Extending the Diagnostic Capabilities of Artificial Intelligence-Based Instructional Systems

  • Santosh Mathan Honeywell Labs
  • Nick Yeung University of Oxford


Active problem solving has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to acquire complex skills. Whether one is learning a programming language by implementing a computer program, or learning calculus by solving problems, context sensitive feedback and guidance are crucial to keeping problem solving efforts fruitful and efficient. This article reviews AI-based algorithms that can diagnose student difficulties during active problem solving and serve as the basis for providing context-sensitive and individualized guidance. The article also describes the crucial role sensor based estimates of cognitive resources such as working memory capacity and attention can play in enhancing the diagnostic capabilities of intelligent instructional systems.