A hypertext-based intelligent learning environment for the X Window System
Delani, James Michael
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Intelligent tutoring systems have failed to achieve practical benefits commensurate with their potential for time savings, increased efficiency, and improved effectiveness. The problem consists of three inter- related factors. First, the complexity and computational requirements of these systems often causes user interface design to be relegated to an ancillary role in the development cycle. Second, creating an effective and usable interface is an inherently difficult task that often requires as much time and effort as the logical components. Finally, the lack of an intuitive and navigable interface interferes with the student's primary task of learning new material, precluding the success of these systems. Our approach is to provide an alternative framework for tutorial developers which assumes the burden of interface design. This framework consists of a hypertext-based instructional format that authors can easily convert their lessons into, facilitating rapid prototype development. By creating an Intelligent Learning Environment (ILE) designed to dynamically integrate hypertext-based tutors and reference materials, we can also provide users with a consistent, familiar, and highly navigable interface which will simplify the learning process. Using this approach we have successfully implemented an integrated environment for the X Window System. We have created a course of instruction for the Ada programming language, including the Ada 9X language Reference Manual in hypertext format. The ILE may be dynamically extended through the modification of a text-based configuration file. This enables additional hypertext-based tutorials, reference manuals, and help systems to be incorporated into the learning environment without requiring recompilation.
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