Simulating Human Tutor Dialog Moves in AutoTutor

In IJAIED 12 (1): "Part II of the Special Issue on Analysing Educational Dialogue Interaction"

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This purpose of this paper is to show how prevalent features of successful human tutoring interactions can be integrated into a pedagogical agent, AutoTutor. AutoTutor is a fully automated computer tutor that responds to learner input by simulating the dialog moves of effective, normal human tutors. AutoTutor's delivery of dialog moves is organized within a 5- step framework that is unique to normal human tutoring interactions. We assessed AutoTutor's performance as an effective tutor and conversational partner during tutoring sessions with virtual students of varying ability levels. Results from three evaluation cycles indicate the following: (1) AutoTutor is capable of delivering pedagogically effective dialog moves that mimic the dialog move choices of human tutors, and (2) AutoTutor is a reasonably effective conversational partner