Faculty Advisor

Neil Heffernan

Faculty Advisor

George Heineman

Faculty Advisor

Michael Gennert


Intelligent Tutoring Systems are notoriously costly to construct, and require PhD level experience in cognitive science and rule based programming. The purpose of this research was to ease the development process for building pseudo-tutors. Pseudo-tutors are ITS constructs that mimic cognitive tutors but are limited in that they only apply to a single problem. The Assistment Builder is a tool designed to rapidly create, test, and deploy simple pseudo-tutors. These tutors provide a simplified cognitive model based upon a state graph designed for a specific problem. These tutors offer many of the features of rule-based tutors, but with shorter creation time. The system simplifies the process of tutor creation to allow users with little or no ITS experience to develop content. The system provides a web-based interface as a means to build and store these simple tutors we have called Assistments. This paper describes our attempt to make the process of developing, testing, and deploying content easy for teachers. We present data to suggest that users can develop a tutor that can be released to students in approximately an hour.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Computer Science

Project Type


Date Accepted





Authoring Tools, Pseudo-tutors, Education, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Intelligent tutoring systems, Authoring tools