Who Benefits Most From ITS Systems?
Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) are computer programs designed to teach students.
They are used in schools and universities to help address student needs, learn new concepts, and improve their grades.
They are also used in online courses to provide personalised feedback to an individual student.
In this article, I will explain what ITS is, how it works and how it can benefit you.
Intelligent Tutoring Systems (a Decades-old Application of AI in Education)
An Intelligent Tutoring System, sometimes called a Computer-Assisted Learning system or CALS, is a software application that helps people learn by providing them with instructional content tailored to the individual’s needs.
It does so through interaction between the student and the program. The goal of such applications is for the user to acquire knowledge faster than if they were taught using traditional methods.
The term “intelligent” refers to the fact that these systems use artificial intelligence techniques to analyse information about the learner and adapt the teaching material accordingly.
This analysis may be based on previous performance data from similar learners, as well as other factors like age, gender, language proficiency, etc.
There are two main types of ITS:
those which focus on learning facts and figures, and those which focus on developing skills.
In both cases, there are three components:
1) A database containing all relevant information;
2) An algorithm that processes the information contained within the database;
3) A graphical interface that allows users to interact with the system.
How do they work?
There are many ways in which an ITS could operate and help with human learning. Some examples include:
1. Interactive lessons – These allow teachers to create lesson plans and then let students access them at any time during the day. Students can log into the system whenever they want to review something specific.
Teachers can monitor progress over time and adjust course materials according to each student’s level of understanding and contribute to the student success.
2. Self-paced tutorials – These are usually created by experienced instructors who have already mastered the subject matter being covered. Each tutorial contains several sections, whereupon the instructor explains one concept at a time.
At the end of each section, the student has to answer questions related to that particular topic. If he/she answers correctly, he/she moves onto the next section. However, if not, the tutor provides him/her with additional explanations until s/he understands the concept completely.
Once the student finishes answering all the questions, the tutor gives him/her a score out of 100%. Based on his/her final grade, the teacher decides whether to move forward or repeat some parts of the tutorial.
3. Quizzes – Similar to self-paced tutorials, quizzes require college students to complete multiple-choice tests. Unlike self-paced tutorials, however, quiz scores cannot be reviewed later. Instead, once the test ends, the results appear immediately on screen.
4. Games – These are designed to help develop problem-solving abilities. They often involve completing tasks while competing against another player.
For example, players might need to find the correct combination of words to form sentences. Or they might need to identify objects hidden behind images.
5. Virtual classrooms – These simulate real classroom environments. Students enter their names when logging into the system, just like they would in a regular class. When it comes time to take exams, the virtual classroom will generate random exam papers.
Students must study the topics listed on the paper before taking the actual examination. Afterward, they receive feedback regarding how much they understood the concepts discussed.
6. Websites – Many universities now offer websites that contain interactive courses. Users simply visit the site and follow along step by step. The same is true for online textbooks.
7. Online libraries – This type of ITS focuses primarily on providing students with access to books and other reference material. It also includes databases such as encyclopaedias and dictionaries.
Intelligent Tutoring Systems Have Three Benefits
The benefits of using Intelligent Tutoring Systems are numerous.
First, these programs provide immediate feedback to both students and teachers.
Second, they save money because there is no longer a requirement for expensive textbook rentals.
Third, they improve success in learning since students spend more time studying than they do playing games. In addition, most ITSs use multimedia technology so that students can learn from anywhere and provide an improved learning environment.
The Four Emotions That Govern Learning & Student Retention
1) Excitement: Students enjoy interacting with an intelligent program. They feel challenged and motivated to succeed.
2) Anxiety: Some students worry about failing. Others fear losing control over the course. Still, others become frustrated due to a lack of understanding.
3) Confusion: Most students don’t know what to expect. They’re unsure of how long lessons should last. And they wonder why certain subjects seem easier than others.
4) Frustration: Students get bored easily. They want instant gratification rather than having to wait patiently for information to sink in.
How To Create An Effective Intelligent Tutor System
There are many ways to create an effective ITS. Here’s a list of things you’ll need to consider:
1. Choose your platform carefully. There are two main platforms available today: Windows PCs and Macintosh computers. Both work well, but each offers its own advantages and disadvantages. If possible, choose one or the other. Otherwise, look at all options carefully.
2. Decide whether to build your own software or buy commercial products. Building your own software requires programming skills.
However, this option gives you complete flexibility. You may decide later to add features or change them completely.
On the other hand, buying commercially developed software means you have less freedom. But if you purchase something off the shelf, chances are good that someone else has already done some research and development.
3. Determine who will be responsible for creating content. Will it be you? Or will you hire another person to write the curriculum? Either way, make sure you understand exactly what needs to be created.
4. Develop a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. What does success mean to you? How will you measure progress? Do you plan to offer courses online only? Or would you like to include face-to-face instruction as well?
5. Define clearly what kind of student population you wish to serve. Are you targeting high school students? College freshmen? Graduates? Children? Adults?
The answers to these questions help determine which technologies might best suit your purposes. For example, children usually require simpler interfaces, while adults often prefer complex ones.
ITS: Creating Cognitive Disequilibrium
Intelligent tutors must provide cognitive disequilibrium.
This is when learners experience both too much stimulation and not enough challenge. CD occurs because there are always new ideas being introduced into the classroom.
As a result, students quickly lose interest unless their teachers give them sufficient challenges.
To avoid CD, instructors must balance three factors:
• Challenge level – Too little challenge leads to boredom. Too much challenge makes students anxious.
• Stimulation – Too little stimulation leaves students unengaged
• Time spent on lessons – Less time spent on lessons results in more time left over for activities such as homework assignments.
The goal is to keep students engaged throughout the lesson without overwhelming them with too much material.
A Wife, a mum and a Tutor! I am the Lead Editor at TheTutor.Link & also the Head Tutor there. I love teaching seeing young minds flourish. I also love blogging and sharing my experience on the world wide web.