Miss Polly Lai

MHRM(UWS), BSc(NTOU), MLST(Sydney)
Research Associate
PhD candidate

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 4107
Fax +61 2 9351 5027

Website Contact details

Biographical details

Polly Lai is a research associate and Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Research on Computer Supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo). Her research investigates the value of using computational models (Agent-Based Models) to learn challenging concepts in nanoscience from embodied cognition perspective. Polly holds Master of Learning Sciences and Technology from The University of Sydney, and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. She also has five years work experience with a semiconductor manufacturing company as an instructional designer developing online courses for engineering professional development.

Research interests

Learning sciences; psychology of education

  • Learning technologies and new media
  • Learning, cognition and motivation

Research on teaching and learning

  • Mathematics and science

Thesis work

Supervisor: Michael J JACOBSON

Current projects

Project title: Agent-Based Virtual Learning Environments for Understanding Science

It is vital that students understand science given its relevance in important economic and professional areas as well as for an informed democratic citizenry. This project will conduct classroom-based research in which students learn content in the Australian Curriculum - Science through the use of an innovative agent-based virtual learning environment (ABVLE) that supports authentic science inquiry activities to enhance learning of difficult scientific knowledge and skills. The project will also develop teacher professional development materials for teachers to enhance teacher capacity to use innovative pedagogies and learning technologies in Australian schools.

Project title: Be a Nanoparticle to Learn Nanotechnology: An Embodied Cognition Agent-Based Modeling Approach.

An important new area of science and engineering relates to nanoscience and nanotechnology, which has been defined as“the emerging capability of human beings to observe and organize matter at the atomic level."The purpose of this study is to examine a technology enabled learning approach informed by perspectives from embodied cognition aimed at enhancing students’ understanding of the difficult concepts taught in undergraduate nanotechnology curricula, such assize-dependent property.The research will compare learning outcomes associated with two different technology systems: an experimental group using an Embodied Cognition Agent-Based Modelling(ECABM) approach with agent-based computer models and a comparison group using a Non-Embodied CognitionVisualisation(NECV) approach with multi-mediavisualisations.

Associations

Member, American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Member, European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Conferences

  • Portolese, A., Markauskaite, L., Lai, P., Jacobson, M. (2015). How collaborative successes and failures become productive: An exploration of emerging understanding and misunderstanding turning points in model-based learning with productive failure. 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Gothenburg, Sweden: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Portolese, A., Markauskaite, L., Lai, P., Jacobson, M. (2015). Model-based learning with productive failure and analogical encoding: Unpacking learning dynamics with contrasting designs. 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Lai, P., Jacobson, M. (2014). Integrating productive failure into engineering eLearning curriculum design: A pilot study. American Educational Research Association 2014 Annual Meeting. AERA.
  • Jacobson, M., Taylor, C., Richards, D., Lai, P. (2013). Computational Scientific Inquiry With Virtual Worlds and Agent-Based Models: New Ways of "Doing" Science to Learn Science. 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

2015

  • Portolese, A., Markauskaite, L., Lai, P., Jacobson, M. (2015). How collaborative successes and failures become productive: An exploration of emerging understanding and misunderstanding turning points in model-based learning with productive failure. 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Gothenburg, Sweden: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Portolese, A., Markauskaite, L., Lai, P., Jacobson, M. (2015). Model-based learning with productive failure and analogical encoding: Unpacking learning dynamics with contrasting designs. 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

2014

  • Lai, P., Jacobson, M. (2014). Integrating productive failure into engineering eLearning curriculum design: A pilot study. American Educational Research Association 2014 Annual Meeting. AERA.

2013

  • Jacobson, M., Taylor, C., Richards, D., Lai, P. (2013). Computational Scientific Inquiry With Virtual Worlds and Agent-Based Models: New Ways of "Doing" Science to Learn Science. 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

To update your profile click here. For support on your academic profile contact .