About MiGen

The MiGen system was developed as part of an ESRC/EPSRC-funded research project that aimed to support children's learning of mathematical generalisation. The system consists of the following tools:

  • The eXpresser: allows students to construct patterns, express the structure within the patterns, and the relationships that underpin them.
  • The eGeneraliser: provides intelligent support to students as they use the eXpresser, giving hints and clues of what to do next.
  • The Teacher Assistance Tools: provide the teacher with information on students' progress, helping the teacher to support students' interaction with the eXpresser.

The core of the MiGen system is the eXpresser microworld where students can construct models made out of patterns of square tiles. Underlying this surface goal, students develop ways of thinking that underpin algebraic generalisation.

The eXpresser allows students to construct patterns of varying complexity using unit tiles (squares). The student builds these patterns while at the same time specifying the rules of their construction. By using the tools of the microworld for appropriately designed tasks, students can express how they think about a pattern's structure, and the relationships they see in it. Learn more about the eXpresser microworld

For the eGeneraliser, we have designed intelligent support for learners both at the individual and the group level. Intelligent support is also available to the teacher, who will complement the pedagogic support of the system. Learn more about the eGeneraliser

The Teacher Assistance Tools allow the teacher to visualise students' progress through the task and their achievement of task goals. The Grouping Tool suggests to the teacher what are likely to be effective groupings for students to work on collaborative tasks. Learn more about the Teacher Assistance tools.

For both the eGeneraliser and the Teacher Assistance Tools, a key challenge has been to build intelligent support into an exploratory environment, rather than adapting the standard model of an "intelligent tutoring system".