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Exploring knowledge models with simulated tutorial conversation

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Exploring knowledge models with simulated tutorial conversation

Taylor, Stephen Gilbert (1999) Exploring knowledge models with simulated tutorial conversation. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This research project started from the idea expressed by Comenius that an individual learns more about a subject matter through teaching it to another person than from participating in conventional learning activities. The idea was studied through the design. development and testing of a theoretical model of the tutoring learning process in which self-tutoring and the development of knowledge and understanding is based on both using educational resources and on explaining the structure of knowledge to another individual. The theoretical model, the Knowledge Modelling Approach , incorporates constructivist learning theory with the concept of a mental model. and applies Pask's conversation theory. The theoretical model was then tested through the development of a simulation of tutoring, the Virtual Tutee System , that casts the real student user into the role of tutor, while the tutee resides within the computer simulation software. This is a reversal of the roles generally found in computer aided instruction. A text similar to a college biology chapter was developed to serve as an educational resource for the students. The subject matter chosen for this test case was the topic of photosynthesis as taught in college level biology courses. Fifty Québec college students participated in a laboratory demonstration of the simulation. Eighteen of these students studied the text guided by study questions to learn about the subject matter, while thirty-two students used the computer based tutoring method. Pretest and posttest comparisons indicate that the users of the Simulation achieve similar results to those using the text alone. Users of the simulation also responded favourably to the software on an attitude questionnaire following their session. These results provide a validation for the use of the Virtual Tutee System as an instructional method. The system is presented as a contribution to educational technology as a prototype of a novel conversational learning system. The Knowledge Modelling Approach is thus presented as a new theoretical model for the design of instructional systems.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Taylor, Stephen Gilbert
Pagination:xvi, 329 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Education
Date:1999
Thesis Supervisor(s):Boyd, Gary
ID Code:897
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:15
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:17
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