Authoring Example-based Tutors for Procedural Tasks

Blessing, Stephen
Aleven, Vincent
Gilbert, Stephen
Heffernan, Neil
Gilbert, Stephen
Matsuda, Noboru
Mitrovic, Antonija
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Researchers who have worked on authoring systems for intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) have examined how examples may form the basis for authoring. In this chapter, we describe several such systems, consider their commonalities and differences, and reflect on the merit of such an approach. It is not surprising perhaps that several tutor developers have explored how examples can be used in the authoring process. In a broader context, educators and researchers have long known the power of examples in learning new material. Students can gather much information by poring over a worked example, applying what they learn to novel problems. Often these worked examples prove more powerful than direct instruction in the domain. For example, Reed and Bolstad (1991) found that students learning solely by worked examples exhibited much greater learning than those learning instruction based on procedures. By extension then, since tutor authoring can be considered to be teaching a tabula rasa tutor, tutor authoring by use of examples may be as powerful as directly programming the instruction, while being easier to do.

<p>This chapter is published as Blessing, Stephen B., Vincent Aleven, Stephen B. Gilbert, Neil T. Heffernan, Noboru Matsuda, and Antonija Mitrovic. "Authoring Example-based Tutors for Procedural Tasks." <em>Design Recommendations for Intelligent Tutoring Systems: Volume 3 – Authoring Tools and Expert Modeling Techniques. </em>Robert A. Sottilare, Arthur C. Graesser, Xiangen Hu, and Keith Brawner, eds. United States Army Research Laboratory, 2015, pages 71-93.</p>