Intelligent Tutoring Systems Are Missing the Tutor: Building a More Strategic Dialog-Based Tutor

Neil T. Heffernan and Kenneth R. Koedinger

Graesser et. al. believe "there is something about interactive discourse that is responsible for [student] learning gains." In this paper we present Ms. Lbzdquist, an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) designed to carry a more human-like interactive dialog to help students learn how to write algebra expressions given a word problem. Ms. Lindquist is able to carry on a running conversation, complete with probing questions, positive and negative feedback, follow-up questions in embedded sub-dialogs, and requests for explanation as to why something is correct. In order to build Ms. Lindquist we have expanded the traditional model-tracing paradigm so that Ms. Lindquist not only has a model of the student, but also has a model of tutorial reasoning. Ms. Lindquist has a separate tutorial model encoding pedagogical content knowledge in the form of different tutorial strategies that was partially developed by observing an experienced human tutor. We discuss aspects of this human tutor’s method that can be modeled well by Ms. Lindquist and share examples of what the software is able to do. Through testing, we plan to learn about the relative effectiveness of the different tutorial strategies Ms. Lindquist uses. Ms. Lindquist is available at www.AlgebraTutor.org.


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