Cognitive Tutors as Research Platforms: Extending an Established Tutoring System for Collaborative and Metacognitive Experimentation

Cognitive tutors have been shown to increase student learning in long-term classroom studies but would become even more effective if they provided collaborative support and metacognitive tutoring. Reconceptualizing an established tutoring system as a research platform to test different collaborative and metacognitive interventions would lead to gains in learning research. In this paper, we define a component-based architecture for such a platform, drawing from previous theoretical frameworks for tutoring systems. We then describe two practical implementation challenges not typically addressed by these frameworks. We detail our efforts to extend a cognitive tutor and evaluate our progress in terms of flexibility, control, and practicality.

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