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Building Intelligent Interactive Tutors by Beverly Park Woolf

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Chapter 8. Collaborative Inquiry Tutors

In traditional classrooms, students often passively absorb topics from teachers, books, and fixed curricula. Concepts are covered briefly and stripped of their contextualizing complexity (Eylon and Linn, 1988; Koschmann et al., 1994). Teachers ask 95% of the questions, most requiring short phrase answers (Graesser and Person, 1994; Hmelo-Silver, 2002). In a worst-case scenario, teachers reformulate concepts into digestible bits, students absorb these bits and exhibit their understanding on multiple-choice tests. Such teaching approaches are ineffective and produce inert knowledge (Waterman et al., 1993). However, student-centered teaching methods, such as inquiry and collaborative-based instruction, differ ...

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