The relative effectiveness of human tutoring, intelligent tutoring systems, and other tutoring systems

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537 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article is a review of experiments comparing the effectiveness of human tutoring, computer tutoring, and no tutoring. "No tutoring" refers to instruction that teaches the same content without tutoring. The computer tutoring systems were divided by their granularity of the user interface interaction into answer-based, step-based, and substep-based tutoring systems. Most intelligent tutoring systems have step-based or substep-based granularities of interaction, whereas most other tutoring systems (often called CAI, CBT, or CAL systems) have answer-based user interfaces. It is widely believed as the granularity of tutoring decreases, the effectiveness increases. In particular, when compared to No tutoring, the effect sizes of answer-based tutoring systems, intelligent tutoring systems, and adult human tutors are believed to be d = 0.3, 1.0, and 2.0 respectively. This review did not confirm these beliefs. Instead, it found that the effect size of human tutoring was much lower: d = 0.79. Moreover, the effect size of intelligent tutoring systems was 0.76, so they are nearly as effective as human tutoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-221
Number of pages25
JournalEducational Psychologist
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 8 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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