Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Rights Management

The original publication is available at

Abstract or Description

Intelligent tutoring systems are quite difficult and time intensive to develop. In this paper, we describe a method and set of software tools that ease the process of cognitive task analysis and tutor development by allowing the author to demonstrate, instead of programming, the behavior of an intelligent tutor. We focus on the subset of our tools that allow authors to create “Pseudo Tutors” that exhibit the behavior of intelligent tutors without requiring AI programming. Authors build user interfaces by direct manipulation and then use a Behavior Recorder tool to demonstrate alternative correct and incorrect actions. The resulting behavior graph is annotated with instructional messages and knowledge labels. We present some preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of this approach, both in terms of reduced development time and learning outcome. Pseudo Tutors have now been built for economics, analytic logic, mathematics, and language learning. Our data supports an estimate of about 25:1 ratio of development time to instruction time for Pseudo Tutors, which compares favorably to the 200:1 estimate for Intelligent Tutors, though we acknowledge and discuss limitations of such estimates.


The original publication is available at