In case of intelligent tutoring systems feedback is

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Chapter 22 / Exercise 3
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In case of intelligent tutoring systems feedback is the various reactions of the system to learner’s learning behaviour. In its turn, a hint is only one form of feedback. Unfortunately, little prior researches have been done which are devoted to the general issues of hints formation in intelligent tutoring systems. The most significant work is [12], containing the description of the results of studying hints used by experienced tutors and an attempt to formulate a strategy for using hints in intelligent tutoring systems. According to [12] hints encourage the student to engage in active cognitive processes that are thought to promote deeper understanding and long-term retention. As it is pointed in [13], the developed intelligent tutoring systems have relatively simple and inflex- ible hinting policies, which more often demand from the learner to follow a prescribed problem-solving strategy and, therefore, hints are always aimed at the next step which should be taken accordingly to the Copyright c 2006-2007 by CCC Publications Selected paper from ICVL 2006
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Chapter 22 / Exercise 3
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Advances in Intelligent Tutoring Systems: Problem-solving Modes and Model of Hints 49 strategy. The authors draw attention to two problems: inflexible choice of the steps targeted by hints and proceeding of hints from the most general to the most specific. The analysis of the existing intelligent tutoring systems allows to make the following conclusions about reactions of a system to actions of a learner. Typically the system gives the learner an immediate feedback after each performed action or step during problem-solving irrespective of the fact whether the action or the step was correct or incorrect. Such policy prevents the learner from proceeding along a wrong solution path. The examples of immediate feedback are found in [5, 8, 9, 14, 15]. But may be a learner would like to make a series of steps and after that to receive feedback about correctness and to find by his/herself what step has led to the incorrect solution? The system usually provides a special button or tool, which the learner can use to request a hint. In AlgeBrain [5] such tool is an animated agent. The system responds with two types of support: general- ized "Here’s what I’m expecting you to do at this point" help text and a hint specific to the current state of the problem. In Andes [9] there are two buttons. One of them gives help "what’s wrong with that?" on an incorrect entry. Other button provides a hint about the next step in problem-solving. Typically hints are organized in a range from the most general to the most specific. The general hint as a rule contains a minimum information on an error. Further the informativeness of hints increases. The most specific hint clearly specifies or shows what should be done. Hints are given sequentially. There is a number of systems which use this approach, for example, [5, 8, 10, 14, 16, 17]. The organization of hints from the most general to the most specific is not flexible enough. The insufficient amount of

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