The Declarative to Procedural (D2P) tutoring system [large figure] is designed to support tutoring procedural skills that can be and need to be described to learners initially with declarative knowledge (Ritter et al., 2013). This approach is inspired by the learning and retention theory in Jong Kim's thesis (Kim, 2008; Kim, Ritter, & Koubek, 2013, Kim & Ritter, 2015). D2P is a page-based system. Pages are created in XML (either in a page editor, or freehand in an XML editor) and the D2P Java-based engine displays them. Pages can have tutorial information including videos, images, sound files, text, questions, and simulations. Pages can have questions based on videos, images, or text.
Pages that have simulations can also pass questions into the simulation to be asked (this approach has also been tested in a project with James Niehaus at CRA for ARL/Orlando). The results are logged in an SQL database, and feedback can be given or not given (e.g., for pre-tests).
We are working to extend the architecture to use a knowledge representation from Herbal to annotate pages and for learners to know more about the structure of what they are learning. A conference paper provides an overview (Ritter et al., 2013), and an invited journal article summarising a more complex test of the tutor has been submitted and is available upon request.
We have created two tutors. D2P/MTT teaches how much to lead moving targets. It has approximately 2-4 hours of self-paced material. We have tested this tutor three times (Yeh & Ritter, 2012; Yeh, Voller, Ritter, 2013; Yeh, Ritter et al., submitted). In our initial test the tutor had an effect size of 1.48; the revised tutor had an effect size of 3.7 using the most conservative measure). Our third test was with previously deployed Marines that are in the Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP) and NROTC instructors at Penn State, Marines who have been trained numerous times how to shoot moving targets. We believe—as do experts at MCWL—that current training based on powerpoint slides without practice leads to performance near chance. A test of a revised tutor shows improved performance with an effect size of betwen 2.56 (Marines) and 4.87 (students) -- the number also varies based on which equation is used to compute it because the final SD is relatively low and the final performance mean is near ceiling.
D2P/CLS (Hobbs et al., 2012) teaches combat lifesaving skills, battlefield first aid for and to Marines and other trauma casualties. It covers the topics in tactical combat casualty care, both as an introduction and with practice applying both general and specific skills. It appears to provide 2 to 4 hours of self-paced material. A technical review for MCWL found plenty of strengths and also numerous types and places where it could be improved.
D2P is novel in that it appears to be easy to use (the two first two instructional desigers had only BS degrees and no experience in the domains) and inexpensive to use (D2P/CLS was created for $80k, including the technical evaluation). D2P and its approach is focused on skills that often have not been put into a tutoring system, skills that start out declaratively but end up as procedural skills. The tutors have been tested, albeit not completely or fully. But, the best test so far on the MTT suggests that it tutors in a single session well enough to train users to shoot at moving targets far better than existing instructional materials.
Also available (links below), are the tutoring engine/architecture, a manual, the page editor system and question builder, and an example tutor designed to show basic page use. We also provide a short video of D2P/CLS running. The existing D2P tutors, D2P/MTT and D2P/CLS are distributed by request; they are slightly large and installation can be slightly fussy (although it should not be, we are working on this). If you would like to use one of these tutors, please contact frank.ritter @ psu.edu for how to acquire them.
Example Tutor designed to show basic page use by Ritter [you will have to control click to download it, or view source, because if you just open it in a browser, the XML will be stripped off! and it will look like not much. You will also have to use the manual to see how to load and run it.]
Example video of D2P/CLS
D2P was created by Frank Ritter, Jeremiah Hiam, Mark Cohen, & Martin Yeh, with some base software written by Tatum Software. Jon Morgan and J. Nick Hobbs created the tutors. Mark Cohen created the CLS simulation and helped create Herbal along with Steve Haynes. D2P is based on theories of learning and retention arising from Jong Kim's thesis work. ONR supported creating the tutoring language; MCWL has supported creating the tutors, Chris Carolan currently, and previously Ray Pursel and Jack Sparks. Peter Weyhrauch at Charles River Analytics has given useful comments and helped develop the approach, as well as serving as the prime on some contracts. Jim Niehaus was PI on a project for ARL/Orlando to discuss how to tie tutors to simulations.
This project draws upon numerous ONR contracts, for the theory, for the application into an architecture, for a modeling language, and for building the tutors.