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The Why2-Atlas system teaches qualitative physics by having students write paragraph-long explanations of simple mechanical phenomena. The tutor uses deep syntactic analysis and abductive theorem proving to convert the student's essay to a proof. The proof formalizes not only what was said, but the likely beliefs behind what was said. This allows the tutor(More)
Developers of intelligent tutoring systems would like to know what human tutors do and which activities are responsible for their success in tutoring. We address these questions by comparing episodes where tutoring does and does not cause learning. Approximately 125 hr of tutorial dialog between expert human tutors and physics students are analyzed to see(More)
Students learn more and gain greater understanding from one-to-one tutoring. The preferred explanation has been that the tutors' pedagogical skills are responsible for the learning gains. Pedagogical skills involve skillful execution of tactics, such as giving explanations and feedback, or selecting the appropriate problems or questions to ask the students.(More)
The goal of the Atlas project is to increase the opportunities for students to construct their own knowledge by conversing (in typed form) with a natural language-based ITS. Our previous research (Freedman et al., 2000; Freedman, 2000; Ros e, 2000) has produced reusable components and tools for facilitating the development of domain speciic tutorial(More)
Although conventional tests are often used for determining a student's overall competence, they are seldom used for determining a fine-grained model. However, this problem does arise occasionally, such as when a conventional test is used to initialize the student model of an ITS. Existing psychometric techniques for solving this problem are intractable.(More)
Face-to-face (FTF) human-human tutoring has ranked among the most effective forms of instruction. However, because computer-mediated (CM) tutoring is becoming increasingly common, it is instructive to evaluate its effectiveness relative to face-to-face tutoring. Does the lack of spoken, face-to-face interaction affect learning gains and motivation? In this(More)
A vital goal of instruction is to enable learners to transfer acquired knowledge to appropriate future situations. For elementary school children in middle-high-SES schools, " explicit " instruction on the Control of Variables Strategy (CVS) has proven to be very effective at promoting transfer, even after time delays, when administered by human instructors(More)
Many studies have shown benefits associated with engaging students in problem-solving activities prior to administering lessons. These problem-solving activities are assumed to activate relevant knowledge and allow students to develop some initial knowledge structures, which support understanding of the lesson. In this paper we report the results of two(More)