Learning with Intelligent Tutors and Worked Examples: Selecting Learning Activities Adaptively

  • Date: Thursday 8 September 2016
  • Speaker: Professor Tanja Mitrovic, Leader of ICTG (Intelligent Computer Tutoring Group), Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering; University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

The main learning activity provided by Intelligent Tutoring Systems is problem solving, although several recent projects show the benefit of combining problem solving with worked examples. Previous research has shown that learning from examples is an effective learning strategy, especially for novice learners. A worked example provides step-by-step explanations of how a problem is solved. Many studies have compared learning from examples to unsupported problem solving, and suggested presenting worked examples to students in the initial stages of learning, followed by problem solving once students have acquired enough knowledge. This talk presents a study in which we compare a fixed sequence of alternating worked examples and tutored problem solving with a strategy that adapts learning tasks to students’ needs. The adaptive strategy determines the type of the task (a worked example, a faded example or a problem to be solved) based on how much assistance the student received on the previous problem. The results show that students in the adaptive condition learnt significantly more than their peers who were presented with a fixed sequence of worked examples and problem solving.

Prof. Antonija (Tanja) Mitrovic is a full professor at the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. She is the leader of ICTG (Intelligent Computer Tutoring Group), internationally renowned for their leading work on constraint-based intelligent tutoring systems, applied in a wide range of Higher Education domains. Prof. Mitrovic received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Nis, Yugoslavia, in 1994. She was the president of the International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society (2013-2015) and the general chair of the 17th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED2015). She is an associate editor of the following journals: International Journal on Artificial Intelligence in Education, IEEE Transactions on Teaching and Learning Technologies, and Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning (RPTEL). In 2011, Prof Mitrovic. was awarded the Distinguished Researcher Award by the Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.

Home page: http://www.cosc.canterbury.ac.nz/tanja.mitrovic/