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Authoring Tutoring Assessment

The "Tutoring" assessment is one of the most complete tutoring experiences offered by AutoTutor Lite. A typical tutoring assessment will require the user to input about two or three paragraphs of information. Think of this as a short essay.

There are 5 main components of a tutoring assessment in AutoTutor Lite.

1. The Seed Question

This is the overarching question that your users will first be presented with. It is best to ask deep level reasoning questions for the tutoring assessment type. For more information about deep level reasoning questions see "Question asking during tutoring" (Graesser & Person, 1994) and "The deep-level-reasoning-question effect: The role of dialogue and deep-level-reasoning questions during vicarious learning" (Craig, Sullins, Witherspoon, & Gholson, 2006). 

2. The expectations 

Each tutoring assessment requires 4 expectations. An expectation is a piece of information necessary to fully answer the seed question. 

3. The hints

For each expectation, 4 hints need to be provided to help guide the user to fully covering the content in each expectation. AutoTutor Lite will automatically detect which expectation the user is trying to answer. For this reason, it is best if your expectations have as little semantic overlap as possible. This way AutoTutor Lite can provide relevant hints to the user in real time. 

Ideally, your hints will guide the user to the correct answer without explicitly stating the answer. 

Let's consider the question, "What makes a good hint?"

A hint is an utterance made by the tutor that explicitly attempts to guide the learner in the retrieval of knowledge or in drawing a correct inference. There are three types of commonly used hints that you might want to consider. They are listed below along with generic examples.

1. Information conveyance hints
  • Explicit statements to get the learner to retrieve or infer knowledge
  • Example: How would a change in X impact Y?

2. Pointing hints
  • Implicit hints that provide context to try to elicit the response from the user
  • Example:Think about what else you could add, think about the relationship between X and Y.

3. Directed reasoning hints
  • These tend to be a series of questions that guide the learner to think through the process of getting the answer.
  • Example: So, what happened first? This lead to what? Which caused what to happen? So, can you summarize the process for me?

4. The ideal answer

For each expectation, there is an ideal answer. This will be provided to the student under two circumstances:
  1. if the student is still below the assigned threshold (%coverage of an expectation) after exhausting all 4 hints and 
  2. after the student fully answers the expectation. 
The best "ideal answer" is collected from subject matter experts. 

5. The Semantic Answer

 Your "Semantic Answer" is what AutoTutor Lite will compare your users' input to. Generally speaking, the semantic answer does not need to include articles (e.g, the, and, a) or other common words. The type of words you include in your semantic answer should be selected based on how you configure your semantic engine and your ideal answer.