Active learning simulators (ALSs) allow students to practice and carry out experiments in a safe environment – anytime, anywhere. Well-designed simulations may enhance learning, and provide the bridge from concept to practical understanding. Nevertheless, learning with ALS depends largely on the student’s ability to explore and interpret the performed experiments. By adding an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS), it is possible to provide individualized personal guidance to students. The challenges are how an ITS properly assesses the cognitive state of the student based on the results of experiments and the student’s interaction, and how it provides adaptive feedback to the student. In this chapter we describe how an ITS based on Dynamic Decision Networks (DDNs) is applied in an undergraduate Physics scenario, where the aim is to adapt the learning experience to suit the learners’ needs. We propose employing Probabilistic Relational Models (PRMs) to facilitate the construction of the model. These are frameworks that enable the definition of Probabilistic Graphical and Entity Relationship Models, starting from a domain, in this case environments of ALSs. With this representation, the tutor can be easily adapted to different experiments, domains, and student levels, thereby minimizing the development effort for building and integrating Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) for ALSs. A discussion of the methodology is addressed and preliminary results are presented.
Keywords: Active Learning Simulators, Dynamic Decision Networks, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Physics Teaching.