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CEL is a framework constructed to support experimentation in on-line community learning, using the internet as a laboratory. The CEL system was designed as an open system, available to anyone with internet access and a Java-enabled web browser. Inside CEL, participants engage in multi-player activities, with each other or with software agents, and particular attention is paid to issues of privacy and anonymity. CEL offers an alternative to traditional interactive learning systems and takes advantage of the internet to provide a setting where students can succeed and fail incognito, safe from the typical social pressures of face-to-face classroom encounters. CEL employs an agent-based approach and machine learning techniques to generate customized learning experiences automatically.

The original version of CEL was created as part of the doctoral research of Prof Elizabeth Sklar, completed in Spring 2000. In 2001, we obtained funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue research with the CEL framework, in collaboration with Prof Jordan Pollack at Brandeis University, Dr Sklar's PhD adviser. This collaboration led to the SpellBee! project at Brandeis and a collaboration for Dr Sklar with Children's Progress Inc. This last collaboration is currently being funded by an NSF Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant.

CEL was funded by the National Science Foundation from 2001-2003 in a collaborative grant with Prof Jordan Pollack at Brandeis University.