The Help Tutor: Does Metacognitive Feedback Improve Students’ Help-Seeking Actions, Skills and Learning?

  • Ido Roll
  • Vincent Aleven
  • Bruce M. McLaren
  • Eunjeong Ryu
  • Ryan S. J. d. Baker
  • Kenneth R. Koedinger
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4053)


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.


Procedural Knowledge Metacognitive Skill Intelligent Tutor System Instructional Explanation Cognitive Tutor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ido Roll
    • 1
  • Vincent Aleven
    • 1
  • Bruce M. McLaren
    • 1
  • Eunjeong Ryu
    • 1
  • Ryan S. J. d. Baker
    • 1
  • Kenneth R. Koedinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Computer Interaction InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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