Date of Original Version

1997

Type

Article

Abstract or Description

This paper reports on a large-scale experiment introducing and evaluating intelligent tutoring in an urban High School setting. Critical to the success of this project has been a client-centered design approach that has matched our client's expertise in curricular objectives and classroom teaching with our expertise in artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. The Pittsburgh Urban Mathematics Project (PUMP) has produced an algebra curriculum that is centrally focused on mathematical analysis of real world situations and the use of computational tools. We have built an intelligent tutor, called PAT, that supports this curriculum and has been made a regular part of 9th grade Algebra in 3 Pittsburgh schools. In the 1993-94 school year, we evaluated the effect of the PUMP curriculum and PAT tutor use. On average the 470 students in experimental classes outperformed students in comparison classes by 15% on standardized tests and 100% on tests targeting the PUMP objectives. This study provides further evidence that laboratory tutoring systems can be scaled up and made to work, both technically and pedagogically, in real and unforgiving settings like urban high schools.

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