Investigating the Effect of Meta-cognitive Scaffolding for Learning by Teaching

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8474)


This paper investigates the effect of meta-cognitive help in the context of learning by teaching. Students learned to solve algebraic equations by tutoring a teachable agent, called SimStudent, using an online learning environment, called APLUS. A version of APLUS was developed to provide meta-cognitive help on what problems students should teach, as well as when to quiz SimStudent. A classroom study comparing APLUS with and without the meta-cognitive help was conducted with 173 seventh to ninth grade students. The data showed that students with the meta-cognitive help showed better problem selection and scored higher on the post-test than those who tutored SimStudent without the meta-cognitive help. These results suggest that, when carefully designed, learning by teaching can support students to not only learn cognitive skills but also employ meta-cognitive skills for effective tutoring.


Learning by teaching teachable agent SimStudent Algebra equation solving meta-cognitive help 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Machine Learning DepartmentCarnegie Mellon UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Department of EducationUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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