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Kinnis Gosha

Dr. Kinnis Gosha is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Director of the Culturally Relevant Computer Lab at Morehouse College.

Principal Investigator: Kinnis Gosha, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator: Dan Bascelli (Spelman College)
Grant Title: Increasing Writing Competency Using Virtual Writing Assistants
Division: Department of Computer Science; Director of the Culturally Relevant Computer Lab
Grant Amount: $8,000
Project Period: January 01, 2013 – December 15, 2013

The purpose of this project was to design and create the Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA) for a test launch, and to collect student usage, reaction and effectiveness data. After consideration of these aims, the PI's discovered this was too ambitious given the innovative nature of the project, and therefore established a pilot study prior to pursuing their initial goals. The data aggregated from the pilot study demonstrated great potential and sound support for the tool; which also signified many suggested improvements to the tool itself. These indications inspired a subsequent version of the ECA. Upon completion of the initial grant period, version two of the ECA project had been successfully implemented.

Accomplishments yielded from grant activities

  • Both undergraduate researchers, Robert Bassy and Chelsea Falcone, completed Human Subject Research Training.
  • Gosha worked with both Bassy and Falcone to develop an IRB submission packet to submit to the Morehouse IRB. The packet included a cover page, experimental details, survey instrument and consent form. Gosha worked with both researchers to develop all these documents.
  • A second version of the ECA was created based on feedback from the Summer 2013 research study.
  • Gosha, Dan Bascelli (Co-PI, Spelman College), Bassy and Falcone drafted and submitted a research paper of the findings of their study to the World Conference on E-Learning. The research paper was accepted and both Gosha and Bassy were available to attend and present the research at the conference in Las Vegas, NV. 
  • Morehouse Psychology Major, Nathan Thomas, joined the research team in the fall of 2013. Nathan worked with the Morehouse Research Institute staff to analyze data collected from the Fall 2013 Virtual Writing Agent study. The results of this data and Thomas's analysis will be documented in a submission for the 2014 World Conference on E-Learning. Submissions for the conference are due in May 2014.
  • A proposal for further research on the project was written, submitted and accepted to ACS during Fall 2013.

Impact of the Grant on the Student Participants
The students were able to get their first research paper as a result of the project and Morehouse junior Robertson Bassy is now dedicated to pursuing a doctoral degree in Computing after graduation.

Distribution of the Model to Other ACS Institutions
Version one of the ECA is available for use online by anyone interested in previewing it. The link to this version will not be advertised to ACS institutions. The improved version two of the ECA will be advertised to ACS institutions after its final testing, which is projected for the spring of 2014.

Effect on the Project to Increase ACS School Collaboration

A new research collaboration was formed between Morehouse and Spelman (Gosha & Bascelli). Gosha and Bascelli intend to expand the scope of their funding search outside of ACS.

You can learn more information about Dr. Gosha's research endeavors by visiting the Culturally Relevant Computer Lab (CRCL).