Computer Sciences Dept.

A Self-Directing Teaching Program That Generates Simple Arithmetic Problems

Jonathan D. Wexler

This paper describes a digital computer program (COACH) written in extended Algol that is currently operating on the Burroughs B550O. The program automatically (1)generates its own problems in simple arithmetic, (2)evaluates responses to questions by students, (3)provides hints when possible, and (4) uses probability switches and the student's past history in order to decide the type of question to ask him next. The specific topic metrics, problem generation methods, and teaching strategies used in COACH are explained in detail. The program operates in a dynamic environment in which teletypes are used for communication between the student and the computer.

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