The Behavior of tutoring systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

565 Scopus citations


Tutoring systems are described as having two loops. The outer loop executes once for each task, where a task usually consists of solving a complex, multi-step problem. The inner loop executes once for each step taken by the student in the solution of a task. The inner loop can give feedback and hints on each step. The inner loop can also assess the student’s evolving competence and update a student model, which is used by the outer loop to select a next task that is appropriate for the student. For those who know little about tutoring systems, this description is meant as a demystifying introduction. For tutoring system experts, this description illustrates that although tutoring systems differ widely in their task domains, user interfaces, software structures, knowledge bases, etc., their behaviors are in fact quite similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-265
Number of pages39
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Knowledge components
  • Learning events
  • Tutoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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