Main PI: David Shaffer, University of Wisconsin

PI's on subcontracts: *Art Graesser*, University of Memphis; Kris Scopinich, Massachusetts Audubon Society's Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

Co-PI's in Memphis: *Zhiqiang Cai*, *Xiangen Hu*, *Vasile Rus*

Senior Personnel in Memphis: *Ben Nye*

Grant Number: DRK–12 1418288

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation

Dates: 2014-2019

Amount: $1,000,000 (Memphis portion of total award of $2,999,719)


AutoMentorThe proposed project will expand access to virtual internships, a powerful technology for incorporating professional STEM experience into STEM education. Syntern virtual internships have been shown to improve STEM learning outcomes and increase students' interest in STEM topics.

An authorware system will allow teachers to integrate them more effectively into their curricula and reach more students. By enabling STEM content developers to design and customize their own virtual internships, the Internship-inator will encourage pedagogical innovation, effectively expanding the number of developers who refine and disseminate this learning intervention. This research and development effort will also build a network of teachers, curriculum designers, researchers, and educational technology developers to enhance existing technologies, enable teachers and others to customize STEM learning technologies for their curricula, provide training and support for in-service teachers, and create a repository of virtual internships, curricular materials, and other resources.

Selected Publications:

  • Keshtkar, F., Hatfeild, D., Wang, J., Cai, Z., & Graesser, A.C. (2012). The components of the intelligent virtual mentoring and assessment in computer education games for e-Learning. Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference. Marco Island, FL: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Morgan, B., Keshtkar, F., Duan, Y., & Graesser, A. C. (2012). Using state transition networks to analyze multi-party conversations in a serious game. In S. A. Cerri & B. Clancey (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS 2012) (pp. 162–167). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.
  • Morgan, B., Keshtkar, F., Graesser, A., & Shaffer, D. W. (in press). Automating the mentor in a serious game: A discourse analysis using finite state machines. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI International).