Stottler Henke Introduces Software Toolkit That Simplifies Creating Scenarios With Automated Coaching


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Stottler Henke Introduces Software Toolkit That Simplifies Creating Scenarios With Automated Coaching

New Task Tutor Toolkit(tm) lets trainers easily build automated systems that let students practice and apply their skills, not just memorize facts.

SAN MATEO, CA., Nov. 12, 2002 — The first modular, easy-to-use software toolkit for creating simulation-based intelligent tutoring systems was introduced today by Stottler Henke Associates, Inc., a software development and consulting firm based here. The Task Tutor Toolkit (T3) is a set of Java software applications and libraries that lets trainers enhance training simulators with automated hinting and performance evaluation quickly and easily, without programming. The T3 Tutoring System provides the benefits of one-on-one coaching, automatically and cost-effectively, by:

  • Presenting the situation and goals to the student at the beginning of each scenario;
  • Monitoring and evaluating the student’s actions carried out within a simulator;
  • Assessing the student’s knowledge and skills by detecting correct and incorrect sequences of actions and simulation states; and
  • Providing context-sensitive hints and instructional feedback based on the student’s performance.

The T3 Authoring Tool enables trainers to create powerful tutoring scenarios easily, by demonstrating a correct solution to the scenario, generalizing the solution to recognize other valid solutions, and annotating the scenario so that the T3 Tutoring System can provide hints and assess student skills based on their actions. The Task Tutor Toolkit is particularly useful for augmenting simulation-based training with automated instruction in technical areas such as software and equipment operations and organizational procedures.onomous, distributed onboard management of the satellites Flexible and modular design The Task Tutor Toolkit teaches subject areas in which there is a single correct solution for each scenario, with some variation allowed in the ordering of the solution’s actions and in their details. However, the Task Tutor Toolkit teaches more than just rote memorization or mechanical skills. Scenarios let students apply their knowledge and skills, by:

  • Assessing realistic, complex situations (common and exceptional);
  • Identifying relevant facts, procedures, guidelines, and strategies; and
  • Selecting and carrying out appropriate actions to achieve desired results.

“We originally developed the Task Tutor Toolkit to address NASA’s need for rapid development of scenario-based tutoring systems,” said company president Dick Stottler. “By offering the Task Tutor Toolkit commercially, we’re making it easier for companies to combine the benefits of simulation-based training with automated, one-on-one instruction.” The Task Tutor Toolkit comprises three basic components:

  • T3 Tutoring System – a software module that interfaces with diverse simulators to create application-specific tutoring systems that run T3 scenarios. At the beginning of each T3 scenario run, the T3 Tutoring System presents a briefing that describes the situation and the goals the student should pursue by carrying out appropriate actions within the simulator. The T3 Tutoring System evaluates each student action by comparing it with the scenario’s “solution template” and with error rules that detect incorrect actions.
  • T3 Authoring Tool – a software module that interfaces with diverse simulators, enabling instructors and subject matter experts to create scenario-specific “solution templates.” The author can also specify “error rules” that infer failed course principles by detecting student actions that are incorrect when certain simulation conditions exist.
  • T3 Simulator – a built-in discrete event simulation engine and user interface, which allows users to prototype simulations quickly and easily, by specifying possible student actions and optional simulation rules that specify how the simulated world responds to each action or to the passage of time.

T3 Price and Availability T3 is available immediately from Stottler Henke. The T3 Tutoring System and T3 Authoring Tool are implemented as Java class libraries that can be interfaced with diverse simulators and embedded within Java applets or applications. The Task Tutor Toolkit also includes a built-in simulator and pre-built T3 applications that enable trainers to prototype simulation-based tutoring systems quickly and easily. Pricing begins at $5,000 for a minimum configuration of authoring tool and tutoring system licenses. Funding for the development of the Task Tutor Toolkit was provided in large part by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Air Force. Founded in 1988, Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. applies artificial intelligence and other advanced software technologies to solve problems that defy solution using traditional approaches. The company delivers intelligent software solutions for education and training, planning and scheduling, knowledge management and discovery, decision support, and software development. Stottler Henke’s clients include manufacturers, retailers, educational media companies and government agencies.