Technology Assessment in Education and Training

By Eva L. Baker; Harold F. O'Neil Jr. | Go to book overview
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Assessment of Intelligent
Training Technology

Alan Lesgold
University of Pittsburgh

Over the past decade, there has been considerable research and development in applications of artificial intelligence to education and training (e.g., studies in Larkin & Chabay, 1992; Polson & Richardson, 1988; Psotka, Massey, & Mutter, 1988). In several cases, training systems have been produced that are receiving practical use (e.g., Anderson, 1990; Corbett & Anderson, 1992; Govindaraj, 1988). More commonly, so far, managers are starting to face decisions about whether a prototype research system has potential utility. In this chapter, I view the assessment of intelligent training systems from a long-term perspective, discussing the different kinds of decisions that require assessment of intelligent training technology and a number of specific assessment issues, considered in light of current theory and experience. In particular, I draw on experiences with the Sherlock coached practice environment for electronics troubleshooting ( Lajoie & Lesgold, 1990; Lesgold, Lajoie, Bunzo, & Eggan, 1992; Lesgold, Lajoie, Logan, & Eggan, 1990).


Technology assessment in the world of intelligent training systems must consider not only the effectiveness of a training system but also the likelihood that it can be assimilated by the organizations that could use it. This can be seen either superficially as a marketing problem or more deeply as a problem in changing schooling or training. In either case, though, it is not enough for a product to be effective; it also must either fit the existing organizational structure and available technology or be so attractive as to bring about adaptive changes that make it usable.


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