A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, or As Time Goes By: Where Does the Time Go in a Reading Tutor That Listens?
Analyzing the time allocation of students’ activities in a school-deployed mixed initiative tutor can be illuminating but surprisingly tricky. We discuss some complementary methods that we have used to understand how tutoring time is spent, such as analyzing sample videotaped sessions by hand, and querying a database generated from session logs. We identify issues, methods, and lessons that may be relevant to other tutors. One theme is that iterative design of “non-tutoring” components can enhance a tutor’s effectiveness, not by improved teaching, but by reducing the time wasted on non-learning activities. Another is that it is possible to relate student’s time allocation to improvements in various outcome measures.
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