CREATE reduces the time and effort required to retrieve raw lesson content from document repositories

The Need for Intelligent Tutoring Technology

The US military is one of the largest educators in the world. Military personnel spend a lot of time in training activities throughout their careers. The high cost and importance of training has prompted the US Army to invest in intelligent tutoring technology that can adapt instructions to each learner’s needs. However, the benefits of intelligent tutoring systems are currently limited by the cost of authoring lessons for these systems.

Collage for military service concept

Efficiently Creating Content for Intelligent Tutoring Systems

CREATE is a research prototype that uses semantic search and document segmentation to find relevant snippets of content authors need for their lessons. Semantic search uses concept hierarchies and automatic deduction to match search concepts to the concepts that appear in documents. Document segmentation indexes individual paragraphs, diagrams, slides, and other snippets so they can be matched and retrieved independently of the larger document. CREATE also supports searching based on categories from pedagogical theories, such as Component Display Theory and Bloom’s taxonomy.

CREATE Delivers 500% More Data

Working with ICF, we conducted a double-blind, mixed-methods experiment to compare the efficiency of instructional systems designers using CREATE with a control group using traditional keyword search. In a blind comparison by a separate set of experienced instructional systems designers, the group using CREATE found five times more directly relevant snippets than the control group, indicating that CREATE technology has a strong potential for reducing the cost of authoring intelligent tutoring systems.

The effort required to build the concept hierarchies required for semantic search and the effort to implement document segmentation are costly, but are only incurred once. The one-time investment in semantic search is therefore highly cost effective in a large educational organization.

While intelligent tutoring systems are an important innovation in instructional technology, the cost of authoring lessons for these systems is a significant barrier to realizing their potential. The CREATE system demonstrates technology that significantly lowers that barrier by drastically reducing the time and effort required to retrieve raw lesson content from document repositories.

For more information about CREATE or our other semantic technology capabilities, contact us.

The research reported in this document/presentation was performed in connection with contract W911QX-13-C-0072 with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.  The views and conclusions contained in this document/presentation are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as presenting the official policies or position, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government unless so designated by other authorized documents.