Using tutors to improve educational games

Matthew W. Easterday, Vincent Aleven, Richard Scheines, Sharon M. Carver

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

28 Scopus citations


Educational games and tutors provide conflicting approaches to the assistance dilemma, yet there is little work that directly compares them. This study tested the effects of game-based and tutor-based assistance on learning and interest. The laboratory experiment randomly assigned 105 university students to two versions of the educational game Policy World designed to teach the skills of policy argument. The game version provided minimal feedback and imposed penalties during training while the tutor version provided additional step-level, knowledge-based feedback and required immediate error correction. The study measured students' success during training, their interest in the game, and posttest performance. Tutor students were better able to analyze policy problems and reported higher level of competence which in turn affected interest. This suggests that we can improve the efficacy and interest in educational games by applying tutor-based approaches to assistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence in Education - 15th International Conference, AIED 2011
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jun 23 2011
Event15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2011 - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: Jun 28 2011Jul 1 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume6738 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2011
CountryNew Zealand


  • debate
  • educational games
  • intelligent tutoring systems
  • policy argument

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Using tutors to improve educational games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this