CEITR Researchers, Dr. Crowe, Martin LaPierre, and Dr. Kebritchi Published Artificial Augmented Intelligence Article in TechTrends

CEITR Researchers, Dr. Crowe, Martin LaPierre, and Dr. Kebritchi Published Artificial Augmented Intelligence Article in TechTrends

Researchers at Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research (CEITR), Dr. Dale Crowe, CEITR fellow, doctoral student, Martin LaPierre, and Dr. Kebritchi, chair of CEITR published an article with the title of “Knowledge Based Artificial Augmentation Intelligence Technology: Next Step in Academic Instructional Tools for Distance Learning” in TechTrends, July 2017. 

The article is available here.

Crowe, D., LaPierre, M., & Kebritchi, M. (2017). Knowledge Based Artificial Augmentation Intelligence Technology: Next Step in Academic Instructional Tools for Distance Learning.  TechTrends. DOI: 10.1007/s11528-017-0210-4

TechTrends is a highly cited journal of Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT)




With augmented intelligence/knowledge based system (KBS) it is now possible to develop distance learning applications to support both curriculum and administrative tasks. Instructional designers and information technology (IT) professionals are now moving from the programmable systems era that started in the 1950s to the cognitive computing era. In cognitive computing or KBS a machine understands natural language, adapts, learns, and generates and evaluates hypotheses. A KBS system can manage data and assist instructional designers in creating tools and curricula that generate meaningful applications. As a proof of the concept, the authors conducted an exploratory case study with the input of twenty subject-matter experts (programmers, instructional designers, and content experts) for development of a proto-type KBS scholarly writing software (SWS) application that can be used for distance/online learning. Philosophical differences between the artificial intelligence and augmented intelligence approaches are also discussed. The role of instructional designers in the development and use of augmented intelligence with IBM’s Watson is also a significant part of the discussion.


Q: What inspired the research for this article?

Martin LaPierre’s Response: As a doctoral candidate I, as well as many other doctoral students, struggle to write in a scholarly manner.  During my year one doctoral residency at the University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies it was obvious that my scholarly writing had to improve. As an information systems technology expert my thought was that there should be technology out there to support my studies, especially for the dissertation process. A few months after my residency I saw that IBM's Watson had beat human players at the game of Jeopardy. After doing some initial research I determined that Watson had the potential to create a scholarly writing support application. I proposed the idea to Dr. Dale Crowe, my dissertation chair.  Dr. Crowe liked the idea and said that he wanted to pursue it with me.  That is how our journey together began.

Dr. Dale Crowe’s Response: First and foremost I have to give credit to Marty LaPierre for coming up with the idea.  I have done work in the past with artificial intelligence as a research associate at two Carnegie classified very high research activity universities and it is something that I continue to have an interest in.  When Marty brought the idea of using Artificial Augmented Intelligence using the IBM Watson (Watson) Application Program Interface (API) I was immediately interested.  After doing research on Watson I told Marty to “count me in” and we both agreed to start out to do research on a scholarly writing software (SWS) prototype. As a starting point we used what was learned from IBM’s development on using Watson for cancer research.  With research fellowship from the Center for Educational and Instructional Technology we were able to make this happen. As an added plus, we were able to share our study and results through two peer reviewed presentations, in addition to a journal article.  I also believe that as a dissertation chair I have a responsibility to help our dissertation students present and publish.  This does not have to be done post doctorate.


Q: What do you hope others will gain from this research?

Martin LaPierre’s Response:  I sincerely hope others use this research to enhance their own pedagogy. It is my belief that Artificial Augmentation is meant to augment and enhance all the things we do in the educational process, especially distance learning.  Further development of Artificial Augmented Intelligence tools should be supported and encouraged.  The development tools are there. In addition, because Watson development tools are cloud based prototype development can be kept to a minimum.

Dale Crowe’s Response: My hope is that because IBM through the Watson API encourages entrepreneurs, those in the information technology/instructional technology fields along with subject matter experts will come up with applications or application prototypes for education and specifically centered on distance learning. You don’t have to be a Microsoft, Google, or Facebook to do meaningful research and create something that is tangible.   


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