About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4719-4724
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

ITUTORING: A LEARNING SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR DISTANCE LEARNING

P. M. Choi, S. S. Lam

The Open University of Hong Kong (HONG KONG)
In recent years, distance learning has changed significantly, evolving from the pure printed materials towards interactive multimedia lessons delivered via the Internet. While the advent of Internet creates a new channel for lesson delivery as well as students-teachers communications, adequate and timely learning support to students remains a key problem in distance learning.

In this paper, we present an overview on the iTutoring system, which is one of main initiatives of the Center for Innovation (CFI) project conducted at Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). The CFI project is supported by a government grant of US$8 million and aims to develop a student-centred learning environment that blends the strengths of distance learning, face-to-face teaching and online learning. The objective of iTutoring system is to develop a learning support software that provides adequate and timely assistance to students and to enhance communication among tutors, teachers and students.

From the students’ perspective, iTutoring system offers a wide range of learning support to the student. For instance, the discussion board award system extends the existing discussion board system and encourages the online participation of asynchronous discussion. The alert and scheduling tool enables students planning their study schedules and setting reminders. Different levels of alerts will be sent to remind students about important events such as tutorial classes and exam dates. By deploying the state-of-the-art artificial intelligence techniques, the system also automatically sketches concept maps based on the course units and Internet resources. Students can consolidate what they learned from the course material by manipulating the concept map. Other features such as dictionary look up, sentence translation and text-to-speech synthesizer are also provided.

From the teachers’ perspective, iTutoring system offers a convenient platform for teachers to communicate with students and monitor their study progress. Based on students’ activities, the system draws teachers’ attention to those lags behind the schedule and might have difficulties in studying the course. In addition, since teachers’ detailed feedbacks on the assignment is of particular importance for distance learning students, the platform implements a number of innovative features such as comment capturing, automatic tagging, and plagiarism detection that reduce teachers’ effort to make quality marking.

The iTutoring system is developed in Java and built upon a number of open source software, meaning that the system can be run on many computer platforms and will be available freely to the public. To conclude the paper, we discuss the architecture of iTutoring system and report the current progress of the project.
@InProceedings{CHOI2009ITU,
author = {Choi, P. M. and Lam, S. S.},
title = {ITUTORING: A LEARNING SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR DISTANCE LEARNING},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4719-4724}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. M. Choi AU - S. S. Lam
TI - ITUTORING: A LEARNING SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR DISTANCE LEARNING
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 4719
EP - 4724
ER -
P. M. Choi, S. S. Lam (2009) ITUTORING: A LEARNING SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR DISTANCE LEARNING, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 4719-4724.
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