Advanced Interactive Learning Environments UG4/MSc 2011-2012

Notes on the form and style of the examination

Last updated: 6th April 2012

A. COURSE MATERIAL can basically be divided into:

  1. CORE ESSENTIAL material (necessary to know and understand and be able to critically evaluate this to pass)
  2. USEFUL BACKGROUND material (which should help improve and will be useful in more general questions, or those where you need to provide examples) - the more background you have the more options you will have in your question choice and answers.
  3. OTHER PERIPHERAL material (of wider interest)
So, I would broadly classify things as follows:
1. CORE:
3. PERIPHERAL MATERIALS: materials listed under resources, references from the lectures and any other reading

B. SYSTEMS you should know about ......

i. CORE CLASSIC AND RECENT SYSTEMS and approaches: you should know something about each of the systems that were referred to in lectures, seminars and in the assignments. You should know about several of them in detail:

SOPHIE I/II (Brown, Burton and DeKleer)
LOGO (Papert)
LISP Tutor (Anderson)
GUIDON (Clancey)

MENO-TUTOR (Woolf and McDonald)

STEAMER (Hollan and Hutchins)

STANDUP (Pain, Ritchie, Waller)

Crystal Island Outbreak (Lester, Rowe)
Geometry Explanation Tutor (Aleven)
The ANDES tutor (VanLehn)
Teachable agents (Schwartz, Biswas)
Tactical Language and Culture Training System (Johnson, Alelo)
Animalwatch (Beal)

iii. Background: other systems that it would be useful (though not essential) to know something about:

QUEST (White and Frediksen)
WHY (Stevens and Collins) 
SCHOLAR (Carbonell)

WEST (Burton and Brown)

Adventure Author (Robertson)
SAM: Virtual Peers (Cassell)
Ambient Wood (Rogers)
AutoTutor Emotions (Graesser)
REDEEM (Ainsworth)
VL-PATSy (Cox)


The format is similar to past Artificial Intelligence and Education (AIED) and Advanced Interactive Learning Environments (AILE) (MSc/UG4) exam papers.  There will be a choice of 3 questions (some may have an either/or part).  You do any 2 questions in two hours.

Style of Questions:

 - will usually be a Comparison of Approaches or Design or Evaluation
 - may involve Specific Issues
   or Specific Techniques or Specific Systems (see above)
   or Specific Task
(could be a combination of these)

eg 1 Design Problem:

 - design of all or part of system (if the latter, still need some idea of what it is embedded in)

 - design of a study to inform the design of, or to evaluate, a system

 - in relation to known systems or in relation to particular approaches or focussing on particular features of the problem.

eg 2 Define, exemplify and evaluate different approaches to some issue.

eg 3 Describe and compare some feature or approach taken in several different systems.

A further option may be an Essay-Type Question, which may be answered in a number of ways and should bring in wider knowledge.


In all questions higher marks will be awarded for discussion and evaluation of material rather than simple regurgitation of information.

CREDIT given for:
 - detail
 - reference to relevant literature and research
 - reference to systems
 - use of examples
 - critical comparisons
 - discussion of strengths and limitations
 - justification of conclusions


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