UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

User modeling and data mining in intelligent educational games : Prime Climb a case study Davoodi, Alireza


Educational games are designed to leverage students’ motivation and engagement in playing games to deliver pedagogical concepts to the players during game play. Adaptive educational games, in addition, utilize students’ models of learning to support personalization of learning experience according to students’ educational needs. A student’s model needs to be capable of making an evaluation of the mastery level of the target skills in the student and providing reliable base for generating tailored interventions to meet the user’s needs. Prime Climb, an adaptive educational game for students in grades 5 or 6 to practice number factorization related skill, provides a test-bed for research on user modeling and personalization in the domain of education games. Prime Climb leverages a student’s model using Dynamic Bayesian Network to implement personalization for assisting the students practice number factorization while playing the game. This thesis presents research conducted to improve the student’s model in Prime Climb by detecting and resolving the issue of degeneracy in the model. The issue of degeneracy is related to a situation in which the model’s accuracy is at its global maximum yet it violates conceptual assumptions about the process being modeled. Several criteria to evaluate the student’s model are introduced. Furthermore, using educational data mining techniques, different patterns of students’ interactions with Prime Climb were investigated to understand how students with higher prior knowledge or higher learning gain behave differently compared to students with lower prior knowledge and lower learning gain.

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