Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Computer Science


Existing intelligent tutoring systems are mostly academic prototypes built for research purposes. The main reason for this is that they are time consuming and expensive to build. Another reason is that there are no tools that can be used for building such systems for teachers who usually are not programmers. In this study we have proposed authoring shells as a tool for building intelligent tutoring systems to be used as a goal for research in this area. As a step toward authoring shells, we have designed and implemented a hypertext based intelligent assistant (IACP) for developing courseware meant for use by teachers. To make IACP possible we developed a model for representing domain structure and a methodology for domain structure elicitation. The model we have developed is called the concept relationship model. The CR model is constructed through interviews with a domain and subject matter expert using the methodology developed in this study. A CR model was constructed, trialled and its validity demonstrated. The CR model can be used for automatic hypertext linking. This makes generation of hypertexts, both for the purpose of courseware preparation and self exploratory learning, possible. We have also introduced the notion of intelligent links which turn the hypertext into a semi-guided learning environment more suitable for learning. Based on the CR model, student modelling can be done. IACP generates a student modelling component with every collection of course material it retrieves, structures and links together. The CR model has the potential to be used as a hypermedia tool. Although we have developed the CR model for the purpose of courseware development it can be used for general hypertext generation. It solves the problem of disorientation by providing a higher layer of links above the document level. Teachers can use IACP for preparing course material. Students can explore the material structured by the system for the purpose of learning. An expert's knowledge of the domain structure is input to IACP by a knowledge engineer.