Welcome to the web site for Advanced Technologies for Learning, Semester 1, 2006

Ass Prof Judy Kay
Dr Kalina Yacef


This course covers relevant theories, concepts and methodologies from Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science and Education and applied in designing, building, and evaluating adaptive computer-based eucational systems. The aim of these systems is to provide the learner with ndividualised support in complex learning reasoning tasks. They try to replicate, at a more affordable cost, one of the documented benefits of excellent one to one human tutoring where average performance can be increased by two standard deviations, taking the average student to the 98-th percentile. They also aim to enrich classical Education theories with the power and advantages brought by information technology with (for instance environments using simulations, video, hypermedia, supporting collaboration and so on).

Such intelligent support implies that quite complex underpinning knowledge be modelled in the system: the pedagogical (teaching) knowledge, the beliefs about the student's knowledge and preferences, the knowledge about the domain taught, how to communicate efficiently with the learner, as well as assisting teachers efficiently. This course will present the major theories and studies useful for designing such systems from both an IT and an Educational perspective.

This course will be jointly taught with the Faculty of Education, and will be also available to postgraduate Education students. It will offer the options to focus on an educational, technical or theoretical perspective and will provide the opportunity to experience working with students and lecturers with each of these focuses. "Providing a teacher for every learner" is actually one of the 5 grand research challenges articulated by the Computing Research Association last year. Students will get the chance here to apply their skills and knowledge to this applied research field.

This course is suitable for students with a background in either Computer Science, Information systems or Education. Students will approach relevant research being done in the University of Sydney.


There is no final examination: all assessment is based upon the following tasks around one major project.

Major project, on a topic to be negotiated between students and the lecturers. Note that students can work in groups of 2-3 on these projects but then each person would be expected to identify a subset of the work for which they are primarily responsible. Each project should make use of work and tools that have come from existing research projects so that they give you an opportunity to learn about an area of ATL and, at the same time, develop your research skills, in literature searching, conducting a very small scale investigation into the technical soundness or validity of an approach and writing up the results of an evaluation. The final submission will require clear indications of individual contributions and although the default is that all members of a group get the same mark, we reserve the right to review this as appropriate. The work will be staged as follows, with partial assessment of each stage, but the earlier parts being weighted less since they are intended to be formative and provide an opportunity to submit superior final work:
Week % Description
3 5 Project proposal (3 pages - submitted electronically + hardcopy)
5-6 5 Paper review and critique (15 mins) criteria
6 10 Draft literature review (3 pages) - required and submitted for feedback.
6 0 paper outline, plan for time and evaluation (3 pages max)
12 20 Draft paper (10 pages including literature, results, references..) Use the same format at AIED papers
13 10 Reviews - review process as in normal conference and journal peer review. You should use the review form.
14 10 Presentation (20 mins + questions)
14 35 Final paper
14 5 Soft poster

Links to:

Progressive marks -- when applicable

Lecture slots

 Week1 Activity
  1 Overview
  2 Introduction to ATL Research in School of IT
  3 Broader overview
  4 project presentations
  5 Scheduled progress review meetings
  6 Scheduled progress review meetings
  7 no lecture
  8 Literature presentations
  9 Scheduled progress review meetings
  10 Scheduled progress review meetings
  11 Literature presentation
  12 Scheduled progress review meetings
    13 no lecture
  14 Presentations

Time and Venue

Tuesday 10-12.

Moved to Madsen G46.

Links for presentations

to be posted as they are submitted

Project allocations

to be posted

Initial topic list