October 26, 2013
THE ONLY HUMAN TUTOR WORTH HAVING IS CAREN KAYE:
How good are computers as tutors? (Tyler Cowen, October 26, 2013, Marginal Revolution)
But we all go right on thinking our job is uniquely necessary. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 26, 2013 7:01 AMHere is a 2011 Kurt VanLehn paper (pdf) on human vs. computer systems of tutoring:This article is a review of experiments comparing the effectiveness of human tutoring, computer tutoring, and no tutoring. "No tutoring" refers to instruction that teaches the same content without tutoring. The computer tutoring systems were divided by their granularity of the user interface interaction into answer-based, step-based, and substep-based tutoring systems. Most intelligent tutoring systems have step-based or substep-based granularities or interaction, whereas most other tutoring systems (often called CAI, CBT, or CAL systems) have answer-based user interfaces. It is widely believed as the granularity of tutoring decreases, the effectiveness increases. In particular, when compared to No tutoring, the effect sizes of answer-based tutoring systems, intelligent tutoring systems, and adult human tutors are believed to be d = 0.3, 1.0, and 2.0 respectively. This review did not confirm these beliefs. Instead, it found that the effect size of human tutoring was much lower: d = 0.79. Moreover, the effect size of intelligent tutoring systems was 0.76, so they are nearly as effective as human tutoring.One more specific result found in this paper is simply that human tutors very often fail to take advantage of what are supposed to be the advantages of human tutoring, such as flexibility in deciding how to respond to student problems.