Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

Chemistry students often learn to solve problems by applying well-practiced procedures, but such a mechanical approach is likely to hinder conceptual understanding. We have developed a system aimed at promoting conceptual learning in chemistry by having dyads collaborate on problems in a virtual laboratory (VLab), assisted by a collaboration script. We conducted a small study to compare an adaptive and a non-adaptive version of the system, with the adaptive version controlled by a human wizard. Analyses showed a tendency for the dyads in the adaptive condition to collaborate better and to have better conceptual understanding. We present our research framework, our collaborative software environment, and results from the wizard-of-oz study.