Remembering more from conferences

At a recent conference I found that the poster presentations were the most engaging way of understanding the work done in AI (artificial intelligence) and education.

a man presenting in front of an audience

How do you remember as much information as possible from all the different sessions at a conference like AIED 2018? Image by Pravin Chopade via Twitter.

Everyone's a bit different in how they capture and retain information at conferences. Some of us will attend everything (keynotes, seminars, poster presentations, dinner, networking events etc.) and take notes on their tablet, tweet everything, ask questions. But how much information is retained after the conference is difficult to assess. Sometimes being very selective in what we attend - maybe just few seminars or poster presentations - could be more effective? As usual quality vs. quantity...

a young woman explaining her research poster

In poster sessions it is easy to interact with researchers directly and engage with their work actively. Image by the University of Fraser Valley via Flickr.

Recently I attended the conference AIED 2018 (Artificial Intelligence in Education) at the University College London. The conference was well organised with lots of talks to attend. However, I found that the poster presentations spreading over two evenings was the most engaging way of understanding the work done in AI and education. Here you can ask direct questions to the presenter, be engaged and focus on the minute details of the research presented. It was how I chose mostly to engage with the conference this year. I found it hard to concentrate all day, some talks were not really of any interest to me. It's hard to focus on so many seminars even if you sometimes feel obliged to go to as you (your department) have paid good money for the conference. But, I prefer to attend less to remember more...

I prefer to attend less to remember more...

One of the posters that I enjoyed very much discussed how to boost engagement with educational software using near-wins. I was amazed to find out how so much minute detail could be communicated, and manipulated to display (visualise) a learning outcome. Boosting engagement with educational software has been promoted as a means of improving student performance. The researchers (Mohammad Khajah, Michael Mozer, Sean Kelly and Brent Milne in Colorado University) examined two promising and relatively understudied manipulations from the realm of gambling:

  • the near-win effect, and
  • anticipation.
Research poster on Boosting Engagement with Educational Software Using Near Wins

Take a closer look at the poster on 'Boosting engagement with educational software using near wins' that stood out to me.

The near-win effect occurs when an individual comes close to achieving a goal, while anticipation refers to the build-up of suspense as an outcome is revealed (e.g., losing early vs. late). Gambling psychologists have long studied how near-wins affect engagement in pure-chance games but it is difficult to do the same in an educational context where outcomes are based on skill.

Other posters I really enjoyed:


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