skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1651909

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract: Motivated by the recent advances of reinforcement learning and the traditional grounded Self Determination Theory (SDT), we explored the impact of hierarchical reinforcement learning (HRL) induced pedagogical policies and data-driven explanations of the HRL-induced policies on student experience in an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS). We explored their impacts first independently and then jointly. Overall our results showed that 1) the HRL induced policies could significantly improve students' learning performance, and 2) explaining the tutor's decisions to students through data-driven explanations could improve the student-system interaction in terms of students' engagement and autonomy.
  2. 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 limitedmore »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 batch RL-induced policy with simple explanations significantly improved students’ learning performance more than the expert policy alone in S19; and 2) no significant differences were found between the student decision making and the expert policy. Overall, our results suggest that pairing simple explanations with induced RL policies can be an important and effective technique for applying RL to real-life human-centric tasks.« less