Zhiqiang Cai

Zhiqiang Cai
University of Wisconsin–Madison | UW · Wisconsin Center for Education Research

MS

About

119
Publications
46,199
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3,107
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Introduction
I am a researcher at the Epistemic Analytics Lab, WCER, UW-Madison. My current research interests are in quantitative ethnography, epistemic network analysis, text data processing, natural language processing and intelligent tutoring.
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Position
  • Researcher
July 2001 - December 2019
The University of Memphis
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 1985 - July 2001
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
October 1978 - January 1985

Publications

Publications (119)
Chapter
This paper examines the impact of having empty networks in an Epistemic Network Analysis model, that is, units whose networks contain no connections in a given model. These empty networks, also known as zero points, can negatively impact the interpretive validity of Epistemic Network Analysis spaces. In this study, we explore a change in the underl...
Article
Full-text available
A common goal of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) is to provide learning environments that adapt to the varying abilities and characteristics of users. This type of adaptivity is possible only if the ITS has information that characterizes the learning behaviors of its users and can adjust its pedagogy accordingly. This study investigated an intel...
Chapter
Epistemic network analysis (ENA) has been used in more than 300 published studies to date. However, there is no work in publication that describes the transformations that constitute ENA in formal mathematical terms. This paper provides such a description, focusing on the mathematical formulations that lead to two key affordances of ENA that are no...
Chapter
Quantitative ethnographers across a range of domains study complex collaborative thinking (CCT): the processes by which members of a group or team develop shared understanding by making cognitive connections from the statements and actions of the group. CCT is difficult to model because the actions of group members are interdependent—the activity o...
Chapter
When text datasets are very large, manually coding line by line becomes impractical. As a result, researchers sometimes try to use machine learning algorithms to automatically code text data. One of the most popular algorithms is topic modeling. For a given text dataset, a topic model provides probability distributions of words for a set of “topics...
Chapter
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Coding is a process of assigning meaning to a given piece of evidence. Evidence may be found in a variety of data types, including documents, research interviews, posts from social media, conversations from learning platforms, or any source of data that may provide insights for the questions under qualitative study. In this study, we focus on text...
Conference Paper
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Semantic similarity is a major automated approach to address many tasks such as essay grading, answer assessment, text summarization and information retrieval. Many semantic similarity methods rely on semantic representation such as Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA), an unsupervised method to infer a vectorial semantic representation of words or large...
Article
This paper discusses the possible use of unconventional algorithms on analysis and categorization of the unknown text, including documents written in unknown languages. Scholars have identied about ten famous manuscripts, mostly encrypted or written in the unknown language. The most famous is the Voynich manuscript, an illustrated codex hand-writte...
Conference Paper
Relatedness between user input and an ideal response is a salient feature required for proper functioning of an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) using natural language processing. Improper assessment of text input causes maladaptation in ITSs. Meta-assessment of user responses in ITSs can improve instruction efficacy and user satisfaction. Therefo...
Chapter
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This article introduces three distinctive features of a conversation-based intelligent tutoring system called AutoTutor. AutoTutor was designed to teach low literacy adult learners comprehension strategies across different levels of discourse processing. In AutoTutor, three-way conversations take place between two computers agents (a teacher agent...
Chapter
In this paper, we consider a minimalistic and behavioristic view of AIS to enable a standardizable mapping of both the behavior of the system and of the learner. In this model, the learners interact with the learning resources in a given learning environment following preset steps of learning processes. From this foundation, we make several subsequ...
Chapter
Conversational Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) are expensive to develop. While simple online courseware could be easily authored by teachers, the authoring of conversational ITSs usually involves a team of experts with different expertise, including domain experts, linguists, instruction designers, programmers, artists, computer scientists, etc...
Chapter
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One out of six adults in the United States possesses low literacy skills. Many advocates believe that technology can pave the way for these adults to gain the skills that they desire. This article describes an adaptive intelligent tutoring system called AutoTutor that is designed to teach adults comprehension strategies across different levels of d...
Article
The contextual influences on technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) enactment and the method of TPACK assessment remain to be important research topics. Discourse data of 81 teachers in an online professional learning community were collected and analyzed based on the framework of TPACK. Frequency distribution and time series character...
Chapter
Full-text available
An intelligent agent can play a significant role in interactive learning, assessment, and teamwork (Bay-lor, 2011; Johnson, Phillips, & Chase, 2009; Chou, Chan, & Lin, 2003; Johnson & Lester, 2016; Kumar, Ai, Beuth, & Rosé, 2010; Moreno, Mayer, Spires & Lester., 2001; Schroeder, Adesope, & Gilbert, 2013). Like Barrón-Estrade, Zatarain-Cabada, Orama...
Conference Paper
ElectronixTutor is a new Intelligent Tutoring System for electronics that integrates multiple intelligent learning resources, including AutoTutor, Dragoon, LearnForm, ASSISTments, and BEETLE-II, as well as Point & Query hotspots on diagrams and numerous text documents on the subject of electronics. ElectronixTutor's student model contains a set of...
Article
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Resonance is generally used as a metaphor to describe the manner how the information from different sources is combined. Although it is an attractive and fundamental phenomenon in human behavior studies, most studies observed semantic resonances in well-controlled experimental settings at word level. To make up the missing link between word and doc...
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Background The Office of Naval Research (ONR) organized a STEM Challenge initiative to explore how intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) can be developed in a reasonable amount of time to help students learn STEM topics. This competitive initiative sponsored four teams that separately developed systems that covered topics in mathematics, electronics,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A common goal of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) is to provide learning environments that adapt to the varying abilities and characteristics of users. To do this, researchers must identify the learning patterns exhibited by those interacting with the system. In the present work, we use clustering analysis to capture learning patterns in over 250...
Article
In this study we developed and evaluated a crowdsourcing-based latent semantic analysis (LSA) approach to computerized summary scoring (CSS). LSA is a frequently used mathematical component in CSS, where LSA similarity represents the extent to which the to-be-graded target summary is similar to a model summary or a set of exemplar summaries. Resear...
Conference Paper
Teachers often have difficulties understanding many aspects of score reports for assessments, thus hindering their ability to help students. Computerized environments with natural language conversations may help teachers better understand these reports. Thus, we created a tutor on score reports for teachers based on the AutoTutor conversational fra...
Article
This article describes conversation-based assessments with computer agents that interact with humans through chat, talking heads, or embodied animated avatars. Some of these agents perform actions, interact with multimedia, hold conversations with humans in natural language, and adaptively respond to a person’s actions, verbal contributions, and em...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The Office of Naval Research (ONR) organized a STEM challenge initiative to explore how intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) can be developed in a reasonable amount of time to help students learn STEM topics. This competitive initiative sponsored four teams that separately developed systems that covered topics in mathematics, electronics,...
Conference Paper
The focus of ElectronixTutor is to build an intelligent tutoring system technology for Navy-relevant applications in training. The goal is to have an ITS for Apprentice Technician Training (ATT) courses in electronics for naval trainees who have completed boot camp and are in the process of A-school training under the Navy Educational Training Comm...
Conference Paper
AutoTutor uses conversational intelligent agents in learning environments. One of the major challenges in developing AutoTutor applications is to assess students’ natural language answers to AutoTutor questions. We investigated an AutoTutor dataset with 3358 student answers to 49 AutoTutor questions. In comparisons with human ratings, we found that...
Conference Paper
The Center for the Study of Adult Literacy (CSAL) seeks to improve our understanding of ways to advance the reading skills of adult learners. Our web-based instructional tutor uses trialogues in the AutoTutor framework to deliver lessons in reading comprehension. We have found a way to manipulate proven comprehension strategies to fit the daily tas...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we applied the crowdsourcing approach to develop an automated popularity summary scoring, called wild summaries. In contrast, the golden standard summaries generated by one or more experts are called expert summaries. The innovation of our study is to compute LSA (Latent Semantic Analysis) similarities between target summary and wild...
Article
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The relationship between reading and writing (RRW) is one of the major themes in learning science. One of its obstacles is that it is difficult to define or measure the latent background knowledge of the individual. However, in an academic research setting, scholars are required to explicitly list their background knowledge in the citation sections...
Conference Paper
The current study investigated teacher emotions, student emotions, and discourse features in relation to learning in a serious game. The experiment consisted of 48 subjects participating in a 4-condition within-subjects counter-balanced pretest-interaction-posttest design. Participants interacted with a serious game teaching research methodology wi...
Article
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The goal of this article is to preserve and distribute the information presented at the LASI (2014) workshop on Coh-­Metrix , a theoretically grounded , computational linguistics facility that analyzes texts on multiple levels of language and discourse. The workshop focused on the utility of Coh-­‐Metrix in discourse theory and educational practice...
Article
Formality has long been of interest in the study of discourse, with periodic discussions of the best measure of formality and the relationship between formality and text categories. In this research, we explored what features predict formality as humans perceive the construct. We categorized a corpus consisting of 1158 discourse samples published i...
Conference Paper
Age of acquisition (AoA) has been identified as a lexical feature that affects human’s processing speed and accuracy in reading. Researchers have investigated how AoA influences psychological processes. During the last decade, AoA has been integrated into “Coh-Metrix”, a widely used text analysis tool for researchers. Research on AoA has typically...
Article
Coh-Metrix analyzes texts on multiple measures of language and discourse that are aligned with multilevel theoretical frameworks of comprehension. Dozens of measures funnel into five major factors that systematically vary as a function of types of texts (e.g., narrative vs. informational) and grade level: narrativity, syntactic simplicity, word con...
Conference Paper
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Workshop content: The workshop will focus on the utility of Coh-Metrix in discourse theory and educational practice. We will begin with an introduction to the Coh-Metrix and Test Easability Assessor (TEA) tools, including a detailed description of the indices in the context of multilevel theoretical frameworks of discourse comprehension and learni...
Chapter
The Writing-Pal (W-Pal) is an intelligent tutoring system (ITS) that provides writing strategy instruction to high school students and entering college students. One unique quality of W-Pal is that it provides feedback to students’ natural language input. Thus, much of our focus during the W-Pal project has been on Applied Natural Language Processi...
Conference Paper
AutoTuto 2013 is an advanced version of the intelligent tutoring system, proven to be effective in empirical tests. AutoTutor 2013 is an agent-based online system with rich media among multiple agents and learners. AutoTutor delivers knowledge by means of multi-turns of conversions with the assist of the comprehensive media technology, including im...
Conference Paper
AutoMentor is an artificial intelligent mentor who guides groups of players to accomplish tasks through online interaction including chats and E-mails in a serious game called “Land Science”. The architecture of AutoMentor consists of such analysis modules as speech act classifier, newness, relevance, epistemic network analysis and state transition...
Article
Full-text available
Operation ARIES! is an Intelligent Tutoring System that is designed to teach scientific methodology in a game-like atmosphere. A fundamental goal of this serious game is to engage students during learning through natural language tutorial conversations. A tight integration of cognition, discourse, motivation, and affect is desired to meet this goal...
Article
Formality is an important dimension of language style. Texts of different genres tend to have different degrees of formality. F-score (formality-score) is a most popular measure for formality to differ genres. It uses a method of combining proportions of words of different types, with nouns, adjectives, articles and prepositions as positive element...
Article
Operation ARA (Acquiring Research Acumen) is a computerized learning game that teaches critical thinking and scientific reasoning. It is a valuable learning tool that utilizes principles from the science of learning and serious computer games. Students learn the skills of scientific reasoning by engaging in interactive dialogs with avatars. They ar...
Conference Paper
OperationARIES! is an ITS that uses natural language conversations in order to teach research methodology to students in a serious game environment. Regular expressions and Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) are used to evaluate the semantic matches between student contributions, expected good answers and misconceptions. Current implementation of these...
Conference Paper
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The Chinese Room argument describes a thought experiment that suggests that for symbols to become meaningful, they must be grounded in perceptual experiences. Embodied cognition theorists frequently use this argument to claim that cognition requires perceptual simulation. We shed light on the symbol grounding problem by arguing that the structure o...
Conference Paper
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Computational indices related to n-gram production were developed in order to assess the potential for n-gram indices to predict human scores of essay quality. A regression analyses was conducted on a corpus of 313 argumentative essays. The analyses demonstrated that a variety of n-gram indices were highly correlated to essay quality, but were also...
Article
Coh-Metrix is among the broadest and most sophisticated automated textual assessment tools available today. Automated Evaluation of Text and Discourse with Coh-Metrix describes this computational tool, as well as the wide range of language and discourse measures it provides. Section I of the book focuses on the theoretical perspectives that led to...
Article
This paper compared the linguistic and psychological word uses in English and Chinese languages with LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count) programs. A Principal Component Analysis uncovered six linguistic and psychological components, among which five components were significantly correlated. The correlated components were ranked as Negative Val...
Data
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Researchers have identified a leader’s speeches during times of crisis as a key component in leadership ability and style. In the present research, we used two computational linguistic tools, Coh-Metrix and LIWC, to explore the changes in linguistic complexity, social dimensions, and emotions of speeches that Fidel Castro delivered before and after...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research on automated essay scoring (AES) indicates that computer-generated essay ratings are comparable to human ratings. However, despite investigations into the accuracy and reliability of AES scores, less attention has been paid to the feedback delivered to the students. This paper presents a method developers can use to quickly evaluate the us...
Conference Paper
Psychological measures of concreteness of words are generally estimated by having humans provide ratings of words on a concreteness scale. Due to the limits of this technique, concreteness ratings in current word databases (e.g., MRC) are incomplete due to the limited size of the word samples. In this study, we use available linguistic databases to...
Conference Paper
Operation ARIES! is an Intelligent Tutoring System that teaches research methodology in a game-like atmosphere. There is a dramatic storyline that engages and motivates students as they acquire both declarative knowledge and critical reasoning skills. ARIES has three modules in which students maintain mixed-initiative dialogue with multiple artific...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
OperationARIES! (or ARIES for short) is an intelligent tutoring system that teaches critical thinking and helps learners acquire scientific inquiry skills. One of the core components of ARIES is "trialogs" which are three-party conversations in natural language among a human student and two artificial pedagogical agents (tutor and fellow student)....
Article
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Automated Question Answering and Asking are two active areas of Natural Language Processing with the former dominating the past decade and the latter most likely to dominate the next one. Due to the vast amounts of information available electronically in the Internet-era, automated Question Answering is needed to fulfill information needs in an eff...
Article
The Writing-Pal (W-Pal) is an intelligent tutoring system (ITS) that provides writing strategy instruction to high school students and entering college students. One unique quality of W-Pal is that it provides feedback to students' natural language input. Thus, much of our focus during the W-Pal project has been on Applied Natural Language Processi...
Article
Full-text available
AutoTutor is an intelligent tutoring system that helps students learn science, technology, and other technical subject matters by holding conversations with the student in natural language. AutoTutor's dialogues are organized around difficult questions and problems that require reasoning and explanations in the answers. The major components of Auto...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of new versus given information within a text has been frequently investigated by researchers of language and discourse. Despite theoretical advances, an accurate computational method for assessing the degree to which a text contains new versus given information has not previously been implemented. This study discusses a variety...
Article
The identification of new versus given information within a text has been frequently investigated by researchers of language and discourse. Despite theoretical advances, an accurate computational method for assessing the degree to which a text contains new versus given information has not previously been implemented. This study discusses a variety...
Chapter
We present in this chapter the architecture of the intelligent tutoring system MetaTutor that trains students to use metacognitive strategies while learning about complex science topics. The emphasis of this chapter is on the natural language components. In particular, we present in detail the natural language input assessment component used to det...
Conference Paper
Operation Aries! is a computer environment that helps students learn about scientific methods and inquiry. The system has several components designed to optimize learning and motivation, such as game features, animated agents, natural language communication, trialogues among agents, an eBook, multimedia, and formative assessment. The present focus...