April 12, LDE had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Vincent Aleven (CMU, Pittsburgh) at EUR for a workshop on Intelligent Tutoring Systems and Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools (CTAT).
For examples of what an ITS built with CTAT can look like, see http://ctat.pact.cs.cmu.edu/demo/. ITSs have been found to be highly effective as they offer a learner to practice, get immediate feedback and guidance during problem solving (instead of only at the end), and allow for adaptive task selection.
CTAT in a way bridges the worlds of technology enhanced learning and educational practice as it offers a non-programming approach to develop an ITS. Workshop participants included colleagues from the three LDE institutions, HTH, HvA, OUNL and UvA.
The main questions the participants hoped to find an answer to focused on two areas: (1) learning more about the usage of ITS in a practical context such as a course and (2) ITS integration with (open) learning platforms. After an introduction Vincent introduced the theory, key features, and effectiveness of ITS and CTAT. A demo on how to use the CTAT to build example-tracing tutors got us started to dive into CTAT and start building our own, while receiving feedback from Vincent. Though time was too short to develop a complete intelligent tutor (on average, 1 hour of intelligent tutoring equals 50 development hours), we were able to make a start with our first intelligent tutor and gained sufficient working knowledge of CTAT to continue its development after the workshop.
After a round of Q&A and discussion, the workshop closed with a presentation and discussion on embedding CTAT tutors with learning management systems and MOOCs. Currently, successful integrations exist with EdX, Moodle, Blackboard, and Google sheets. Overall, the workshop was an engaging experience, that inspired the participants to start exploring possibilities to build an ITS in their contexts.
Bas Giesbers and Sylvia Walsarie Wolff