Authoring Tools for Collaborative Intelligent Tutoring System Environments

Jennifer K. Olsen, Daniel M. Belenky, Vincent Aleven, Nikol Rummel, Jonathan Sewall, Michael Ringenberg

Authoring tools have been shown to decrease the amount of time and resources needed for the development of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs). Although collaborative learning has been shown to be beneficial to learning, most of the current authoring tools do not support the development of collaborative ITSs. In this paper, we discuss an extension to the Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools to allow for development of collaborative ITSs through multiple synchronized tutor engines. Using this tool, an author can combine collaboration with the type of problem solving support typically offered by an ITS. Different phases of collaboration scripts can be tied to particular problem states in a flexible, problem-specific way. We illustrate the tool’s capabilities by presenting examples of collaborative tutors used in recent studies that showed learning gains. The work is a step forward in blending computer-supported collaborative learning and ITS technologies in an effort to combine their strengths.

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