Research and Development

The Modeling of Exercises and Activities


Improving the modeling of exercises and activities is an important task, one which advances the theory and practice of intelligent tutoring systems. The variety of modeling discussed, herein, is domain-independent, spanning multiple courses and the development of cognition. The proper, rigorous modeling of exercises and activities is non-trivial, an inherently complex task; doing so involves the modeling of cognition, modeling cognitive processes for numerous, relevant paths of progression through the exercises or activities.

Repositories of Exercises and Activities

With properly modeled exercises and activities, possibly a standardized such modeling, intelligent tutoring systems could be described as querying repositories of modeled exercises and activities, modifying existing exercises and activities or generating new exercises and activities, as needed, and loading and interactively presenting sequences of such exercises and activities to students. Essentially, case-based reasoning.

Repositories of exercises and activities require a querying language, possibly a standardized such language. Such querying languages depend strongly upon the modeling of exercises and activities.

Repositories of exercises and activities are more than case-bases, in a number of ways, and require an update language with expressiveness for educational data mining, for providing educational-scientific measurements pertaining to the utility and quality of exercises and activities.

Repositories of exercises and activities are envisioned as interoperable with numerous intelligent tutoring systems and future versions thereof. The modeling of exercises and activities, then, must encompass the specific features and approaches of each contemporary intelligent tutoring system.

Automatic Generation of Exercises and Activities

A number of approaches to the automatic generation of exercises and activities can be interoperable with repository architectures. While repositories may interface as collections of existing exercises and activities, some may, in response to some queries, generate new exercises and activities on the fly.

Learning Objects and Digital Textbooks

Learning objects and digital textbooks also contain exercises and activities. Software components can encapsulate learning objects and digital textbooks, or collections thereof, implementing the interfaces of repositories. That is, intelligent tutoring systems can utilize specific exercises and activities, e.g. from syllabi or course materials, and intelligent tutoring systems can query collections of learning objects and digital textbooks for exercises and activities.