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CIRCSIM-Tutor is a computer tutor designed to carry out a natural language dialogue with a medical student. Its domain is the baroreceptor reflex, the part of the cardiovascular system that is responsible for maintaining a constant blood pressure. CIRCSIM-Tutor's interaction with students is modeled after the tutoring behavior of two experienced human(More)
Calls for reforms in the ways we teach science at all levels, and in all disciplines, are wide spread. The effectiveness of the changes being called for, employment of student-centered, active learning pedagogy, is now well supported by evidence. The relevant data have come from a number of different disciplines that include the learning sciences, cognitive(More)
The Predictions Table (PT), a tool for determining students' knowledge, is described. The PT is a matrix consisting of a group of variables and a set of time periods. Students enter in the PT their qualitative predictions of the effects of a perturbation on a physiological system. The instructor or a teaching program can then evaluate the students'(More)
The tutoring protocol controls the interaction between the tutor and the student in a tutoring session. Our goals are to understand human tutoring so that we can emulate it better and to discover which tutoring protocol gives the best results in teaching causal reasoning. We used C5.0 to analyze a set of human tutoring transcripts to discover how and when(More)
A second National Science Foundation-sponsored workshop on Conceptual Assessment in Biology was held in January 2008. Reports prepared for the workshop revealed that research groups working in a variety of biological sciences are continuing to develop conceptual assessment instruments for use in the classroom. Discussions at this meeting largely focused on(More)
Hinting is an important tutoring tactic in one-on-one tutoring, used when the tutor needs to respond to an unexpected answer from the student. To issue a follow-up hint that is pedagogically helpful and conversationally smooth, the tutor needs to suit the hinting strategy to the student's need while making the strategy fit the high level tutoring plan and(More)
Temperature and other environmental stressors are known to affect blood pressure and heart rate. In this activity, students perform the cold pressor test, demonstrating increased blood pressure during a 1- to 2-min immersion of one hand in ice water. The cold pressor test is used clinically to evaluate autonomic and left ventricular function. This activity(More)
Teachers of physiology at all postsecondary levels were asked to participate in a survey about the possible sources of students' difficulty in learning physiology. Sixty-three physiology teachers responded to the 18-question survey; 35 of the respondents also responded to a request for written comments about this issue prior to taking the survey. Three(More)