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The Assistment Builder: A Rapid Development Tool for ITS



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The Assistment Builder A Rapid Development Tool for ITS Terrence E TURNER Michael A MACASEK Goss NUZZO JONES Neil T HEFFERNAN Worcester Polytechnic Institute 100 Institute Rd Worcester MA 01609 508 831 5569 tinylox wpi edu macasek wpi edu goss wpi edu nth wpi edu Ken KOEDINGER Human Computer Interaction Institute Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh PA USA Abstract Intelligent Tutoring Systems are notoriously costly to construct 1 and require PhD level experience in cognitive science and rule based programming The goal of this research was to ease the development process for building pseudo tutors 5 which are ITS constructs that mimic cognitive tutors but are limited in that they only work for a single problem The Assistment Builder is a system designed to rapidly develop test and deploy simple pseudo tutors These tutors provide a simple cognitive model based upon a state graph tailored to a specific problem These tutors offer many of the features of rule based tutors but without the expensive creation time The system simplifies the process of tutor construction to allow users with little or no ITS experience to develop content The system provides a web based interface as a means to build and store these simple tutors we have called Assistments This paper describes our attempt to make the process of developing content easy for teachers We present some evidence to suggest that these novice users can develop a tutor for a problem in under thirty minutes 1 0 Introduction This research aims to develop tools for the rapid development and deployment of Intelligent Tutoring Systems ITS Specifically this research focused on so called pseudo tutors that are a simplification of cognitive rule based tutors 5 Model tracing rule based tutors 1 have been shown to be effective 6 but development time on them is highly prohibitive from 100 1000 hours of development time per hour of content 7 1 Development also requires a very specialized knowledge set Tutor developers are required



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