Exploring the Impact of Simple Explanations and Agency on Batch Deep Reinforcement Learning Induced Pedagogical Policies.
In recent years, Reinforcement learning (RL), especially Deep RL (DRL), has shown outstanding performance in video games from Atari, Mario, to StarCraft. However, little evidence has shown that DRL can be successfully applied to real-life human-centric tasks such as education or healthcare. Different from classic game-playing where the RL goal is to make an agent smart, in human-centric tasks the ultimate RL goal is to make the human-agent interactions productive and fruitful. Additionally, in many real-life human-centric tasks, data can be noisy and limited. As a sub-field of RL, batch RL is designed for handling situations where data is limited yet noisy, and building simulations is challenging. In two consecutive classroom studies, we investigated applying batch DRL to the task of pedagogical policy induction for an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS), and empirically evaluated the effectiveness of induced pedagogical policies. In Fall 2018 (F18), the DRL policy is compared against an expert-designed baseline policy and in Spring 2019 (S19), we examined the impact of explaining the batch DRL-induced policy with student decisions and the expert baseline policy. Our results showed that 1) while no significant difference was found between the batch RL-induced policy and the expert policy in F18, the batchmore »