The Frequency of Tutor Behaviors: A Case Study

Vincent Aleven, Jonathan Sewall

For cross-pollination between ITS authoring tools, it may be useful to know the prevalence of tutoring behaviors crafted with these tools. As a case study, we analyze the problem units of Mathtutor, a web-based intelligent tutor for middle-school mathematics built, as an example-tracing tutor, with the Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools (CTAT). We focus on tutoring behaviors that are relevant to a wide range of tutoring systems, not just example-tracing tutors, including behaviors not found in VanLehn’s (2006) taxonomy of tutor behaviors. Our analysis reveals that several tutor behaviors not typically highlighted in the ITS literature were used extensively, sometimes in unanticipated ways. Others were less prevalent than expected. This novel insight into the prevalence of tutor behaviors may provide practical guidance to ITS authoring tool developers. At a theoretical level, it extends VanLehn’s taxonomy of tutor behavior, potentially expanding how the field conceptualizes ITS behavior.

The final publication is available at Springer via