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ECR Betty’s Brain-BROMP

Modeling Self Regulated Learning with Betty’s Brain


The primary goal for this project is to enhance the theory and measurement of students’ self-regulated learning (SRL) processes during science learning by developing a technology based framework which leverages human expert judgment and machine learning methods to identify key moments during SRL and analyze these moments in depth.

These issues are being studied in the context of Betty’s Brain, an open-ended science learning environment that combines learning-by-modeling with critical thinking and problem-solving skills to teach complex science topics.

We are developing a novel measurement framework that will identify key inflection points in learners’ SRL processes that drive their cognition, metacognition and affect, and inform researchers about these inflection points in real time, so that the researchers can conduct observations and interviews right at the critical moments when the change is occurring. The results of this data collection will be integrated with sequential pattern mining to drive the refinement and extension of an existing theory of SRL (Winne’s COPES framework) to increase its specificity and predictive power.


Funding agency:



  • Development of automated detectors for real-time detection of key inflection points in students’ SRL processes (using  pattern mining, feature engineering & deep learning approaches)
  • Design of Study 2, including –
    1. Development of an android app (QRF) that notifies classroom researchers, in real time, of inflection points in students’ SRL behaviors
    2. Development of the app-server-clients communication framework, to prioritize and send detected SRL inflection points from student machines (running Betty’s Brain) to researcher android-phones (running QRF app) via a server
    3. Pilot study (May 2018 – Jere Baxter Middle School, Nashville, TN) to test the new framework in a classroom setting)
  • Deployment of the full framework in Study 2 (Dec 2018 – Meigs Middle School, Nashville, TN) to collect SRL data (on student cognition, affect, metacognition & motivation)
  • Addition of new learner scaffolds in Betty’s Brain based on analysis of SRL data collected in Study 2
  • Study 3 (Feb 2019 – Meigs Middle School, Nashville, TN), to analyze student responses to the newly-added SRL scaffolds


Researchers currently involved:

Vanderbilt University: Prof Gautam Biswas, Anabil Munshi, Marian Rushdy, Allison Moore

University of Pennsylvania: Prof Ryan Baker, Jaclyn Ocumpaugh, Stefan Slater

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Prof Luc Paquette, Nigel Bosch

External collaborator for QRF app design: Martin van Velsen


Systems used:


Related publications:

Link to data repository (Contact us here to request access):