The Help Tutor: Does Metacognitive Feedback Improve Students’ Help-Seeking Actions, Skills and Learning?
Students often use available help facilities in an unproductive fashion. To improve students’ help-seeking behavior we built the Help Tutor – a domain-independent agent that can be added as an adjunct to Cognitive Tutors. Rather than making help-seeking decisions for the students, the Help Tutor teaches better help-seeking skills by tracing students actions on a (meta)cognitive help-seeking model and giving students appropriate feedback. In a classroom evaluation the Help Tutor captured help-seeking errors that were associated with poorer learning and with poorer declarative and procedural knowledge of help seeking. Also, students performed less help-seeking errors while working with the Help Tutor. However, we did not find evidence that they learned the intended help-seeking skills, or learned the domain knowledge better. A new version of the tutor that includes a self-assessment component and explicit help-seeking instruction, complementary to the metacognitive feedback, is now being evaluated.
KeywordsProcedural Knowledge Metacognitive Skill Intelligent Tutor System Instructional Explanation Cognitive Tutor
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