Research

Department of Teaching and Learning with Intelligent Systems (LLiS)

Our research deals with topics related to modeling human cognition and the derived design of responsible human-technology interaction, with a current focus on learning and training contexts.

Focus areas

Learning is hard work. We know this only too well from our own experience. Our research in the field of cognitive load deals with factors that are particularly strenuous and investigates how this effort can be continuously monitored. In addition to performance measures, behavioral parameters and physiological indicators, we also use cognitive modeling approaches (e.g., the cognitive architecture ACT-R) to formalize cognitive processes and mechanisms underneath.

12:50

The presented work emerged in collaboration with the Cognitive Modeling Group at the University of Groningen within the Research Training Group CrossWorlds at Chemnitz University of Technology. We thank the German Research Foundation and the Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism for supporting our research.

Learning material with high complexity or redundant information unnecessarily strains learners' cognitive resources, might lead to frustration and reduced learning gains. Therefore, adaptively aligned instructional support, e.g., with increasing expertise or in critical affective states, is beneficial. However, looking into current literature shows that structured and formalized metrics and diagnosis concepts are still missing. We approach such developments building on (neuro-)physiological markers and big data from intelligent learning platforms.

In our digital age, information is present everywhere. This often distracts us from our actual goals and interrupts our ongoing activities. In learning and working contexts, this has tremendously negative effects. Hence, building on formal models of cognitive control, we investigate approaches to strengthen attention control. We further explore beneficial resumption strategies and how they can be trained.

04:22

The presented research was conducted collaboratively with the Software Workshop and the Rationality Enhancement Group at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen, Germany, with kind support from the Cyber Valley Research Fund.

In 2015, the member states of the UN adopted the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, which among other things stipulates the protection and restoration of our ecosystem. In this context, digital media can help to raise awareness of environmentally friendly actions and bring about sustainable changes in behavior. We use a user-centered design approach to connect virtual and real learning environments and foster innovative learning concepts.

Source: YouTube

The presented research was conducted in collaboration with the chair "Psychology of Learning with Digital Media" at Chemnitz University of Technology within the "BeeLife" project, with kind support from the German Federal Environmental Foundation.

Technical devices can be used most effectively to support learning processes if they take into account that different people use them in different ways. We are therefore investigating the ways in which factors such as age, gender, affinity for technology or neurodiversity influence this and incorporate these parameters into the responsible design of assistive technology.

Artificial intelligence is part of our everyday life, a component of technical innovations and increasingly becoming part of education. Intelligent systems are often assumed to make objective decisions, but numerous examples demonstrate how such systems take over our conscious and unconscious stereotypes and biases. By initiating processes of reflection, we strive to sensitize people to societal implications of these stereotypes and biases in intelligent systems. Ongoing projects in this area relate to modelling mechanisms of metacognitive reflection, AI-generated biases, and human trust in AI-based systems.

Ongoing funded projects

Project focus

In our project "BeeLife", we are developing an intelligent app for schools that demonstrates the importance of wild bees for our ecosystem.

Duration

12/2020 - 05/2023

Cooperation

Prof. Dr. Günter Daniel Rey (Chemnitz University of Technology)

Funding

The project is funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation.

Project focus

The SRF IRIS aims to create a platform to stimulate, develop and effect critical reflection on intelligent systems and their impact on society. The goal is to take up exchanges on sensitive topics such as responsible human-computer interaction, ethical and societal challenges, and the risks and benefits of automated decision-making in various fields of application, and to integrate them into the university landscape in research, teaching, and dialogue with society.

Duration

11/2020 - 12/2025

Cooperation

(Executive Board of the SRF IRIS; all University of Stuttgart)

Funding

The project is funded by the excellence package of the German Research Foundation and the Research Council of the University of Stuttgart

Project focus

The project aims to critically reflect on the societal implications of simulation science. This includes, but is not limited to, ethical and social concerns related to simulation science, such as data ethics, privacy issues, or the dual use of research findings; the function of various media (including literature and art) in critically reflecting on potential risks and impacts of simulation science; and empirically informed impact assessment of research approaches within EXC 2075. 

Duration

09/2022 - 08/2024

Cooperation

(Platform of Reflection; all University of Stuttgart)

Funding

The project is funded by the German Research Foundation within the Cluster of Excellence "Data-Integrated Simulation Science" (EXC 2075).

Project focus

In the digit@L project, the University of Stuttgart aims to support students in their individual learning process with digitally enriched teaching-learning formats and adaptive systems in view of heterogeneous prerequisites. On the one hand, the focus is on students in the important first year of study and the group-specific differentiation of basic courses in digital settings. On the other hand, the University of Stuttgart is specifically expanding the competence profile of students and lecturers. In order to achieve these goals, the project builds and connects a didactic and (media) technical infrastructure for students and teachers. Taken together, this contributes to a culture of digital innovation.

Duration

08/2021 - 07/2024

Cooperation (Subproject SKILLS - Work packages M2.1, M2.4)
Funding

The project is funded by the Foundation for Innovation in Higher Education.

 

News Announcement: June 7, 2021, Nr. 44 University of Stuttgart successful in new federal-state funding program for digital teaching (German)

Project focus

The goal of the AISA project is to impart competencies in AI methods and software engineering to students at the University of Stuttgart across all fields of study, aligned with the particular needs of the target group. In addition to the pure transfer of knowledge, there is a considerable need for research in the triangle of AI, software engineering and engineering applications, including the tailored design of didactic approaches in the field of AI software engineering. We are addressing this issue in the subproject "Perspectives on the didactic design of domain-specific AI competencies in the context of software engineering".

Duration

08/2021 - 12/2023

Cooperation

(Executive Board; all University of Stuttgart)

Funding

The project is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Project focus

The UFO project aims to promote occupational participation particularly for people with enhanced needs for socio-emotional support. By developing a novel training system building up competencies in the perception and interpretation of emotional states should be supported. The system captures brain signals and converts derived emotional states into tangible sensory perceptions. A tactile output enables to understand the emotional state of the interacting counterpart. A virtual environment provides a safe training space that can precisely support the needs of the target group. The approach contributes to social awareness and promotes empathy and mutual understanding in the society.

Duration

09/2021 - 08/2024

Cooperation

The Department of Teaching and Learning with Intelligent Systems (LLiS) is coordinating the project network.

Funding

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the funding scheme "Interactive systems in virtual and real environments - Innovative technologies for the digital society".

Project focus

The project IKILeUS aims to bundle the existing expertise of many collaborating departments on AI in order to both communicate AI to the breadth of the student body in an interdisciplinary view and to use AI-based technologies in teaching to relieve the burden on teachers and to improve teaching. The topics will be addressed with a focus on specific courses and software solutions, while at the same time looking at further potential of other user groups and areas.

Duration

12/2021 - 11/2024

Cooperation
Funding

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the funding scheme "AI in Higher Education".

Project focus

Artificial intelligence (AI) influences all areas of our lives as a key technology. This project investigates how it can enrich our society in three subject areas that are being intensively shaped, if not revolutionized, by AI: diversity, demography, and democracy. In addition to three junior research groups, the project provides seed funding for several research projects.

Duration

04/2022 - 12/2026

Cooperation

Prof. Dr. Steffen Staab (University of Stuttgart, Institute for Parallel and Distributed Systems)

Funding

The project is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Completed funded projects

Project focus

The MIkado project provided systematic insights into cognitive and affective facets of individual learning processes. The central goal was the systematic analysis of the interaction between cognitive and affective processes depending on the chosen indicatorization. In contrast to the predominance of artificial laboratory contexts, the project focused on cognitive-affective interactions in application-oriented task settings.

Duration

10/2020 - 09/2022

Cooperation

Prof. Dr. Kristina Kögler (University of Stuttgart)

Funding

The project was funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Wuerttemberg and the Research Council of the University of Stuttgart.

Project focus

The project focuses on the conception, implementation and evaluation of the Youth Study Baden-Wuerttemberg 2022 in cooperation with the State Pupil Advisory Council.

Duration

08/2021 - 07/2022

Cooperation

(all University of Stuttgart)

Funding

The project is funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Project focus

The goal of the International Research Training Group 2198 "Soft Tissue Robotics" was to further develop simulation techniques and sensors to enable the development of new control techniques for robots interacting with soft materials.

Duration (Participation as Principal Investigator)

09/2020 - 08/2021

Cooperation
Funding

The IRTG 2198 "Soft Tissue Robotics" was funded by the German Research Foundation.

Project focus

The goal of the CogniAffect project was to investigate the interaction of cognitive and affective signals at the neural level with particular focus on using these findings for the development of adaptive human-machine systems.

Duration

03/2020 - 12/2020

Cooperation

NeuroLab of the Fraunhofer IAO Stuttgart

Förderung

The project was funded within the AI Innovation Center "Learning Systems and Cognitive Robotics" of the Fraunhofer Institutes IPA and IAO.

Project focus

The goal of the ACTrain project was to develop and evaluate a prototype for an AI-based training software that strengthens attentional control based on metacognitive feedback.

Duration

07/2019 - 03/2021

Cooperation

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen Campus

Funding

The project was funded by the Cyber Valley Research Fund.

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