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A comparative evaluation of single and multipath tutors for solving linear equations

Waalkens, M.S. (2011) A comparative evaluation of single and multipath tutors for solving linear equations. Master's Thesis / Essay, Human-Machine Communication.

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Abstract

One feature that makes an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) hard to build is (strategy) freedom for the student. Strategy freedom is often seen as an important feature in ITSs, but does greater freedom mean that students learn more robustly? We developed three versions of the same ITS for solving linear equations that differed only in the amount of freedom. The strictest version supported a standard strategy and allowed no variations in the solution steps. An intermediate version supported the same standard strategy with minor variations. The free version supported multiple strategies. We conducted a study in two US middle schools with 57 students in grades 7 and 8 (12-14 years old). Students’ algebra skills improved with all versions; surprisingly, there was no significant difference in learning gain and motivation. Students tended to use only the standard strategy and minor variations of this strategy. Thus, the study suggests that in early algebra learning, only a small amount of freedom offered to students is useful, and large amounts of that freedom are not used.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Taatgen, N.AUNSPECIFIED
Degree programme: Human-Machine Communication
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:45
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 12:32
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/9549

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