries often need to manually verify that contributed resources cover top- ics that t within the theme of the library. We show that such scope judgments can be automated using a combin...
Conference Paper
We demonstrate a prototype Curriculum Customization Service designed and developed with significant teacher input. This prototype illustrates a model for embedding digital library resources into mainstream classroom use. A 10 week pilot study suggests that this Service can increase teachers' use of digital library resources in their class, and enco...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With the rise of community-generated web content, the need for automatic characterization of resource quality has grown, particularly in the realm of educational digital libraries. We demonstrate how identifying concrete factors of quality for web-based educational resources can make machine learning approaches to automating quality characterizatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We report on the current research activities and results obtained through the Concept Learning service for Concept Knowledge (CLICK) and present a demonstration of the system. This poster session will focus on a demonstration of the CLICK system and the results of the learning study
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With the rise of community-generated web content, the need for automatic assessment of resource quality has grown, par- ticularly in the realm of educational digital libraries. We demonstrate how developing a concrete denition of qual- ity for web-based resources can make machine learning ap- proaches to automating quality assessment tractable. Usi...
Article
The limited scope of digital libraries can be attributed to the brick and mortar vision of the library metaphor. In order to extend scope of digital libraries, in this chapter we examine the current supports and future possibilities afforded by digital libraries to support conventional consumers (i.e., information-users and information-curators), a...