Sketching as a modality in intelligent tutoring systems

Rodney Long*, Kenneth D Forbus, Thomas R Hinrichs, Samuel Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) pioneered the idea of spatial learning: improving learning about spatial concepts and using spatial concepts to facilitate learning about other domains. Spatial concepts are of significant importance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education including physics, chemistry, geoscience, and biology, as well as most branches of engineering. Spatial concepts are also important in the military. For example, sand tables are used to understand the terrain, since calculating Line of Sight (LOS) for cover and concealment on the battlefield can mean the difference between life or death. In addition, land navigation using topographic maps is a critical skill that all members of the military are required to obtain. For this work in progress, the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and Northwestern University, a member of SILC, are exploring sketching technologies to support spatial learning, as part of on-going research in adaptive training technologies. ARL’s Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring (GIFT) provides a software platform for developing intelligent tutoring systems. Adaptive learning, where the state of the learner is used to help select their path through activities, has been shown to improve learning. As part of our on-going research, we are in the process of integrating sketch worksheets into GIFT as a new type of instructional media. Sketch worksheets were designed to be general-purpose and use artificial intelligence to provide immediate feedback to students performing sketching assignments. To facilitate dissemination, an authoring environment was created for domain experts and instructors, to enable them to create new worksheets. This poster describes a work in progress to bring together the two lines of research to support the use of sketching in an adaptive learning environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHCI International 2018 – Posters’ Extended Abstracts - 20th International Conference, HCI International 2018, Proceedings
EditorsConstantine Stephanidis
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783319922843
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event20th International Conference on HCI, HCI International 2018 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: Jul 15 2018Jul 20 2018

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929


Conference20th International Conference on HCI, HCI International 2018
CountryUnited States
CityLas Vegas


  • Adaptive learning
  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Sketching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Mathematics(all)

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