University of Wisconsin–Madison

Sadhana Puntambekar

Professor

puntambekar@education.wisc.edu

(608) 262-0829

1071 Educational Sciences
1025 West Johnson St
Madison, WI 53706-1706

Website: Concept Mapped Project-based Activity Scaffolding System (CoMPASS)

Personal Biography

Sadhana Puntambekar graduated from the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at theUniversity of Sussex where her dissertation work focused on the design and use of a computer-based system to help students learn metacognitive skills in studying from texts. After completing her doctoral studies she worked as a postdoctoral fellow on the Learning by Design project at Georgia Institute of Technology. She has been on faculty in the Educational Psychology department at the University of Connecticut-Storrs before joining UW-Madison. Her research is in the field of design and use of technology enriched interactive environments in education. Her current research, funded by an early CAREER award from the National Science Foundation is focused on understanding the cognitive and contextual issues in integrating digital text in middle school science classes. The research is being conducted in the context of using the CoMPASS environment, which uses conceptual representations in the form of maps, as well as text descriptions to help students understand the interrelationships between concepts and principles. She has also worked closely with middle school teachers to develop the curriculum for the project.

Research Interests

My research interests are in the area of design and use of interactive technologies for helping middle school students learn science. For the past few years, I have been working on the CoMPASS project which aims to understand the cognitive as well as the contextual issues in integrating digital (nonlinear) text in design-based science classes. The project includes the software system CoMPASS, which uses conceptual and text representations to help students see the multiple relationships between science concepts and phenomena. I have been studying the cognitive issues that are involved in learning from nonlinear text in which students can follow multiple paths. Specifically, I have been analyzing navigation data using the Pathfinder and k-means clustering algorithms, and then looking into audio and video data to see what may have triggered the log activity, in order to understand students’ changing representations over a period of time. I have also been examining the contextual issues such as the interplay of the roles of the teacher, peers, curriculum and the text in the complex environment of the classroom. My research methodology has included alternating between classroom studies and more “clinical” studies with small groups of children. While the classroom studies provide rich descriptions of the interactions between the various tools and agents, clinical studies in which students use the software individually have been valuable in understanding the factors that come into play (e.g., prior knowledge, metacognitive awareness while using traditional texts) when students process nonlinear texts that lack the global coherence of more traditional texts.

Grants and Sponsorships

  • 8/31/2011 – Amount: $1,453,847.00, “Scaffolding Students’ Use Of Multiple Representations For Science Learning,” Awarded By: Institute of Educational Sciences, Grant Institution: University of Wisconsin, Sponsor Type: Federal, Sadhana Puntambekar, Principal; Jee-Seon Kim, Co-Principal.

Publications

  • Puntambekar, S. CoMPASS: Integrating digital text in design-based science classes. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Wisconsin, Madison. National Science Foundation. pp. 56.
    Abstract: Unpublished report submitted to the National Science Foundation
  • Gnesdilow, D., Bopardikar, A., Sullivan, S., & Puntambekar, S. (2010, June). Exploring Convergence of Science Ideas through Collaborative Concept Mapping. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences.
  • Gire, E., Carmichael, A., Chini, J., Rebello, S., & Puntambekar, S. (2010, June). The Effects of Physical and Virtual Manipulatives on Students’ Conceptual Learning About Pulleys. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences.
  • Smith, G., Gnesdilow, D., & Puntambekar, S. (2010, June). Examining the Combination of Physical and Virtual Experiments in an Inquiry Science Classroom. Computer Based Learning Science Conference Proceedings.
  • Gnesdilow, D., Smith, G., & Puntambekar, S. (2010, June). Teacher Facilitation of Simulations to Enable Student Understanding of the Nature of Models. Computer Based Learning Science Conference Proceedings.
  • Puntambekar, S., & Sandoval, W. (2009). Design based research: Moving forward. Journal of the Learning Sciences. 18(3), 323-326.
  • Puntambekar, S. (2009). Scaffolding student learning. In E. Anderman, L. Anderman (Eds.), Psychology of Classroom Learning: An Encyclopedia. Farmington Hills, MI: MacMillan.
  • Puntambekar, S. CoMPASS-DL: Design and use of a concept map interface for helping middle school students navigate digital libraries. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Wisconsin, Madison. National Science Foundation. pp. 20.
    Abstract: Unpublished annual report submitted to the National Science Foundation
  • Puntambekar, S. CoMPASS: Integrating digital text in design-based science classes. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Wisconsin, Madison. National Science Foundation. pp. 36.
    Abstract: Unpublished report submitted to the National Science Foundation
  • Puntambekar, S. Integrating digital text and design activities: Lessons learned in one program. Manuscript in preparation.

Presentations

  • Sullivan, S., & Puntambekar, S. (2010). Finding Common Ground: Documenting and Analyzing Student Learning with Hypertext, Multimedia and Hypermedia, AERA – Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • Bopardikar, A., Sullivan, S., & Puntambekar, S. (2010). Analyzing group dialogue to explore collaborative use of hypertext systems, AERA- Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • Stylianou-Georgiou, A., Papanastasiou, E., & Puntambekar, S. (2008). Explaining navigation behavior and understanding of domain knowledge while interacting with online texts using path analysis, AERA – Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
  • Leonard, M.J., Rebello, S., & Puntambekar, S. (2007). Changes in students’ conceptual models of science phenomena through CoMPASS instruction, AERA – Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL.
  • Cao, Y., Hübscher, R., & Puntambekar, S. (2007). Understanding students’ navigation paths, AERA- Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL.
  • Puntambekar, S. (2007). Understanding enactments in different contexts, AREA – Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL.
  • Hübscher, R., & Puntambekar, S. (2007). CoMPASS scaffolding with log file data, AERA – Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL.
  • Gnesdilow, D., Sullivan, S., Bopardikar, A., & Puntambekar, S. ). Understanding students’ conceptions of the nature of science through multiple assessment tools., NARST – the National Association for Research in Science Teaching.
  • Bopardikar, A., Sullivan, S., & Puntambekar, S. Small group science talk in a design-based classroom: an exploratory study., NARST – the National Association for Research in Science Teaching.

Departmental Service

  • Faculty affairs
    Dates of Membership: Sep. 2009 – Aug. 2010
  • Committee Chair. Period of Service: Sep. 2009 – Aug. 2010

Public Service

  • International Society of Learning Sciences
    Dates of Membership: July 2010 – Dec. 2011
  • Officer, Other Officer. Period of Service: July 2010 – Dec. 2011
  • Journal of the Learning Sciences
    Dates of Membership: Jan. 2008 – Dec. 2009
  • Co-Editor, Design research strand. Period of Service: Jan. 2008 – Aug. 2009
  • Co-Editor, Design research strand. Period of Service: Sep. 2009 – Dec. 2009
  • National Science Foundation
    Dates of Membership: May 2007 – May 2007
  • Grant Proposal Reviewer, External. Period of Service: May 2007 – May 2007
  • Journal of the Learning Sciences
    Dates of Membership: Sep. 2006 – Aug. 2008
  • Editorial Review Board Member. Period of Service: Sep. 2006 – Aug. 2007
  • Editorial Review Board Member. Period of Service: Sep. 2007 – Aug. 2008
  • Computer supported Collaborative Learning conference Program Committee
    Dates of Membership: Sep. 2006 – Aug. 2007
  • Co-Chair. Period of Service: Sep. 2006 – Aug. 2007

Memberships

  • International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
    Position Held: Chair, Technology committee, Scope of Organization: International, Member Since: June 2007
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
    Scope of Organization: International