My name is Nell O'Rourke and I am a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Washington's Computer Science & Engineering Department, specializing in educational technology and Human Computer Interaction. I am advised by Zoran Popović and am part of the Center for Game Science. I am also a member of DUB, a multidisciplinary group at UW that conducts research in Human Computer Interaction and Design.
My research focuses on developing methods of fostering learning and engagement in educational technologies. I am particularly interested in optimizing student motivation, persistence, and performance through incentive structures, automated feedback systems, and instructional scaffolding. I am working to develop methods of automatically generating personalized scaffolding in interactive educational software. I am also collaborating with psychologist Carol Dweck at Stanford to develop new methods of teaching the Growth Mindset through educational games. I am also working on designing hint systems that encourage effective use of help. My research has explored applications in both educational games and interactive instructional software.