PhD Computer Science Thesis Defense: "Dynamic Cultural Adaptations in Intelligent Learning Environment" by Phaedra Mohammed

The Department of Computing and Information Technology invites you to an oral examination presented by PhD Computer Science Candidate Ms. Phaedra Mohammed on her thesis entitled “Dynamic Cultural Adaptations in Intelligent Learning Environments”.


The presentation takes place on Thursday 9th February 2017, at 9:30 am in the Department of Computing and Information Technology (DCIT), Conference Room.


Abstract: In this thesis defence, the development of a culturally aware framework for Intelligent Learning Environments (ILE) will be discussed. The focus is on adapting educational content and colloquial language to suit a student’s cultural background and preferences. The research is motivated by the growing interest in software features related to cultural diversity and awareness in educational software systems for developing world contexts. The framework uses a combination of social, cultural and personal demographic data to model the influences on a student’s cultural background. This model is then used to select familiar and appropriate cultural references and concepts for instructional use.


Finally, the framework features a classification scale for quantifying the cultural adaptations of educational content and colloquial language targeted in the research. Findings from experiments reveal situations and thresholds that influence student preferences for and against the use of cultural adaptations. Some interventions, such as use of cultural references, are beneficial for creating more relaxed learning experiences and maintaining learning gains established for ILEs. However, extensive use of colloquial language detracts from the learning experience and confirms the need for some degree of student-initiated control. Overall, the research contributes a novel computational approach towards automating the cultural adaptations in ILEs through the development of culturally aware models and techniques.


Please note: The examination room will be closed once the oral examination has started. 

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