A Framework for Model-Based Adaptive Training

What is the Target Audience?

The target audience for the training application has to be determined. Some trainees will have more experience than others so the starting point and depth of training will vary. The trainee characterisation affects both the overall training strategy and details of didactic and diagnostic methods. The target audience should not be guessed. A good approach is to survey the intended trainees until sufficient information is identified. For example, a learning style questionnaire [MOBIT 1994, W7] could be used. Such a survey should go beyond investigating trainee ability and experience. The overall training strategy can be based on a trainee self-supporting level (see Section 4.7). It is also desirable to characterise trainee beliefs and traits of personality. These attributes can be used to deliver truly personalised training. A good trainer knows how to introduce training material appropriately so that trainees are not overwhelmed or bored. The trainee characterisation provides a starting point for training delivery. During training delivery the trainer agent maintains a set of training goals (e.g., a goal tree or list of goals) which represents a dynamic trainee record (i.e., a student model or a trainee model).

To represent the trainee, the training system will employ model(s) of the trainee. The purpose of a trainee model is to:

  1. accurately reflect the beliefs and capabilities of the trainee;
  2. provide appropriate information to permit the correct choice of training; and,
  3. permit storage of trainee state information to allow later continuation of training.

During a training session, the trainee model is a dynamic representation. The trainee model is based on the specification of training objectives and a trainee’s personal details (profile and preferred learning style). The training objectives, trainee profile and learning styles allow the system to create an approximate trainee model for a particular trainee. The complete trainee model is a dynamic representation of what the system believes the current state of the trainee is. The trainee representation relates the personality of the trainee to the training system. It is the means of differentiating one trainee from another and for maintaining a consistent environment for the trainee in which she/he can learn.

The target audience specification should identify the current trainee experience, ability, motivation and confidence. For the MOBAT application experiments, these attributes have been combined to define a trainee self-supporting level which affect the design of training units in terms of a control strategy, contents structuring and explanation levels. Training strategies for tutoring, coaching and facilitating are implemented with trainer task primitives (to dictate, to coach and to facilitate) within the didactic tactician of the training system. These tasks are used to select models, switch to different models or adjust models as needed at run-time (see Section 6.5). A further approach for a trainee to freely browse the training material, which requires no instruction by the didactic tactician, is called the “discovery strategy”.

In the MOBIT methodology, the trainee characterisation is split into four main sections: personal details, historical record, training record and diagnostic information [MOBIT 1994, W8]. A summary of mapping the trainee profile to a trainee model is shown in Figure 7-3. Each of the trainee characterisation categories are described in greater detail in the following sections. It should be noted that this characterisation does not present a complete picture of possible trainee profiles. It is not the aim here to provide a characterisation which can cover both many perspectives and different depths of focus. The specification in this section provides an initial proposal and should not be seen as complete.

Figure 7-3 Trainee Profile and Trainee Model

Figure 7-3 Trainee Profile and Trainee Model

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