Research Methods Tutor


The AutoTutor system, developed at the University of Memphis with Art Graesser, PI, was the first in a new breed of intelligent tutoring systems: those that interact as human tutors do -- with natural language dialog. AutoTutor was developed for the domain of Computer Literacy, and has recently been "ported" to the domain of conceptual physics.

The behavior of the AutoTutor system is based on studies of human tutors who were tutoring research methods in Psychology. We think that this domain would provide a good challenge for extending the capabilities of computerized dialog-based tutoring systems because of the richness of the dialog structure and the "case-based" nature of the domain. The primary goal of Research Methods Tutor is to implement a dialog-based tutor that can be used in conjunction with a college-level research methods class. The secondary goals deal with extending the capabilities of the tutor to allow it to support more complicated dialogs.

research questions


An initial prototype of RMT is working with a curriculum script that covers five topics from research methods courses. We are currently pilot testing the system, and will evaluate it in the classroom in the Winter term of 2004.



The initial domain topics for research methods were developed by Lori Malatesta at the University of Edinburgh. A completely new curriculum script which corresponds with the DePaul research methods currriculum has been written by Elizabeth Arnott and David Allbritton in the Psychology Department at DePaul. Technical development of the system has been done by Jesse Efron, Oussama BenKhadra, and Peter Hastings.
Last update: 20031103
Peter Hastings (