Authoring Problem-Solving Tutors: A Comparison between ASTUS and CTAT

  • Luc Paquette
  • Jean-François Lebeau
  • André Mayers
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 308)


ASTUS is an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) framework for problem-solving domains. In this chapter we present a study we performed to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of ASTUS compared to the well-known Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools (CTAT) framework. To challenge their capacity to handle a comprehensive model of a well-defined task, we built a multi-column subtraction tutor (model and interface) with each framework. We incorporated into the model various pedagogically relevant procedural errors taken from the literature, to see how each framework deals with complex situations where remedial help may be needed. We successfully encoded the model with both frameworks and found situations in which we consider ASTUS to surpass CTAT. Examples of these include: ambiguous steps, errors with multiple (possibly correct) steps, composite errors, and off-path steps. Selected scenarios in the multi-column subtraction domain are presented to illustrate that ASTUS can show a more sophisticated behavior in these situations. ASTUS achieves this by relying on an examinable hierarchical knowledge representation system and a domain-independent MVC-based approach to build the tutors’ interface.


Production Rule Procedural Knowledge Correct Step Intelligent Tutor System Pedagogical Interaction 
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 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luc Paquette
    • 1
  • Jean-François Lebeau
    • 1
  • André Mayers
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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