A Multimedia Knowledge Module Virtual Tutor Fosters Interactive Learning
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AbstractThe reported research merges qualities of an expert system with advantages of multimedia, thus creating a variety of innovative ways of knowledge mediation. An expert system as a multimedia knowledge module was developed. Because of the interactivity and explanation features the application was named Virtual Tutor (VT). For students, the individual dialogue-based session with the VT provides the possibility to apply the knowledge acquired in combination with indirect assessment. The VT was further embedded in the web-based online learning environment. The application of expert systems makes it possible to use different knowledge representation and explanation approaches. Independent from the course content, the web-based online learning environment gives support to the students in various ways, such as tools for asynchronous and synchronous communication and collaboration, a search facility within a background library, and so forth.Evaluation of the VT was conducted. Based on the evaluation results, the conclusion can be drawn that a dialog-based system more accurately meets the requirements of the students for solving problems. Problem solutions can be found easier and faster than using conventional literature. Because of explanations provided by the VT on request, and the possibility to access additional information related to the subject matter, VT is an interesting and different way of knowledge transfer.