Novice Versus Expert Tutors: A Comparison of Style

Michael Glass, Jung Hee Kim, Martha Evens, Joel A. Michael, and Allen A. Rovick

The CIRCSIM-Tutor intelligent tutoring system project has been built on the basis of numerous studies of transcripts of expert human tutors (professors) teaching first year medical students. We also have transcripts of novice tutors (second year medical students) teaching the same material to medical students at the same level. In this paper we identify measurable differences in the teaching styles between the novices and experts. Examples of tutoring of identical topics were isolated from the novice- and expert-tutored transcripts and various dialogue acts were counted. The primary result is that expert tutors are more likely than novice tutors to query students for information as opposed to informing them directly.

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