As part of a project to develop an intelligent computer tutor for basic algebra, the authors investigated task sequencing. In this Note, they present an approach to task sequencing that is based on a component-skills view of intelligence and learning. They postulate that tutors use inferences about past and present student performance to determine a current skill set that will be the new target for learning. The skill set is then used as a basis for generating tasks that should elicit those skills. Current skill sets are modified slowly over time so that lessons appear coherent and well-planned. This Note first describes this approach at a general level, where it can be viewed as a cognitive model of human task sequencing. It then discusses the implementation of the model in an intelligent algebra tutoring system.
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