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There are two outstanding half-day tutorials on Sunday 20th July, 2003:

Adaptive Web-based Educational Systems (am)
Evaluation methods for learning environments (pm)

Adaptive Web-based Educational Systems (am)
Peter Brusilovsky

Department of Information Science and Telecommunications School of Information Sciences
University of Pittsburgh


Web-based education (WBE) is currently a hot research and development area. A challenging research goal is the development of adaptive Web-based educational applications. The goal of the tutorial is to provide a brief review of the work performed so far in his area and some important information for those who want to implement their own systems. The review is centered on different adaptive technologies that are essentially different ways to add adaptive functionality to an educational system. In the tutorial we will analyze what kind of technologies are available right now, provide a number of practical examples, and discuss how the reviewed technologies can be implemented on the Web. I will also discuss what is the place of these technologies in large-scale Web-based education, i.e., what and how can work in large scale WBE classrooms today.

About the presenter

Peter Brusilovsky has been working in the area of ITS for 15 years. Since 1993 he has participated in the development of several adaptive Web-based instructional systems and ITS including ELM-ART and InterBook. Later was involved in developing practical Web-based courses and systems as a Director of Computer Managed Instruction at Carnegie Technology Education. Currently he continues his research on adaptive Web-based instructional systems as a faculty at School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Brusilovsky is an author of several review papers on adaptive hypermedia, Web-based ITS, and Web-based education. He has prepared a number of successful tutorials for various conferences including User Modeling, ITS, EDMEDIA, WebNet, Interact, as well as for Carnegie Mellon Summer School.

Evaluation methods for learning environments (pm)

Shaaron Ainsworth
School of Psychology,
ESRC Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and Training,
University of Nottingham


Reading List
Tutorial Slides
Tutorial Exercise


The importance of evaluating AIED systems is increasingly recognised. Yet, there is no single right way to evaluate a complex learning environment. This tutorial will emphasise how to develop a practical toolkit of evaluation methodologies by examining classic case studies of evaluations, show how techniques from other areas can be applied in AIED and examine common mistakes.

Key Issues

  • techniques for formative and summative evaluation goals of evaluation (e.g. usability, learning outcomes, learning efficiency, informing theory);
  • choosing methods for data capture and analysis
  • the nature of the control (e.g. classroom teachers, conventional CBT, within system);
  • the costs and benefits of evaluating in the wild;
  • the credit assignment problem in evaluation, assessing the added benefit of AI.


This is an introductory tutorial intended for researchers with a variety of back grounds.


Slides interspersed with demonstrations and discussions.

About the presenter

Shaaron Ainsworth has a background in Psychology and Artificial Intelligence and holds a joint appointment in the School of Psychology and Learning Science Research Institute at the University of Nottingham. She has been actively involved in evaluating learning environments for over 10 years and has worked with systems in all levels of education from kindergarten through school to adult training. In that time, she has made pretty much every mistake you can make in evaluating learning environments.