Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-050311-130924

Document Typethesis
Author NameDailey, Matthew D
TitleLearning the Effectiveness of Content and Methodology in an Intelligent Tutoring System
DepartmentComputer Science
  • Neil T. Heffernan, Advisor
  • Gary Pollice, Reader
  • Keywords
  • educational data mining
  • student modeling
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2011-05-02
    Availability unrestricted


    Classroom instruction time is a valuable yet scarce resource to teachers, who must decide how to best meet their objectives by selecting which topics to spend time on and when to move forward. Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) are a powerful tool for teachers in this regard, allowing them to measure their students' current level of knowledge, helping them gauge student knowledge acquisition, and providing them with valuable insight into learning methodologies. By using ITS to identify the effectiveness of proven methods of instruction, we can more effectively teach students both in and outside of the classroom. In this paper we review the results and contributions of a new Bayesian data mining method which can be used to identify what works in an ITS and how it can be used to learn from data which is not in the typical randomized controlled trial design. We then discuss modifications to this dataset which use more knowledge about the students to improve accuracy. Lastly we evaluate this model on detecting and predicting long term student retention, and discuss methods to improve its predictive accuracy.

  • mdailey_grad_thesis.pdf

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