CycleTalk: A Tutorial Dialogue System that Supports Negotiation in a Design Context

Funded By: ONR
PI: Carolyn Rose, Co-PI Vincent Aleven
Collaborators: Chih Wu, US Naval Academy, Kenneth Forbus, Northwestern University
Students and Staff: Rohit Kumar, Jaime Arguello, The CTAT Team

Building upon the CyclePad simulation environment developed at Northwestern University, one of the major research goals of the CycleTalk project has been to investigate the instructional effectiveness of novel ways of using tutorial dialogue technology in an exploratory learning enviornment. In our recent work, we have empirically evaluated the effectiveness of a tutorial-dialogue based approach to guided exploratory learning involving problem solving goals that are negotiated between tutor and student rather than dictated by the tutor or freely chosen by the student. This approach, which we refer to as Negotiable Problem Solving Goals (NPSG), is located on a previously untested space on what we call The Exploratory Learning Continuum. Our empirical results from a classroom evaluation provide strong evidence in favor of tutorial dialogue support in exploratory learning environments. We are currently conducting an in-depth corpus analysis to gain deeper insights into what lead to the differences in effectiveness between the tutors within the NPSG condition. We plan to use that analysis as the foundation for the CycleTalk tutorial dialogue system, which we are building. Our near term goals include using machine learning techniques to bootstrap the process of building an effective tutorial dialogue system from collected corpora.

Project Papers:

Rose, C. P., Aleven, V., Robinson, A., Wu, C. (under review). CycleTalk: Toward a Dialogue Agent that Guides Design with an Articulate Simulator , invited submission to the International Journal of AI in Education Special Issue on "The Best of ITS '04"

Rose, C. P., Aleven, V., Carey, R., Robinson, A., Wu, C. (2005). A First Evaluation of the Instructional Value of Negotiatble Problem Solving Goals on the Exploratory Learning Continuum , Proceedings of AI in Eduction '05

Aleven, V, & Rose, C. P. (2005). Authoring plug-in tutor agents by demonstration: Rapid rapid tutor development, Proceedings of AI in Education '05

Rose, C. P., Torrey, C. & Aleven, V. (2004). Guided Exploratory Learning in a Simulation Environment for Thermodynamics: A Pilot Study, Proceedings of the ITS Workshop on Tutorial Dialogue Systems

Aleven, V. & Rose, C. P. (2004). Towards Easier Creation of Tutorial Dialogue Systems: Integration of Authoring Environments for Tutoring and Dialogue Systems, Proceedings of the ITS Workshop on Tutorial Dialogue Systems