ERIC Number: ED341366
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Expert System Development in the Classroom: Processes and Outcomes. Technical Report 91-1.
Wideman, Herbert H.; Owston, Ronald D.
This study examined cognitive processes and outcomes associated with student knowledge base development. Sixty-nine students from two grade 8 classes were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a knowledge base development (KBD) group, a problem-solving software group, and a control group. Those in the KBD group received relevant instruction and then worked in small teams to develop very simple expert systems for weather prediction for about 20 hours. Students in the software group engaged in problem-solving activities using The Factory and Super Factory; control groups students completed weather instrument projects. Multivariate ANCOVA results for several measures of cognitive skill gain and transfer found no differences between groups. But for those students who scored higher than the grand median on a standardized pretest of abstract reasoning there were significant main effects favoring the KBD group on a formal reasoning test and a transfer task. Based on both the quantitative and the observational data, it was concluded that expert system creation can be a viable means of promoting cognitive development for more advanced students. A tree diagram for a sports knowledge base (KB), a copy of the weather project assignment for developing an expert system, and a student knowledge base chart are appended. (43 references) (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: York Univ., North York (Ontario). Centre for the Study of Computers in Education.