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Guru: A Computer Tutor That Models Expert Human Tutors

Andrew M. Olney, Sidney D’Mello, Natalie Person, Whitney Cade, Patrick Hays, Claire Williams et al.

We present Guru, an intelligent tutoring system for high school biology that has conversations with students, gestures and points to virtual instructional materials, and presents exercises for extended practice. Guru’s instructional strategies are modeled after expert tutors and focus on brief interactive lectures followed by rounds of scaffolding as well as summarizing, concept mapping, and Cloze tasks. This paper describes the Guru session and presents learning outcomes from an in-school study comparing Guru, human tutoring, and classroom instruction. Results indicated significant learning gains for students in the Guru and human tutoring conditions compared to classroom controls.

The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-30950-2_32.