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Volume 1 / Issue 3

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-001-03-0195


Bringing ITS to the Marketplace: A Successful Experiment in Minimalist Design

Carl Gutwin (Alberta Research Council, Canada)

Marlene Jones (Alberta Research Council, Canada)

Patrick Brackett (Gemini Learning Systems Inc., Canada)

Kim Massie Adolphe (Alberta Research Council, Canada)

Abstract: Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) have proven to be effective tools for teaching and training. However, ITSs have not become common in industrial and organisational settings, in part because their complexity has proven difficult to manage outside of the research lab. Minimalist ITSs are an attempt to bridge the gap between research and practical application, they simplify research techniques while striving to maintain as much pedagogic intelligence as possible. This paper describes one such system, SWIFT, that is an example of how a minimalist ITS can be delivered as a commercial product. We outline some of the issues facing designers of a minimalist system, and describe the ways that research techniques have been incorporated into four modules of SWIFT: adaptive testing, course planning, guidance, and diagnosis.