Modeling Student Knowledge: Cognitive Tutors in High School and College

  • Albert Corbett
  • Megan McLaughlin
  • K. Christine Scarpinatto


This paper examines the role of adaptive student modeling in cognitive tutor research and dissemination. Cognitive tutorsTM are problem solving environments constructed around cognitive models of the knowledge students are acquiring. Over the past decade we in the Pittsburgh Advanced Cognitive Tutor (PACT) Center at Carnegie Mellon have been employing a cognitive programming tutor in university-based teaching and research, while simultaneously developing cognitive mathematics tutors that are currently in use in about 150 schools in 14 states. This paper examines adaptive student modeling issues in these two contexts. We examine the role of student modeling in making the transition from the research lab to widespread classroom use, describe our university-based efforts to empirically validate student modeling in the ACT Programming Tutor, and conclude with a description of the key role that student modeling plays in formative evaluations of the Cognitive Algebra II Tutor.

student modeling adaptivity intelligent tutoring systems mastery learning empirical validation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Corbett
    • 1
  • Megan McLaughlin
    • 1
  • K. Christine Scarpinatto
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Computer Interaction InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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