Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Rights Management

The original publication is available at

Abstract or Description

Students often use available help facilities in an unproductive fashion. To improve students’ help-seeking behavior we built the Help Tutor – a domain-independent agent that can be added as an adjunct to Cognitive Tutors. Rather than making help-seeking decisions for the students, the Help Tutor teaches better help-seeking skills by tracing students actions on a (meta)cognitive help-seeking model and giving students appropriate feedback. In a classroom evaluation the Help Tutor captured help-seeking errors that were associated with poorer learning and with poorer declarative and procedural knowledge of help seeking. Also, students performed less help-seeking errors while working with the Help Tutor. However, we did not find evidence that they learned the intended help-seeking skills, or learned the domain knowledge better. A new version of the tutor that includes a self-assessment component and explicit help-seeking instruction, complementary to the metacognitive feedback, is now being evaluated.


The original publication is available at