The Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) 2012 conference is part of an on-going bi-annual series of top-flight international conferences (the first ITS conference was launched in 1988) on technologies – systems- that enable, support or enhance human learning. This occurs by means of tutoring – in the case of formal learning – and by exposing learners to rich interactive experiences in the case of learning as a side effect (informal learning). The intelligence of these systems stems from the artificial intelligence technologies often exploited in order to adapt to the learners (e.g: semantic technologies, user modeling) but also from the fact that today’s technologies, for instance the Web and the service oriented computing methods, facilitate new emergent collective behaviors. These practices may outperform previously conceivable learning or tutoring scenarios because they modify significantly the power, speed and focus of multi-parties’ interactions independently from space and time constraints. These highly interdisciplinary ITS conferences bring together researchers in computer science, informatics and artificial intelligence on the one side (the « hard » sciences); cognitive science, educational psychology and linguistics on the other (the « soft » sciences).
The specific theme of the ITS 2012 conference is co-adaptation between technologies and human learning. There are nowadays two real challenges to be faced by ITS. The main technical challenge is due to the unprecedented speed of innovation that we notice in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in particular: the Web. Any technology seems to be volatile; only of interest for a short time span. The educational challenge is a consequence of the technical one. Current educational uses of technologies have to consider the impact of ICT innovation onto unexpected changes in human practices in any domain including learning, modifying substantially the classical human learning cycle that since the nineteenth century was mainly centered on formal teaching institutions such as the schools. An example of these changes is given by educational games, another one by the measurable role of emotions in learning. Therefore, our focus for ITS 2012 will be not just in the use of technologies but rather in the co-adaptation effects. Rapidly evolving technologies entail significant new opportunities and scenarios for learning, thus support the need for analyzing the intersection between new learning practices and innovative technologies in order to advance both in the technologies and in understanding human learning.
This approach privileges studying with respect to constructing, in much the same way as the Web Science movement adds to the classical Web Technologies the priority of a reasoned analysis of human communities in different interaction contexts before considering the interest of any new infrastructure or application. On the one side this scientific analysis will guide us to avoid well-known pitfalls, on the other it will teach us lessons not only about how to exploit the potential learning effects of current advanced technologies – the applicative approach – but also how to envision, elicit, estimate, evaluate the potential promising effects of new technologies and settings to be conceptualized, specified and developed within human learning scenarios – the experimental approach. We expect this experimental approach to produce the desired long term scientific progress both in the hard and in the soft sciences consolidating at the same time the expected important socio-economic effects due to the new infrastructures and the new applications for human learning.
Topics of Interest
Topics of interest to the conference include, but are not limited to: