Sketch Worksheets in STEM Classrooms: Two Deployments


  • Kenneth Forbus Northwestern University
  • Bridget Garnier University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Basil Tikoff University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Wayne Marko Northwestern University
  • Madeline Usher Northwestern University
  • Matthew McLure Northwestern University



Sketch Understanding, Analogy, Intelligent Tutoring, Educational Software


Sketching can be a valuable tool for science education, but it is currently underutilized. Sketch worksheets were developed to help change this, by using AI technology to give students immediate feedback and to give instructors assistance in grading. Sketch worksheets use visual representations automatically computed by CogSketch, which are combined with conceptual information from the OpenCyc ontology. Feedback is provided to students by comparing an instructor’s sketch to a student’s sketch, using the Structure-Mapping Engine. This paper describes our experiences in deploying sketch worksheets in two types of classes: Geoscience and AI. Sketch worksheets for introductory geoscience classes were developed by geoscientists at University of Wisconsin-Madison, authored using CogSketch and used in classes at both Wisconsin and Northwestern University. Sketch worksheets were also developed and deployed for a knowledge representation and reasoning course at Northwestern. Our experience indicates that sketch worksheets can provide helpful on-the-spot feedback to students, and significantly improve grading efficiency, to the point where sketching assignments can be more practical to use broadly in STEM education.




How to Cite

Forbus, K., Garnier, B., Tikoff, B., Marko, W., Usher, M., & McLure, M. (2018). Sketch Worksheets in STEM Classrooms: Two Deployments. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 32(1).