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You receive much more than test scores, averages, and
grades. Since the system keeps track of every response from every student, you always know exactly where a student is in terms of completing and understanding the material. When the students complete the entire system, each going through the material on their own individual paths, you have assured their mastery of the training material because students have answered correctly every pertinent question presented to them. Each student will move through the material individually, based on previous knowledge. There is very little waste since the system continuously assesses the student, adapting its behavior to the student's needs.

PASCAL Tutorial System

The next year, I wrote an assessment driven tutorial
system for teaching Pascal. It integrated a Pascal compiler and editors as well as programming for reviewing the runtime results of each of the Pascal programs written by students during the tutorials. This system gave the placement exam for students that already knew Pascal and wished to test out of the course and it enabled me to win another award from the League of Innovation.
Although I started out with multiple-choice questions
using an early expert system shell, I now use the input facilities of a mature knowledge based system environment. This system includes text and numeric input from both the student and databases as well as graphical dialogues with familiar controls and fully integrated with the Windows environment. Knowledge based systems go well beyond multiple-choice input.

Using a Knowledge Based System to Construct Assessment Driven Systems with Just-In-Time Tutorials

In terms of graphics, the following example may be an
oversimplification. A login process would precede this tree, and all questions would actually be sets of questions testing the same subject ensuring that when a student returned to that question, it would be different. To simplify question

maintenannce, they are stored outside of the system, usually in a database. Upon completion of each question, an embedded procedure updates the database, keeping track of where the students are in the process as well as the path that the student took through the system. This is valuable for later analysis. The system can branch to an entirely different test, Test03 in this case, and return to the current test. It is possible to shuffle the question distracters so if the system repeats the same question, the answers appear in a different order, providing an additional further variation. In addition, this assures that when different students run through the same system, they cannot share answers.

It is important to emphasize that knowledge based
systems do not require multiple-choice type of questions, but handle any input that is assessable by a computer.

Three-Tiered Approach to Developing Assessment Driven Systems with Just-In-Time Tutorials

The availability of the Internet, intranets, and networks in
general suggests a three-tiered approach to designing assessment driven systems with just-in-time tutorials. Tier 1 is the Database Layer, where the primary component may be an existing SCORM compliant Learning Management System (LMS) with additional tables for use by the new Logic Layer. The Logic Layer contains the rules knowledge base defining how to present each dialog and tutorial. The Presentation Layer, or final tier, may be HTML, MS .NET Windows Dialogs, or some other form. All three tiers, typically maintained separately, may run server side, the Presentation Layer serving as the client. The design can be completely SCORM compliant. The Logic Layer knowledge based system manages the SCO's or the knowledge bases interact with the SCORM API as SCO's.

Automating Test Improvement

Systems automatically generate decision trees, similar to
those illustrated above, from database tables as often done in Data Mining. For example, a database table containing

Figure 2: A Simple Adaptive Test.

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