2023 Early Career Research Grant Recipient Announced!

We are pleased to announce the recipient of the SoLAR 2023 Early Career Research Grant: Yizhou Fan from Peking University, China for their project, "Measuring and Scaffolding Hybrdi Human-AI Regulation: Comparing Learning Processes Facilitated by ChatGPT and Human Experts." Congratulations to Yizhou!

This year we saw many high-quality applications come through, making it a challenge in deciding the winner. We thank all applicants for their efforts in putting together their proposals, and wish them all the best as they continue to pursue their research efforts. Many thanks also to the reviewers for their time in the rigorous review of the applications!

Here is a bit more information about Yizhou's project.

Project title:

Measuring and Scaffolding Hybrid Human-AI Regulation: Comparing Learning Processes Facilitated by ChatGPT and Human Experts

Project summary:

The advances in AI have radically and will continually change the workforce by automating many jobs in all walks of life. Therefore, it is vital for students and professionals to be able to learn and work with AI, which has been an increasingly central focus of education. As the practice and research of AI-assisted learning emerge, a new evolution for learning analytics is to measure and understand how learning takes place with the scaffolding of AI. However, relevant empirical research is still in an early stage, and further exploration is urgently needed. Therefore, to fill this gap and investigate how AI could better facilitate learning, I propose this project to compare ChatGPT with human experts and reveal how practical AI could promote learners’ regulation process and consequently improve their performance. I will conduct a lab experiment, recruit 90 participants, and randomly assign them to three conditions. During the project, learners’ multi-channel data, such as pre-post-test, survey, learning trace, and interview data, will be collected and analysed using cutting-edge learning analytics approaches and methods. This project will illuminate how to enhance learning with learning analytics in an AI-powered world.

Project fit with themes for the year:

This year's theme is enhancing learning with learning analytics in an AI powered world. Here, I focus on measuring and scaffolding hybrid human-AI regulation using cutting-edge learning analytics approaches (e.g., trace SRL) and promising methods (e.g., ONA). Mainly, this project will design and evaluate an AI-driven scaffolding tool which uses ChatGPT to provide learners context-specific facilitation in a challenging task. By comparing learners' interaction with ChatGPT and human experts, this project will reveal how and to what extent AI could impact learning and thus unpack how learning with AI takes place. Furthermore, this project will examine how new generational AI impacts learning and assessment by comparing learners' regulation processes and their performance across different conditions. Finally, the proposed project will also explore how learners could interact with AI more efficiently, which can be used to foster insights into new AI literacies, such as prompt engineering.

We look forward to receiving updates throughout the research process and the future contributions from Yizhou's research in the learning analytics community.

General Information about the SoLAR Early Career Research Grant

The SoLAR ECR Research Grant serves to support promising early career researchers who demonstrate the potential to advance research and practice in learning analytics and increase the educational and socio-economic impacts of learning analytics. Proposed projects should improve our understanding of learning analytics and learning in general, result in positive impacts on education, and align with the topics identified for the current round. It is expected that the ECR grant will help successful applicants develop their career by enabling an initiative that is scalable or has potential to attract further funding.

With the announcement of the winning application, the call for this year’s ECR grant is now closed. Look out for the next round of the ECR grant in early 2024!

The new funding guidelines in 2024 will be posted on the General ECR Grant page found here: https://www.solaresearch.org/community/scholarships/ecr-research-grant/