Intelligent tutoring systems for literacy: Existing technologies and continuing challenges

Matthew E. Jacovina, Danielle McNamara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we describe several intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) designed to support student literacy through reading comprehension and writing instruction and practice. Although adaptive instruction can be a powerful tool in the literacy domain, developing these technologies poses significant challenges. For example, evaluating the quality of a student’s writing can be challenging because of the numerous ways to succeed (or fail) when generating a written work. Throughout our discussion, we focus on the methodologies that ITSs have employed to face these challenges. Natural language processing techniques, for example, can be leveraged to assess students’ level of comprehension or writing proficiency and subsequently drive the feedback that students receive. Additional challenges arise in the implementation of these systems in classrooms; we discuss how the features and flexibility offered by ITSs can augment their usefulness in these real-world settings. We conclude the chapter by forecasting how future generations of ITSs for literacy will improve and fit into the educational landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntelligent Tutoring Systems
Subtitle of host publicationStructure, Applications and Challenges
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781634852111
ISBN (Print)9781634851671
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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