Effective tutoring techniques: A comparison of human tutors and intelligent tutoring systems

D. C. Merrill, B. J. Reiser, M. Ranney, J. G. Trafton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations

Abstract

There has been much debate about instructional strategies for computerized learning environments. Many of the arguments designed to choose between the various philosophies have appealed, at least implicitly, to the behavior of effective human teachers. In this article, we compare the guidance and support offered by human tutors with that offered by intelligent tutoring systems. First, we review research on human tutoring strategies in various domains. Then we investigate the capabilities of a widely used technique for providing feedback, model tracing. Finally, we contrast the types of guidance and support provided by human tutors with those in intelligent tutoring systems, by examining the process of recovering from impasses encountered during problem solving. In general, the support offered by human tutors is more flexible and more subtle than that offered by model tracing tutors, but the two are more similar than sometimes argued.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-305
JournalThe Journal of the Learning Sciences
Volume2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

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