Limitations of Student Control: Do Students Know when They Need Help?
Intelligent tutoring systems often emphasize learner control: They let the students decide when and how to use the system’s intelligent and unintelligent help facilities. This means that students must judge when help is needed and which form of help is appropriate. Data about students’ use of the help facilities of the PACT Geometry Tutor, a cognitive tutor for high school geometry, suggest that students do not always have these metacognitive skills. Students rarely used the tutor’s on-line Glossary of geometry knowledge. They tended to wait long before asking for hints, and tended to focus only on the most specific hints, ignoring the higher hint levels. This suggests that intelligent tutoring systems should support students in learning these skills, just as they support students in learning domain-specific skills and knowledge. Within the framework of cognitive tutors, this requires creating a cognitive model of the metacognitive help-seeking strategies, in the form of production rules. The tutor then can use the model to monitor students’ metacognitive strategies and provide feedback.
KeywordsMetacognitive Skill Intelligent Tutoring System Metacognitive Strategy Student Control Cognitive Tutor
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