Intelligent Tutoring System: A Tool for Testing the Research Curiosities of Artificial Intelligence Researchers


An ITS (Intelligent Tutoring System) is a teaching-learning medium that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology for instruction. Roberts and Park (1983) defines AI as the attempt to get computers to perform tasks that if performed by a human-being, intelligence would be required to perform the task. The design of an ITS comprises two distinct features - a sophisticated computer programming feature which has to be programmed by a computer scientist and a comprehensive curriculum design feature which has to be developed by a curriculum specialist. Unfortunately, most of the existing ITSís were designed by AI researchers alone without much involvement of curriculum designers, education psychologists and/or subject specialists. These AI researchers were not primarily concerned about instructional issues and their main concerns were to test their research curiosities in the AI field with minimum involvement of other people. 

This paper will analyze both features of an ITS; first, the four components (problem-solving or expertise module, student model, tutoring module and the user interface) of an ITS will be described and then the nine elements (objectives, content, learning activities, evaluation procedures, materials or resources, teaching strategies, time, grouping and space) of a curriculum design will be explained. The paper will end with a discussion of the problems that can arise if both curriculum development and computer programming features of the design of an ITS are not taken into consideration.