Evidence of the month: Intelligent tutoring systems


Each month, we highlight one of the new additions to the LACE Evidence Hub, which brings together evidence about learning analytics. You are welcome to add to the Hub site, which you can visit via a tab at the top of this page.

The Evidence of the Month for August 2015 is a meta-analysis of studies relating to ‘Intelligent tutoring systems and learning outcomes‘.

The authors examined 107 studies and found:

  • Intelligent tutoring systems were associated with greater achievement when compared to teacher-led group instruction, other sorts of computer instruction and textbooks.
  • There was no significant difference in outcomes between intelligent tutoring systems and small-group or individualised human tutors.
  • The positive findings applied across all levels of education, and regardless of whether intelligent tutoring systems were used as the main means of teaching, a supplement, part of a teacher-led strategy, or as a homework aid.
Citation: Ma, W., Adesope, O. O., Nesbit, J. C., & Liu, Q. (2014). Intelligent tutoring systems and learning outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(4), 901. | Url: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/edu-a0037123.pdf

About Author

Rebecca is a lecturer at The Open University in the UK, focused on educational futures, learning analytics, MOOCs, augmented learning and online social learning. She is a member of the steering committee of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and was Workshops Chair of the second Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference (LAK 2012). She co-chaired the 1st and 2nd International Workshops on Discourse-Centric Learning Analytics, held in Belgium and the US, as well as the first UK SoLAR Flare (a national learning analytics event). Her most recent publication is the book ‘Augmented Education’, published by Palgrave in May 2014. Rebecca is working on the LACE work package relating to learning analytics in higher education.

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