• Design, development and assessment of the Java Intelligent Tutoring System

      Sykes, Edward R.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      The "Java Intelligent Tutoring System" (JITS) research project focused on designing, constructing, and determining the effectiveness of an Intelligent Tutoring System for beginner Java programming students at the postsecondary level. The participants in this research were students in the School of Applied Computing and Engineering Sciences at Sheridan College. This research involved consistently gathering input from students and instructors using JITS as it developed. The cyclic process involving designing, developing, testing, and refinement was used for the construction of JITS to ensure that it adequately meets the needs of students and instructors. The second objective in this dissertation determined the effectiveness of learning within this environment. The main findings indicate that JITS is a richly interactive ITS that engages students on Java programming problems. JITS is equipped with a sophisticated personalized feedback mechanism that models and supports each student in his/her learning style. The assessment component involved 2 main quantitative experiments to determine the effectiveness of JITS in terms of student performance. In both experiments it was determined that a statistically significant difference was achieved between the control group and the experimental group (i.e., JITS group). The main effect for Test (i.e., pre- and postiest), F( l , 35) == 119.43,p < .001, was qualified by a Test by Group interaction, F( l , 35) == 4.98,p < .05, and a Test by Time interaction, F( l , 35) == 43.82, p < .001. Similar findings were found for the second experiment; Test by Group interaction revealed F( 1 , 92) == 5.36, p < .025. In both experiments the JITS groups outperformed the corresponding control groups at posttest.