Michelene T. H. Chi's research while affiliated with Arizona State University and other places

Publications (109)

Conference Paper
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This online experiment, involving 28 high school students, investigates frequencies and types of misconceptions while learning natural selection via two types of simulation modules. The experimental group uses an agent-based model which characterizes Pattern, Agents, Interactions, Relations, and Causality (PAIR-C) features while the control group e...
Article
Despite decades of research related to teaching and learning, the findings have made little impact on classroom teaching and learning. This paper briefly describes the four existing methods to close this gap, with more extensive analyses of the limitations of one of the four methods, which is to consolidate and distill robust laboratory findings re...
Article
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In laboratory study environments, dialogue-videos, or videos of a tutor and a tutee solving problems together, have been shown to more effectively improve student learning than monologue-videos, or videos of tutors solving problems alone. Yet, few studies have replicated these findings in the context of authentic university classrooms. Here, we inv...
Conference Paper
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Interactive-constructive-active-passive (ICAP) is a theory of learning that differentiates students' engagement primarily on behavior. ICAP postulates that interactive engagement is superior for learning than constructive engagement. This paper discusses misconceptions of teachers during a 5-year project that attempted to translate ICAP into instru...
Conference Paper
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This classroom study, involving 149 high school students, investigates structure, coherence and frequencies of misconceptions students have while learning diffusion via a simulation. The results show that misconceptions are not random ideas, but rather have underlying structures and can be systematically characterized by the PAIR-C framework, which...
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The purpose of this research was to investigate the efficacy of professional development in changing two middle school science teachers’ questioning to include more questions that require deeper student responses. The professional development was based on ICAP theory which proposes a framework for identifying cognitive engagement based on what is r...
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This study primarily investigated the role of interactional factors in an unstructured face-to-face collaborative learning environment with challenging engineering activities. We explored dialogue patterns in terms of quality of interaction, students’ scaffolding instances, and discourse moves for productive interactions of collaborative dyads in t...
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ICAP is a theory of active learning that differentiates students’ engagement based on their behaviors. ICAP postulates that Interactive engagement, demonstrated by co‐generative collaborative behaviors, is superior for learning to Constructive engagement, indicated by generative behaviors. Both kinds of engagement exceed the benefits of Active or P...
Article
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Instructor-generated videos have become a popular way to engage students with material before a class, yet this is a relatively unexplored area of research. There is support for the use of videos in which instructors tutor students, but few studies have been conducted within the context of a classroom. In this study, conducted in a large-enrollment...
Conference Paper
The purpose of this study was to test an intervention aimed at teaching the crosscutting concept of emergent causality using an instructional approach comparing and contrasting everyday non-science “emergent” and “sequential” processes. Nine ninth-grade participants completed an online module that utilized text, videos, animated diagrams, and embed...
Article
In two separate studies, we found that college-aged students learned more when they collaboratively watched tutorial dialogue-videos than lecture-style monologue-videos. In fact, they can learn as well as the tutees in the dialogue-videos. These results replicate similar findings in the literature showing the advantage of dialogue-videos even when...
Article
Students often have misconceptions about natural selection as they misuse a direct causal schema to explain the process. Natural selection is in fact an emergent process where random interactions lead to changes in a population. The misconceptions stem from students' lack of emergent schema for natural selection. In order to help students construct...
Chapter
ICAP (Interactive-Constructive-Active-Passive) is a theoretical framework that links students’ overt engagement behaviors to cognitive processes of knowledge change that facilitate learning (Chi, 2009; Chi & Wylie, 2014). We hypothesize that these processes are hierarchical and lead to differential effects on how deeply students learn. We developed...
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This article describes the ICAP framework that defines cognitive engagement activities on the basis of students’ overt behaviors and proposes that engagement behaviors can be categorized and differentiated into one of four modes: Interactive, Constructive, Active, and Passive. The ICAP hypothesis predicts that as students become more engaged with t...
Conference Paper
In this paper we introduce the Comprehension SEEDING system and describe the system components designed to enhance classroom discussion by providing real-time formative feedback to teachers. Using SEEDING, teachers ask free-response questions. As students are constructing their responses using digital devices, SEEDING allows teachers to assess a st...
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The Comprehension Seeding system allows students to respond to an open-ended question using tablet computers; the system provides formative feedback to teachers to facilitate discussion and encourage students to engage in reflective behaviors. Data from a semester-long intervention suggested that few students engaged in this reflective process, lea...
Article
To date, relatively little work has explored how students learn about a particular class of processes, namely emergent ones. The research that has investigated these processes has primarily employed a case-study methodology. Here, we report on a controlled experiment comparing how students learn about the emergent topic of diffusion from self-expla...
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The Comprehension SEEDING intervention aims to improve classroom discussion by providing real-time formative feedback to teachers based on student answers to open-ended questions. Teachers pose questions using the SEEDING system, students type responses, and the system automatically groups the responses according to semantic similarity. We describe...
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The ICAP framework provides a theory of cognitive engagement based on overt learning activities that may inform instructional design. In ongoing work to investigate ICAP as a theoretically-grounded instructional design system, classroom teachers participated in a workshop to learn about the framework and design lessons at varying levels. In this pa...
Chapter
Multimedia learning environments combine multiple sources of information (e.g., text, diagrams, and simulations) to help students master cognitively challenging domains. However, in order to benefit from these environments, students need to make connections among the sources of information. One strategy for encouraging students to think deeply abou...
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Background: Similar to other domains, engineering education lacks a framework to classify active learning methods used in classrooms, which makes it difficult to evaluate when and why they are effective for learning. Purpose/Hypothesis: This study evaluated the effectiveness and applicability of the Differentiated Overt Learning Activities (DOLA) f...
Article
A promising instructional approach corresponds to learning by observing others learn (i.e., by watching tutorial dialogue between a tutor and tutee). However, more work is needed to understand this approach’s pedagogical utility. Thus, in 2 experiments we compared student learning from collaborative observation of dialogue with 2 other instructiona...
Article
Transfer is typically thought of as requiring individuals to “see” what is the same in the deep structure between a new target problem and a previously encountered source problem, even though the surface features may be dissimilar. We propose that experts can “see” the deep structure by considering the first-order interactions of the explicit surfa...
Chapter
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Learning new concepts and ideas typically requires that the learners activate and bring to bear some prior knowledge for interpreting and assimilating the new ideas. This prior knowledge can be conceived of as some coherent body of relevant knowledge that can be referred to as a schema. Once the new ideas and concepts are assimilated within an exis...
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Prior research on conceptual change has identified multiple kinds of misconceptions at different levels of representational complexity including false beliefs, flawed mental models, and incorrect ontological categories. We hypothesized that conceptual change of a mental model requires change in the system of relations between the features of the pr...
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Studies exploring how students learn and understand science processes such as diffusion and natural selection typically find that students provide misconceived explanations of how the patterns of such processes arise (such as why giraffes' necks get longer over generations, or how ink dropped into water appears to "flow"). Instead of explaining the...
Article
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Traditional Learning Activities such as listening to a lecture or reading from a text are typically abstract and decontextualized. The information presented is often intentionally decontextualized under the assumption that making the information more abstract will enhance transfer. The major problem with this type of instruction is that students ar...
Chapter
This chapter begins by briefly overviewing the early approaches, perspectives, and findings in the expertise research. Basically, the approaches have first focused on exceptional experts, then studies evolved into studying expert performance relative to novices, with emphases on differences in their strategies of searching for a solution, the struc...
Article
This paper explores how innovative ideas may be produced in dialogic interactions. Several dialog processes that may be considered innovating are proposed, along with how they may be coded. Some preliminary evidence will also be presented.
Conference Paper
We report on a study with 65 middle-school students who learned about the concept of diffusion through observation. We manipulated two factors: the number of observers, solo vs. dyad, and the type of video students observed, tutorial dialogue vs. monologue. Our findings show that dyad observers learn significantly better than solo observers, and th...
Conference Paper
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In examine the tutoring protocols of one expert human tutor tutoring 10 students in solving physics problems, four analyses reveal that he tutored the five good learners in different ways than the five poorer learners, resulting also in greater adjusted gains for the good learners. This opens up the question of whether the tutor is non-optimally ad...
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Previous studies reported that misconceptions related to heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics, persist among engineering juniors and seniors even after they have completed college-level courses in the subjects. This study focuses on developing methods to repair some particularly robust misconceptions in diffusion, heat transfer, and m...
Article
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Collaboratively observing tutoring is a promising method for observational learning (also referred to as vicarious learning). This method was tested in the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center’s Physics LearnLab, where students were introduced to physics topics by observing videos while problem solving in Andes, a physics tutoring system. Students...
Article
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Ohlsson's proposal of resubsumption as the dominant process in conceptual, or nonmonotonic, change presents a worthy challenge to more established theories, such as Chi's theory of ontological shift. The two approaches differ primarily in that Ohlsson's theory emphasizes a process of learning in which narrower, more specific concepts are subsumed b...
Article
Active, constructive, and interactive are terms that are commonly used in the cognitive and learning sciences. They describe activities that can be undertaken by learners. However, the literature is actually not explicit about how these terms can be defined; whether they are distinct; and whether they refer to overt manifestations, learning process...
Article
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Previous research on peer tutoring has found that students sometimes benefit academically from tutoring other students. In this study we combined quantitative and qualitative analyses to explore how untrained peer tutors learned via explaining and responding to tutee questions in a non-reciprocal tutoring setting. In support of our hypotheses, we f...
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The goals of this study are to evaluate a relatively novel learning environment, as well as to seek greater understanding of why human tutoring is so effective. This alternative learning environment consists of pairs of students collaboratively observing a videotape of another student being tutored. Comparing this collaboratively observing environm...
Chapter
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Collaborative learning, as both a pedagogical method and a cognitive mechanism plays a prominent role in the Learning Sciences. In this symposium we will use the term "cognitive convergence" to encompass various concepts that have been used to explain the important processes underlying successful collaboration, such as intersubjectivity, co- constr...
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Prior research has established that peer tutors can benefit academically from their tutoring experiences. However, although tutor learning has been observed across diverse settings, the magnitude of these gains is often underwhelming. In this review, the authors consider how analyses of tutors' actual behaviors may help to account for variation in...
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This paper operationalized the notion of knowledge convergence and assessed quantitatively how much knowledge convergence occurred during collaborative learning. Knowledge convergence was defined as an increase in common knowledge where common knowledge referred to the knowledge that all collaborating partners had. Twenty pairs of college students...
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Chi (2005) proposed that students experience difficulty in learning about physics concepts such as light, heat, or electric current because they attribute to these concepts an inappropriate ontological status of material substances rather than the more veridical status of emergent processes. Conceptual change could thus be facilitated by training s...
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This article offers a plausible domain-general explanation for why some concepts of processes are resistant to instructional remediation although other, apparently similar concepts are more easily understood. The explanation assumes that processes may differ in ontological ways: that some processes (such as the apparent flow in diffusion of dye in...
Article
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Students learn more and gain greater understanding from one-to-one tutoring. The preferred explanation has been that the tutors' pedagogical skills are responsible for the learning gains. Pedagogical skills involve skillful execution of tactics, such as giving explanations and feedback, or selecting the appropriate problems or questions to ask the...
Chapter
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It has been well established that collaborative learning is more effective in producing learning gains than individuals working alone. The present study investigates three potential mechanisms responsible for learning from collaborative problem solving: other-directed explaining, co-construction, and self-directed explaining. College undergraduates...
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The theoretical stance explicated in this chapter assumes that scientific discoveries often require that the problem solver (either the scientist or the inventor) re-conceptualizes the problem in a way that crosses ontological categories. Examples of the highest level of ontological categories are entities, processes, and mental states. Discoveries...
Article
There has been a national call for increased use of computers and technology in schools. Currently, however, little is known about how students use and learn from these technologies. This study explores how eighth-grade students use the Web to search for, browse, and find information in response to a specific prompt (how mosquitoes find their prey)...
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There has been a national call for increased use of computers and technology in schools. Currently, however, little is known about how students use and learn from these new technologies. This study examines how students search for, browse, and learn specific information when performing an on-line (Web) versus an off-line (Library) search. Twenty-ei...
Article
Errors in medicine result in over 44,000 preventable deaths annually. Some of these errors are made by specialized physicians at the time of diagnosis. Building on error frameworks proposed in the literature, we tested the experimental hypothesis that physicians within a given specialty have a bias in diagnosing cases outside their own domain as be...
Article
Collaborative problem solving involves the active exchange and interaction of ideas between two or more people and such interac- tive exchanges can result in the joint production of co-constructed ideas, some of which may be novel. We analyzed verbal data of pairs of students collaboratively solving problems posed by a com- puter workplace simulati...
Chapter
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Students engaged in learning a large body of related knowledge often possess some incorrect naïve knowledge about the domain. These “misconceptions” must be removed and/or the correct conception must be built in order for students to achieve a deep understanding. This repair process is generally referred to as “conceptual change.” However, although...
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Notes that previous research has shown that when an experimenter or a tutor prompts students to self-explain orally, generating such self-explanations is effective for learning. If self-explanations are readily produced by prompting, then it would be trivial to implement an automated prompting system using a computer interface. In an attempt to rep...
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Human one-to-one tutoring has been shown to be a very effective form of instruction. Three contrasting hypotheses, a tutor-centered one, a student-centered one, and an interactive one could all potentially explain the effectiveness of tutoring. To test these hypotheses, analyses focused not only on the effectiveness of the tutors’ moves, but also o...
Article
Full-text available
Human one-to-one tutoring has been shown to be a very effective form of instruction. Three contrasting hypotheses, a tutor-centered one, a student-centered one, and an interactive one could all potentially explain the effectiveness of tutoring. To test these hypotheses, analyses focused not only on the effectiveness of the tutors' moves, but also o...
Article
This article provides one example of a method of analyzing qualitative data in an objective and quantifiable way. Although the application of the method is illustrated in the context of verbal data such as explanations, interviews, problem-solving protocols, and retrospective reports, in principle, the mechanics of the method can be adapted for cod...
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l in producing deep learning, in the sense of removing misconceptions. Human tutoring is a more effective means of instruction than classroom teaching, mastery learning, computer-aided or programmed instruction and computer tutors. To understand what tutoring is, we might consider what it is not. Tutoring is not listening to a lecture, reading a ma...
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A good deal of research has addressed the topic of naive physics knowledge, with a focus on the physics domain of classical mechanics. In particular, it has been proposed that novices enter into instruction with an existing, well-defined knowledge base that they have derived from their everyday experiences. Most relevant initial knowledge will be s...
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Unlike some pivotal ideas in the history of science, the basic notion of natural selection is remarkably simple and so one might expect most students to easily grasp the basic principles of the Darwinian theory; yet many students nevertheless have difficulty understanding Darwinian evolution. We suggest that misconceptions about natural selection a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study reports preliminary findings from a study that investigated (1) the kind and extent of shared knowledge constructed after collaborative learning and (2) the relationship between the construction of shared knowledge and individual learning. In this study, college dyads collaborated to learn a biology concept. Preliminary findings showed t...
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This progress report has 4 sections. The first gives an overview of the project, our pilot study, and our plans for future work.The second and third sections present the results from the pilot study in more detail. The last section discusses our plans for the main study. (AN)
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Physics novices and experts solved conceptual physics problems involving light, heat, and electric current and then explained their answers. Novices were ninth-grade students with no background in physics; experts were two postgraduates in physics and two advanced physics graduate students. Problems were multiple choice, with one correct response a...
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Conceptual change occurs when a concept is reassigned from one category to another. The theory of conceptual change in this article explains why some kinds of conceptual change, or category shifts, are more difficult than others. The theory assumes that entities in the world belong to different ontological categories, such as MATTER (things) and PR...
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Learning involves the integration of new information into existing knowledge. Generating explanations to oneself (self-explaining) facilitates that integration process. Previously, self-explanation has been shown to improve the acquisition of problem-solving skills when studying worked-out examples. This study extends that finding, showing that sel...
Chapter
This chapter presents the diagnostic knowledge and skills of expert competitive swimming coaches. Sport studies on expert/novice differences in coaches have primarily focused on quantitative and descriptive characteristics of coaches and their skills. To clarify this, most studies have focused on the outcome of the results of coaching actions and h...
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Ference Marton has produced a characteristically lucid and elegant commentary, for which I am grateful, He took the time to resay, from his position, that from my monograph which is most compelling to him-a contribution in itself. He identifies as a central product my uncovering the "structures of awareness" that underlie both everyday experience a...