Intelligent Tutoring System Architecture Rebuilt: A Pattern Approach

Intelligent Tutoring System Architecture Rebuilt: A Pattern Approach

Alke Martens (University of Rostock, Germany) and Andreas Harrer (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-008-1.ch004


In this chapter, an approach to support the development of ITS based on patterns and pattern catalogues is described. Patterns are means to facilitate inter-project communication. As such, they provide for a clear terminology in an application domain. They support the development process itself by encapsulating information at different levels (e.g. using underlying concepts and tools, adding and integrating new concepts and tools, and fundamentally changing the structure of an existing piece of software). The approach described in this chapter shows two examples of how a catalogue of patterns collected from existing ITS architectures can be used and re-used in different settings. Those settings span the field of plugin frameworks for ITS (i.e. JaBInT), a concrete “proof of concept” ITS (i.e. ChemNom and CoChemEx) using a collaboration script approach.
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An Architecture And The Problem Of Interdisciplinarity

Having its roots in the Greek term “arkitekton'' (αρχιτεκτων), an architect is etymologically spoken the “leader'' or “chief'' of the “builders''. The architecture, being related to the Latin term “architectura'', denotes something which is man-made. Traditionally, it is related with built environment, which means man-made surroundings, buildings, and the like. Nowadays, the term's meaning has been extended and is used in additional areas, e.g. mathematics, computer science, but also biology (e.g. architecture of cells). The core of today's usage of the term is that an architecture is a structure plan of something, which is either man-made or found in nature.

In the context of computer science, the notion of architecture is often related to the abstract structural description of the underlying software system. The architecture describes the fundamental structural organization of the system. An architecture pattern thus sketches established solutions regarding the development of software. Moreover, the architecture pattern usually provides structure but no details (Buschmann et. al., 1996). The notion of design patterns and architecture patterns has been proposed for the field of ITS early (e.g. Devedžić; 1999). Surprisingly, patterns still have not been taken up as a major method for systematic ITS development.

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