PI: Andrew Olney
Co-PIs: Natalie Person, Sidney D'Mello, Art Graesser

Class 5.0We know that students benefit from individualized training, but tutors can vary widely in ability and experience. How can IIS level the playing field so that automated tutors are consistently excellent?

Guru, our second-generation animated tutor, stems from AutoTutor, but uses what we've learned about expert tutoring strategies and dialogue for a more effective tutoring experience.

Guru seeks to improve educational outcomes on the Tennessee Gateway Science Test that high school students must pass to receive a diploma.

We focus on maintaining student motivation, and we are collecting self-report, eyetracking, and other behavioral measures to make interacting with Guru as enjoyable as possible.

visit website

Past Funding:

  • Guru: A Computer Tutor that Models Expert Human Tutors. Funding Agency: IES. $1,858,176

Selected Publications:

  • Mills, C., D'Mello, S., Bosch, N., & Olney, A. M. (2015). Mind Wandering During Learning with an Intelligent Tutoring System. In C. Conati, N. Heffernan, A. Mitrovic, & M. F. Verdejo (Eds.), Artificial Intelligence in Education (pp. 267–276). Springer International Publishing.
  • Cade, W., Maass, J., Hays, P. & Olney, A. (2014). Animated Presentation of Pictorial and Concept Map Media in Biology. In S. Trausan-Matu, K. Boyer, M. Crosby & K. Panourgia (ed.), Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Vol. 8474 (pp. 416-425). Springer International Publishing. BEST STUDENT PAPER AWARD
  • Olney, A. M., Hays, P., & Cade, W. L. (2013). XNAgent: Authoring embodied conversational agents for tutor-user interfaces. In E. Walker, & C.-K. Looi (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshops at the 16th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED 2013), Vol. 7 (pp. 137–145).
  • Person, N., Olney A., D'Mello, S., & Lehman, B. (2012). Interactive Concept Maps and Learning Outcomes in Guru. Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth International FLAIRS Conference, (pp. 456-461). Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
  • Olney, A. M., Person, N. K., & Graesser, A. C. (2012). Guru: Designing a Conversational Expert Intelligent Tutoring System. In C. Boonthum-Denecke, P. McCarthy, & T. Lamkin (Eds.), Cross-Disciplinary Advances in Applied Natural Language Processing: Issues and Approaches (pp. 156-171).
  • Olney, A. M., Graesser, A. C., & Person, N. K. (2012). Question Generation from Concept Maps. Dialogue & Discourse, 3(2), 75-99.
  • Olney, A., D'Mello, S., Person, N., Cade, W., Hays, P., Williams, C., Lehman, B., & Graesser, A. (2012). Guru: A Computer Tutor that Models Expert Human Tutors. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, (pp. 256-261). Berlin: Springer.
  • D'Mello, S., Olney, A., Williams, C., & Hays, P. (2012). Gaze Tutor: A Gaze-Reactive Intelligent Tutoring System. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 70(5), 377-398.
  • Olney, A., Cade, W., & Williams, C. (2011). Generating Concept Map Exercises from Textbooks. Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications (p. 111–119). Portland, Oregon: Association for Computational Linguistics.
  • D'Mello, S., Olney, A., & Person, N. (2010). Mining collaborative patterns in tutorial dialogues. Journal of Educational Data Mining, 2(1), 1–37.
  • Olney, A. M., Graesser, A. C., & Person, N. K. (2010). Tutorial dialogue in natural language. In R. Nkambou, R. Mizoguchi & J. Bourdeau (Eds.), Advances in intelligent tutoring systems (pp. 181–206). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.
  • Graesser, A. C., Conley, M., & Olney, A. M. (2011). Intelligent tutoring systems. In K. R. Harris, S. Graham, & T. Urdan (Eds.), APA handbook of educational psychology, Volume 3: Application to learning and teaching. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.