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Knowledge based system tools are well within the skill set of any instructional technologist. What is lacking is awareness by the instructional technology community of knowledge based system technology, and how to apply it easily.


As the clamor and glamour of multi-media Internet
enabled tutorial and testing systems becomes standard fare, the need for systems that are simpler, more efficient, and more responsive to individuals - adaptive - are being recognized, particularly by the defense community.
Consider a sailor in training using an assessment driven
adaptive distance learning system. A learning management system takes this sailor through the training, maintaining a record of the student's progress. This same system can later assist that sailor in solving a problem while at sea using just-in-time instruction. In this scenario, the Learning Management System references the training record enabling efficient delivery of the precise information that must be learned. The reusability of the same knowledge bases for both basic training and field instruction is an enormous cost savings, completely in the spirit of SCORM compliance, and it assures that the training materials reflect the realities of shipboard operations.
It is interesting to compare knowledge based systems
with the Internet's keyword search mechanisms or with the completely undisciplined branching that comes from hyper-linking. Hypertext, invented by Vannevar Bush in the 1940s (before there were any computers), was originally grounded in the very disciplined science of semantic networks. Now, however, hypertext (Internet hyperlinks) evolves without regard for structure or design. When comparing knowledge-based systems with the standard keyword / hierarchical / alphabetical indexing systems currently in most help systems, only the knowledge based systems captures and delivers the knowledge of how the various system elements are related. Currently a lot of research is being done to develop Internet browsing systems that are based on knowledge based system technology.
It is clear that knowledge based system technology, such
as Attar Software's Knowledge Builder and Configurator, are ideal tools for the instructional technologist seeking methods for making adaptive assessment driven tutorial systems with just-in-time training. Instructional technologists need only to be aware of these tools, and have them available, for the next generation of adaptive systems to emerge.
For the instructional technologist, knowledge based
technology can create:

* Assessment driven adaptive testing and tutorial systems for training.
* Just-in-time training that precisely presents the materials from the tutorial system.
* Analysis of test records that identifies patterns and profiles of students.
* Automated systems that learn from continuous record keeping.
* Advisement systems that configure courses of training to fit individual backgrounds and individual goals.

Imagination is the only limit. I encourage all instructional
technologists, and those who manage and lead instructional design projects, to familiarize themselves with today's knowledge based system technologies, and to let imagination soar into tomorrow's intelligent adaptive systems.

1. Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
2. Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is an XML-based framework that defines and accesses information on learning objects to easily shared among different Learning Management Systems (LMSs). SCORM was developed in response to a United States Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to promote standardization in e-learning. - searchWebServices.com Definitions - powered by whatis.co
4. Data mining is the analyzing data to identify patterns and establish relationships. Data mining parameters include:
Association - looking for patterns where one event is connected to another event
Sequence or path analysis - looking for patterns where one event leads to a later event
Classification - looking for new patterns (May result in a change in the way the data is organized but that's ok)
Clustering - finding and visually docu-menting groups of facts not previously known
Forecasting - discovering patterns in data that can lead to reasonable predictions about the future

searchWebServices.com Definitions - powered by whatis.co

Professor Brosch is experienced in conceiving and developing knowledge based adaptive training systems. He is a Senior Associate of IntelliCrafters (www.IntelliCrafters.com), a provider of knowledge based software products and consultancy, and who represents and distributes Attar Software products in the Americas.

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