Working with adult reading skills instructors, Stottler Henke developed an intelligent tutoring system that automatically assesses and diagnoses each student’s specific reading skill deficiencies and tailors its instruction accordingly. It employs innovative probabilistic techniques to estimate proficiency levels of interrelated, high-level and low-level reading skills. A scaffolding mechanism helps students learn difficult skills by presenting exercises that build upon skills already mastered. In addition, the system helps students understand the relationship between the various aspects of reading and how they can be put together to achieve a high level of comprehension. By encouraging reflection, the software helps students to understand the text in more depth.
Studies show that adult reading instruction is significantly more effective when the reading material is related to each student’s personal interests and career goals. Thus, the reading tutor includes an authoring tool that enables course designers to create relevant reading material without programming. For example, a manufacturing company could include reading material related to manufacturing process guidelines and instructions, so employees can acquire reading-skills level and learn work-related material at the same time.