Icon for: Neil Heffernan


Worcester Polytechnic Institute, ASSISTments

ASSISTments and Sharing of work by Teachers

NSF Awards: 1724889

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult learners

Professor Heffernan explains his vision of how crowd sourcing will change the educational landscape. Computer-enabled Crowdsourcing as an idea is a recent innovation;  Wikipedia, started in 2001, is built upon the crowdsourcing of information. The Mechanical Turk platform was started in 2009 to crowdsource human-required tasks. Another example of crowdsourcing, CAPTCHA (Von Ahn, Blum, Hooper & Langford, 2003), protects websites from bots while at the same time tagging images (a task with which humans excel while computers have difficulty). The premier place for academics to discuss and publish research on crowdsourcing, the Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP), had its first independent conference in 2013. That conference is essentially comprised of works exploring machine learning (studying reinforcement learning issues) and design (studying how to design these systems).

Heffernan believes crowdsourcing is so powerful and yet underrepresented in the design of educational systems.  This video will explain this vision as well as show the small step our lab has taken that leverages the 50,000 students using the ASSISTments system already.

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