Authoring Tools for Advanced Technology Learning Environments

Toward cost-effective adaptive, interactive, and intelligent educational software


Edited by Tom Murray, Stephen Blessing, and Shaaron Ainsworth

Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht
Hardbound, ISBN 1-4020-1772-3
2003, 571 pp.

Kluwer Publishing was sold to Springer,who is the current distributor. See also:

Official Springer/Kluwer web page for the book

This edited book gives a comprehensive picture of the state of the art in authoring systems and authoring tools for advanced technology instructional systems. In recent years issues of authoring, cost-effectiveness, interoperability, and re-usability have been at the forefront in educational software design, particularly in the areas of advanced, adaptive, and intelligent educational software. This book includes descriptions of fifteen systems and research projects from almost every significant effort in the field of advanced technology authoring systems. Included is a chapter comprising of an extensive overview of the field, summarizing the work of dozens of systems and projects, and providing an analytical framework for comparing them.

The book will appeal to researchers, teachers, and advanced students working in the following areas: instructional technology and computer-based education, psychology, cognitive science, education (all levels), and computer science. The book is offered for two types of readers. First are academic or industry personnel in the field of instructional software R&D---who need to know "what methods and designs have been used, and how successful have they been?" in their efforts to build the next generation of systems. The second type of reader is the user, developer, or purchaser of instructional software (advanced, intelligent, or otherwise) who needs to know "what is really available, or soon to be available, to make advanced educational software authoring cost-effective?"

Table of Contents

1. SIMQUEST: Authoring Educational Simulations
....................Wouter R. van Joolingen & Ton de Jong
2. Requiem for a Development System: Reflections on Knowledge-Based, Generative Instruction
....................Henry M. Halff, Patricia Y. Hsieh, Brenda M. Wenzel, Tom J. Chudanov,
....................Mary T. Dirnberger, Elizabeth G. Gibson, & Carol L. Redfield
3. Authoring Simulation-Centered Learning Environments with Rides and Vivids
....................Allen Munro
4. A Programming by Demonstration Authoring Tool for Model-Tracing Tutors
....................Stephen B. Blessing
5. Automated Knowledge Acquisition for Intelligent Support of Diagnostic Reasoning
....................Douglas Towne
6. Formative Evaluation of an Automated Knowledge Elicitation and Organization Tool
....................Valerie J. Shute & Lisa A. Torreano
7. Using Knowledge Objects to Design Instructional Learning Environments
....................M. David Merrill
8. REDEEM: Simple Intelligent Tutoring Systems from Usable Tools
....................Shaaron Ainsworth, Nigel Major, Shirley Grimshaw,
....................Mary Hayes, Jean Underwood, Ben Williams & David Wood
9. The IRIS Authoring Tool
....................Ana Arruarte, Begoña Ferrero, Isabel Fernández-Castro,
....................Maite Urretavizcaya, Ainhoa Álvarez, Jim Greer
10. CREAM-Tools : An Authoring Environment for Knowledge Engineering in Intelligent Tutoring Systems
....................Roger Nkambou, Claude Frasson & Gilles Gauthier
11. Eon: Authoring Tools for Content, Instructional Strategy, Student Model, and Interface Design
....................Tom Murray
12. Supporting Educational Software Design With Knowledge-Rich Tools
....................Benjamin Bell
13. Developing Adaptive Educational Hypermedia Systems: From Design Models to Authoring Tools
....................Peter Brusilovsky
14. The Leap Authoring Tool: Supporting complex courseware authoring through reuse, rapid prototyping, and interactive visualizations
....................Randall Sparks, Scott Dooley, Lori Meiskey, Rick Blumenthal
15. Principles for Pedagogy-oriented Knowledge Based Tutor Authoring Systems: Lessons Learned and a Design Meta-Model
....................Tom Murray
16. Authoring Tools for Component–Based Learning Environments
....................Steven Ritter, Stephen B. Blessing, & Leslie Wheeler
17. An Overview of Intelligent Tutoring System Authoring Tools: Updated analysis of the state of the art
....................Tom Murray


Researchers and educational software developers have talked about building authoring tools for intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs), adaptive and knowledge-based instructional systems, and other forms of advanced-technology learning environments (ATLEs) ever since these forms of educational software were introduced in the 1970s. The technical complexity and high development costs of these systems contrasts sharply with the common picture of education as a "home grown" activity performed by individual teachers and trainers who craft lessons tailored for each situation. There have been two primary reasons to create authoring tools for ATLEs: to reduce development cost, and to allow practicing educators to become more involved in their creation. The goal of creating usable authoring tools dovetails with the recent trend toward interoperability and reusability among these systems.

We use the phrase "advanced-technology learning environment" to refer to educational software on the leading edge of practice and research. These systems go beyond traditional computer-based instruction or educational simulations by providing one or more of the following benefits:

The ATLE authoring tools field has advanced significantly since the first conference workshop on the subject in 1995. Since then there have been a number of international workshops dealing with the subject (including workshops at the AI in Education international conferences in 1995, 1997, 1999; the Intelligent Tutoring Systems international conference in1996; and the American Association of Artificial Intelligence Fall Symposium in 1997). In addition there have been several special issues of research journals on this topic (including the International Journal of AI in Education Vol. 8. No. 3, 1998, and Vol. 10 No. 1, 1999; J. of the Learning Sciences Vol. 7 No. 1 1998; and J. of Instructional Science Vol. 26 Nos. 3-4 1998). This volume, which is the first book on the subject, contains chapters providing updated reports on all of these workshops and publications. It provides a comprehensive picture of the state of the art in ATLE authoring systems, with representative chapters from almost every major researcher in the field. Contributions to this volume come from an international cadre of researchers from Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Significant work in authoring tools is ongoing in several other countries as well (including Japan and Germany).

The reader will note the word "toward" in the title of the volume. The field is still very much in a formative stage. The systems described in the 17 chapters to follow are predominantly R&D efforts or local success stories. That is, few have been used to produce numerous tutoring systems nor have they been used by people not closely associated with a research team (with some notable exceptions, as discussed in the Overview chapter). This state of affairs with ATLE authoring tools reflects the state of ATLEs in general, which have shown some successes but have been slow to enter the main-stream commercial education and training markets. However, despite its formative nature, the importance of making ATLEs more cost effective and authorable warrants the publication of a book such as this that describes the state of the art. The design issues are complex and the implemented solutions are quite diverse. Much progress has been made in articulating the issues and fleshing out solutions, and a number of projects have completed empirical studies demonstrating usability and cost-effectiveness. A few of the chapters describe projects that were completed some years ago, and these were included because their research results and design innovations still represent the state of the art on certain issues.

The chapters in this volume are organized based on an analysis of authoring systems given in the Overview chapter which distinguishes authoring tools according to the following categories: Authoring Tutors for Device and Process Simulations, Authoring Tutors that Encode Human Expertise, Authoring Tutors that Include Instructional Strategies, and Special Purpose Authoring Tools. Some readers may wish to read the final Chapter first, an overview of ITS authoring tools, and authoring tools issues.

Chapter 1 describes SimQuest, an authoring tool for creating simulation-based learning environments that focus on science concepts and principles. Chapter 2 describes XAIDA, an authoring tool that has been used to develop simple simulations that can address a variety of knowledge types, including facts, concepts, procedures, and principles. Chapter 3 describes RIDES, a tool for authoring tutorials bases on sophisticated device simulations. Chapter 4 describes Demonstr8, a prototype authoring tool that explores authoring domain content by having authors providing examples and demonstrations, and then intelligently creating generalizations based on these example cases. Chapter 5 describes DIAG, a system for authoring tutors in electronic fault diagnosis that significantly simplifies the process of defining and providing instruction for complex devices and the numerous fault conditions that can occur in these devices. Chapter 6 describes DNA, a knowledge elicitation tool that simulates a semi-structured interview process for eliciting factual, conceptual, and procedural domain knowledge for an ITS. Chapter 7 describes Instructional Simulator, one of a set of commercially available authoring tools that simplify authoring for simple device simulations and conceptual knowledge. Chapter 8 describes REDEEM, an authoring tool that converts traditional computer-based instructional content into an intelligent tutor by allowing teachers to specify multiple teaching strategies, each of which is defined for a particular type of student. Chapters 9 and 10 describe the IRIS authoring tool and CREAM-tools. These systems incorporate different methods for building ITSs that incorporate complex instructional design principles that utilize the instructional theories of Gagne, Bloom, and Merrill. Chapter 11 described the Eon system, which includes highly interactive authoring tools, for authoring subject matter, tutoring strategies, interfaces, and student models. Chapter 12 describes IDLE-tools, which are used to create "investigate and decide goal-based learning environments." Chapter 13 gives an overview of authoring tools for adaptive hypermedia systems, with a more detailed description of the InterBook. Chapter 14 describes LAT, an authoring tool for creating tutors that use conversational grammars to simulate product sales representative phone conversations with customers. Chapter 15 presents contains a general design "meta-model" for ITS authoring tools (this material in this chapter was part of the originally published paper on the Eon system, Chapter 11, but was separated into a different paper and extended for this volume). Chapter 16 contains a general discussion on interoperability and component-based architectures for authoring tools, and includes examples from tools used to author model tracing tutors. Chapter 17 is an overview of the state of the art in ITS authoring, including an analysis and comparison of 31 authoring tools.

Related workshops and symposia

Journal Special Issues