CSC News

July 31, 2015

Vail Earns Best Paper Award

Congratulations to PhD student Alexandria Vail (pictured at right) and Drs. Kristy Boyer and James Lester, in the NC State Computer Science department, and Dr. Eric Wiebe, in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math department, for winning the Best Paper Award at the User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP 2015) conference held at Trinity College Dublin on June 29 – July 3.
The winning paper is titled “The Mars and Venus Effect:  The Influence of User Gender on the Effectiveness of Adaptive Task Support,” and the abstract follows: 
Providing adaptive support to users engaged in learning tasks is the central focus of intelligent tutoring systems. There is evidence that female and male users may benefit differently from adaptive support, yet it is not understood how to most effectively adapt task support to gen- der. This paper reports on a study with four versions of an intelligent tutoring system for introductory computer programming offering different levels of cognitive (conceptual and problem-solving) and affective (motivational and engagement) support. The results show that female users reported significantly more engagement and less frustration with the affective support system than with other versions. In a human tutorial dialogue condition used for comparison, a consistent difference was observed between females and males. These results suggest the presence of the Mars and Venus Effect, a systematic difference in how female and male users benefit from cognitive and affective adaptive support. The findings point toward design principles to guide the development of gender-adaptive intelligent tutoring systems.
UMAP is the premier international conference for researchers and practitioners working on systems that adapt to their individual users, or to groups of users, and collect and represent information about users for this purpose.  For more information on UMAP 2015, click here.

Return To News Homepage