Advanced Interactive Learning Environments UG4/MSc 2016/17
Notes on the form and style of the examination
Updated: 16th April 2017
A. COURSE MATERIAL can basically be divided into:
See the course readings page for more detail
- CORE ESSENTIAL material: necessary to know and understand and be able to critically evaluate this to pass:
- Any reading marked as "required": see the course readings page
- The content of the lectures and any in-class activities
- The content of the student-led seminars, including the readings for each seminar group
- General information about the domains, goals, user groups, methods,
and evaluations of the four "core systems" (Crystal Island, Autotutor/
Autotutor emotions, the family of Cognitive Tutors, and the Betty's
Brain teachable agent).
BE AWARE that all of the essential material is directly
examinable, and that the examination will ask you to support your work
- USEFUL BACKGROUND material - this material will be indicated as "suggested readings",
and should help improve your overall understanding of the course
systems and concepts, giving additional examples which may help you to
answer the exam questions. Some suggested readings will cover systems
other than the four "core" systems, or address topic-unit concepts (e.g.
user modelling) across a range of systems or over time.
- OTHER MATERIALS
(of wider interest). This category includes general resources, such as
books or paper collections where you can find a range of information,
project websites, other references from lectures (that are not assigned
readings), etc etc etc
B. SYSTEMS you should know about ......
1. CORE SYSTEMS
The four "core systems" are:
AUTOTUTOR/ AUTOTUTOR EMOTIONS
the family of the COGNITIVE TUTORS
BETTY'S BRAIN teachable agent
In addition you should know something about the following (included in some of the required readings and in lectures):
The ANDES tutor (VanLehn)
STANDUP (Pain, Ritchie, Waller)
BUGGY/DEBUGGY/IDEBUGGY (Burton, Brown)
Alelo Serious Games, e.g. Foreign Language and Culture Training Systems (Johnson, Alelo)
3. Other systems: mentioned in the course, of wider interest:
Ambient Wood (Rogers)
Bird Hero (Axelsson)
Adventure Author (Robertson)
QUEST (White and Frediksen)
WHY (Stevens and Collins)
(and some others in the lectures....)
C. THE FORMAT OF THE EXAM:
The exam will comprise 3 questions, to be completed in 2 hours. In all
questions, credit will be given for detail; for reference to relevant
literature and research; for reference to systems; for use of examples;
for discussion of strengths and limitations of approaches considered;
and for justification of conclusions.
Question 1 is compulsory and will consist of a number of short-answer questions or parts.
The short answer questions may ask about specific concepts or systems
or methods, in relation to the lecture materials and the core systems
and may also have design aspects (or systems or studies). There may also
be parts that are more essay like or relate to design questions (see
There will then be a choice of two longer questions: either Question 2 or Question 3. These longer questions can be essay questions
or design questions
, or a combination. They may similar to material in the two assignments.
Essay questions will be similar to the assignments in that they ask
you to give explanations, or suggest solutions to problems, or discuss
or critically evaluate issues, based on evidence from the field--
you can draw on ANY evidence from any system(s), papers, and studies, as
long as this evidence is relevant, detailed, and accurate. Simply
memorising isolated facts about systems will not be a very good strategy
for essays, as you will see if you look at previous years' exams.
Thinking in terms of argumentation, evidence, and the course's "big
questions" is likely to be a much better strategy (and also a far more
The design questions will draw on design of all or part of system, or on
studies to inform the design or evaluation of a system, and will may
require knowledge of existing systems to base the design on, or to
compare. It may involve specification of task requirements, learner
group, example interactions, and methods for design and evaluation
(formative and summative).
The format of questions 2 and 3 will be similar to those in past
Advanced Interactive Learning Environments (AILE) and Adaptive Learning
Environments (MSc/UG4) exam papers.
In all questions higher marks will be awarded for discussion and
evaluation of material rather than simple regurgitation of information.
CREDIT given for:
- reference to relevant literature and research
- reference to systems
- use of examples
- critical comparisons
- discussion of strengths and limitations
- justification of conclusions