Bruce M. McLaren is passionate about how technology can support education, and has dedicated his work and research to projects that explore how students can learn with educational software — in particular, software that runs on the world wide web. He is particularly interested in intelligent tutoring systems, e-learning principles and collaborative learning. McLaren's research with intelligent tutors, for instance, investigates how students learn when presented with erroneous examples in conjunction with intelligent tutors on the web (See the AdaptErrEx project webpage). More recently, he has investigated how erroneous examples can work synergistically with educational games to help students learn (Learn more on the NSF website.) McLaren has also conducted a series of experiments investigating how chemistry students learn when presented with worked examples, in conjunction with intelligent tutors, as well as polite hints and feedback (See the Stoich studies webpage). Finally, McLaren has a keen interest in and experience with collaborative learning and technology for supporting and analyzing collaborative argumentation. In his prior work in Germany as an adjunct researcher at the Center for e-Learning Technology (CeLTech) at Saarland University, McLaren focused on developing educational technology using AI techniques to help teachers moderate collaborative e-discussions and online arguments (See the projects LASAD, ARGUNAUT and Metafora). He has more than 130 publications spanning peer-reviewed journals, conferences, workshops, symposiums and book chapters (See McLaren's publications page for details).
In addition to his research background, McLaren has more than 20 years experience in the commercial sector, applying research ideas to practical problems using AI techniques. As director of ecommerce technologies at OpenWebs Corporation from 2000 to 2002, he led a group of engineers in the development of an intelligent inter-company (B2B) trading product. He was also the leader of many expert system projects during more than 10 years at Carnegie Group Inc.