Towards Agents for Educational Software

Linda Stern and Leon Sterling

ED-MEDIA 2006: Proceedings of the World COnference on Educational Multimedia. Hypermedia, and Telecommunications, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, 2040-2047,2006.

This paper describes a conceptual design for using agents for the development of pedagogical software. The design was developed in the context of four diverse pieces of educational software. We demonstrate the design by explaining how agents have been added to a program, Algorithms in Action (AIA), for animating algorithms in Computer Science. Agents have many potential benefits. The benefit explored here is how the agents can facilitate the evaluation of the effectiveness of student learning outcomes using a piece of educational software. We explain how the agents serve this purpose in the context of AIA. Our experience suggests that agents can be employed productively to assist in the development and evaluation of pedagogical software.