Intelligent Tutoring Systems: Confluence of Information Science and Cognitive Science

A. Patel
De Montfort University, United Kingdom

Massey University, New Zealand

D. Russell
De Montfort University, United Kingdom

R. Oppermann
GMD, Germany



The advent of Internet as a global communication medium has brought a new focus on an area of research in designing Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) that has not been adequately considered so far. In the main, this has been due to the localised nature of most academic environments limiting the sources of information and an implicit assumption that information and knowledge are synonymous. These factors have led to overemphasis on learner modelling in the traditional ITS research, which seeks to enhance the interaction between the ITS as the provider and the learner as the consumer of knowledge, ignoring the crucial role played by the teacher in enhancing the learning in a given context. The limitations of the traditional approach become more visible when educational information is sought to be transmitted across long distances and the need for adaptation to local contexts becomes apparent. This paper argues that the human teacher, as the manager of learning, plays a vital role within the joint cognitive system consisting of the teacher, ITS, learner and learning peers. This role needs to be recognised by ITS designers by through a teacher model. It also suggests that ITS may perhaps best embody the emerging framework of Informing Science.