Cognitive task analysis

Alex Reinhart – Updated February 21, 2019 notebooks ·

See also Pedagogy, Think-aloud interviews, Item response theory.

Cognitive task analysis is a way of improving our understanding of how students and experts perform tasks, so we can determine what specifically is lacking in student thinking and perhaps devise interventions to encourage students to think more like experts. It typically involves theorizing the steps involved in performing a task, then using think-aloud interviews with students and experts to determine what cognitive skills real people use.

Modeling cognitive skills

One can model student responses to questions in terms of the underlying skills required to answer those questions, and estimate which skills each student possesses. You might also want to “find” the underlying skills for each question automatically, by processing a bunch of response data and trying to find underlying latent skills. The models to do this are generally known as cognitive diagnosis models (CDMs) or diagnostic classification models (DCMs).

Using CTAs for interventions