Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


First Advisor

Guy Trainin

Second Advisor

Justin Olmanson

Date of this Version

Fall 11-2022


Davis, J. (2022) A Guided Chatbot Learning Experience in the Science Classroom. Doctoral dissertation, University of Nebraska.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Studies (Instructional Technology), Under the Supervision of Professor Guy Trainin. Lincoln, Nebraska: November, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Jennifer Barnett Davis


This dissertation describes a practitioner’s design-based development of a prototype chatbot to guide students in learning biological concepts of genetic mutations and protein synthesis. This chatbot’s architecture provides learning activities, feedback, and support throughout a series of short, connected lessons. The chatbot is designed to scaffold learners through a predict, observe, explain model of inquiry learning. It utilizes real-world phenomena to lead students through biology core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts. Results of prototype testing include survey results in support of the proof of concept among both students and teachers, as well as accuracy measurements of chatbot intents. Descriptive statistics and suggestions were collected from both groups to evaluate the relevancy, consistency, practicality, and effectiveness of the project as well as speak to improvements for future projects. The designer finds that the construction of chatbots as guided learning experiences holds untapped potential in science educational technology.

Advisor: Guy Trainin