The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

Research Paper #790

Title:Persistent Collaboration: a Methodology for Applied Aied
Authors:Conlon,T; Pain,HG
Date:Feb 1996
Presented:Accepted for publication in the Journal of AI and Education, Spring 1996
Abstract:Within the AIED community there are clear signs of dissatisfaction with existing research approaches. We suggest that AIED projects are of various kinds and that the research methods that are appropriate will vary between projects. Our focus is on projects in the area of "applied" AIED; those that aim to produce practically useful classroom tools. Following a review of studies of research in education, theories of educationsl change, and approaches to computer systems design, we propose that the most appropriate methodology for applied AIED is one that is derived from a combination of action research with user-centred design. We present our version of such a methodology, which we have named PCM (Persistent Collaboration Methodology) on account of the central role that it gives to collaboration between researchers, teachers and technology experts. The methodology, which we illustrate at length by reference to an ongoing project in the area of knowledge-basedmodellling appears to offer a suitably balanced marriage between the "technology push" and the "learning pull". Because of ;this, and because it also supports a productive relationship between theory and practice, the ;use of our methodology should enhance the prospects of individual projects and of the AIED field in general.

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