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Using Pedagogical Agents for the Loops Basketball Project

The system goes over the histories of the students and breaks the students into groups of four based around their past performances and notes provided by the teacher.  These groups are designed to accentuate the strengths of the individual students.

The teacher is sent a beta set of these teams in her admin portal to consider and confirm for the system.  Upon confirmation the system pings all of the students with their group assignments and where they should go in the room to work with their group.  The system then makes sure that all the students are in the right place, and if not, sends a notice to the specific students who are in the wrong places where to go to get into their correct team.

The smart system then passively observes the actions of all the teams looking for indication of struggles or drop offs in performance (either repetition of simulations, or prolonged inactivity).  One group in particular has run a particular simulation of a basketball player dunking a ball three times without any major changes to their workspace.  The system then alerts the teacher about the repetition and asks the teacher if any action is necessary.  The teacher decides not to take action but invisibly enters the team's workspace to monitor their actions and see if any help or instruction will be needed or if the students will progress on to the next area of the project successfully on their own.

Another team has run a similar set of simulations but despite their best efforts cannot come to a satisfactory solution to the problem.  They point (gesture or other method of getting the system's attention) to the system and ask it for some help in plain language "We can't figure out how to recreate this simulation properly."  The system then looks at the specific simulation the team is working on and the various simulations that they have already run through and after looking at the correct desired outcome of the team answers back "Try changing the angle that the player jumps at."  The system then leaves a pointer on the team to continue to monitor their progress to see if its suggestion has helped the team.  If the team is still having struggles the system will ping the teacher with a log of the simulations that the students have already run, along with the questions that the students have asked the system and its responses to the students so that the teacher will have a complete understanding of the state of the team before intervening.

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