The National Science Foundation awarded a three-year, $400,000 grant to Temple University electrical engineering professor Brian P. Butz for a tutoring system that teaches engineering students about circuits and other electrical devices. The computer-based tutorial program determines what the user does and does not know, then creates a personalized program of study for the engineer. "The program senses the direction a student is taking, detects logic flaws the student makes, and then provides focused and individualized tutoring for his or her particular needs," says Butz. "The program is especially helpful to students in introductory classes who do not quickly master basic skills and are sometimes left behind," he explains. Butz says his initial goal for the tutoring program was the creation of a compelling multi-media program incorporating film clips, audio, text, and graphics into supplemental instruction. The program monitors and records the student's every interaction, including selection of answers, changes of selections, computation, and other variables. Once it has gathered enough information about the student's learning patterns, the program modifies questions to focus on what the student understands least. It provides immediate feedback on simulation projects. Call Butz at (215) 204-7212 or try a demonstration of the software at www.temple.edu/imits .
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