Facilitating the Development and Use of Interactive Learning Environments

Facilitating the Development and Use of Interactive Learning Environments

Facilitating the Development and Use of Interactive Learning Environments

Facilitating the Development and Use of Interactive Learning Environments

Excerpt

Early in the spring of 1993, my intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) project team at US WEST and I were busily readying for the initial trial of our first ITS platform -- LEAP -- (for Learn, Explore, & Practice) with actual users in the field. To celebrate this milestone, US WEST decided to sponsor a workshop on ITSs at our research facility in Boulder, CO-a site to which we knew we had little difficulty recruiting both participants and attendees. We invited many of the leaders from the field of ITSs to participate in the workshop. In truth, our real motivation for hosting the workshop was not really to celebrate but rather to obtain some expert feedback about the system we had built. As I mentioned, LEAP was just about to undergo an empirical evaluation with actual end users, and we wanted to check every angle to make sure we had not forgotten something that could adversely affect the outcome, for in industry, those who fail rarely get a second chance.

In organizing the workshop, we recruited as many ITS researchers as we could who had already been through much of what we were about to experience, including representatives from academia, industry, and government laboratories. The presentations were both educational and enlightening not just as pertains to the systems that had been built but also as pertains to the many lessons that had been learned (but not widely disseminated) about the ITS development and deployment process. As the workshop progressed, the discussions evolved from talking about systems and capabilities to discussing the hazards of technology transfer. A common theme espoused by both attendees and presenters at the workshop was . . .

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