Towards a Dialogue-based Intelligent Tutoring System for Medical Education

Innovative project idea

The aim of this project is to investigate the potential of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) in a field of medical education, namely infectious diseases. As part of the project, a prototype of a dialogue-based ITS in German will be developed to be used by students for exam preparation for courses in infection biology with emphasis on host-pathogen interactions at UZH. The prototype will deal with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii and is based on a freely available ITS authoring tool. As a second part of the project, the natural language processing capabilities of the prototype will be extended.

Benefits for students and teaching at UZH

The benefits of dialogue-based ITSs include their unrestricted availability, reliable adherence to pedagogical principles, and potential for adaptive instruction to account for heterogeneity among students in addition to. potential of interactive discourse and, hence, mixed initiative (i.e. possibility for both the student and the ITS to initiate an interaction).
This allows a conceptually novel approach particularly suited to exploring and understanding host-pathogen interactions in the domain of infection biology, namely by enabling students to interact with pathogens as a dialogue partner.