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WEBsistments: Enabling an Intelligent Tutoring System to Excel at Explaining Rather Than Coaching

Yue Gong, Joseph E. Beck, Neil T. Heffernan

Most step-based Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) are well suited for providing problem solving practice, and are well-tailored to help students solve specific items. Consequently, many ITS typically fail to perform as strong media for conveying conceptual and procedural instruction, rather than coaching. In order to overcome this deficiency, we leverage existing web-based resources, as many existing resources are well-designed for providing instruction. By combining external web pages with the ASSISTments tutoring system, we have created a stronger intervention that we have dubbed WEBsistments. A preliminary study found that students who were wrong on a problem and received a web page as assistance, improved more, relative to students who did not see a web page. In addition, our results suggest that weaker students seem to benefit more from using web pages as extra help.

The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-30950-2_34.