Intelligent Tutoring Systems by and for the Developing World: A Review of Trends and Approaches for Educational Technology in a Global Context

In IJAIED 25 (2)

Publication information


Barriers to adoption, Digital Divide, Intelligent Tutoring System, Mobile learning, Systematic mapping study


As information and communication technology access expands in the developing world, learning technologies have the opportunity to play a growing role to enhance and supplement strained educational systems. Intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) offer strong learning gains, but are a class of technology traditionally designed for most-developed countries. Recently, closer consideration has been made to ITS targeting the developing world and to culturally-adapted ITS. This paper presents findings from a systematic literature review that focused on barriers to ITS adoption in the developing world. While ITS were the primary focus of the review, the implications likely apply to a broader range of educational technology as well. The geographical and economic landscape of tutoring publications is mapped out, to determine where tutoring systems research occurs. Next, the paper discusses challenges and promising solutions for barriers to ITS within both formal and informal settings. These barriers include student basic computing skills, hardware sharing, mobile-dominant computing, data costs, electrical reliability, internet infrastructure, language, and culture. Differences and similarities between externally-developed and locally-developed tutoring system research for the developing world are then considered. Finally, this paper concludes with some potential future directions and opportunities for research on tutoring systems and other educational technologies on the global stage.