The Cognitive Science Society is hosting a 2004-2005 virtual colloquium
series with the fifth talk given by Art Graesser. Register free at to attend.

Time: Friday, April 22, 2005, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET
Presenter: Art Graesser, University of Memphis

AutoTutor:  Learning while Holding a Conversation with a Computer

AutoTutor is a learning environment on the Internet that helps students
learn by holding a conversation in natural language. The system integrates
computational mechanisms that were inspired by the fields of discourse
processing, cognitive science, computational linguistics, and the learning
sciences.  More specifically, AutoTutor's design was inspired by
explanation-based constructivist theories of learning, intelligent tutoring
systems that adaptively respond to student knowledge, and research on
dialogue patterns in tutorial discourse. AutoTutor presents challenging
questions on topics such as Newtonian qualitative physics or introductory
computer literacy and then engages in mixed initiative dialogue that coaches
the student in building an answer.  It provides feedback to the student on
what the student types in (positive, neutral, negative feedback), pumps the
student for more information, prompts the student to fill in missing words,
gives hints, fills in missing information with assertions, identifies and
corrects erroneous ideas, answers the student's questions, and summarizes
answers.  AutoTutor has produced learning gains of approximately .8 sigma
for deep levels of comprehension, compared with reading a textbook for an
equivalent amount of time.  The recent versions of AutoTutor attempt to
adapt to learners' emotions and to guide the learner in interacting with 3D

Tom Ward
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Thomas B. Ward
Center for Creative Media
Box 870172
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0172

The seminar series is managed by Aptima, Inc,, and
delivered using Elluminate Live. The seminar series is sponsored by the
Office of Naval Research,
Lisa Neal, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine,
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Phone: +1-781-861-7373
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