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Knowledge Maps For Intelligent Questioning Systems In Engineering Education

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.669.1 - 6.669.12



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Paper Authors

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Vishnu Lakdawala

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Oscar Gonzalez

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James Leathrum Jr.

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Stephen Zahorian

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Knowledge Maps for Intelligent Questioning Systems in Engineering Education

James F. Leathrum, Jr., Oscar R. González, Stephen A. Zahorian, Vishnu K. Lakdawala

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA 23529


The development of a hierarchical knowledge map to be used with an intelligent questioning system is described in detail in this paper. The purpose of the intelligent questioning system is to improve the educational process in engineering courses by allowing students to learn more in less time, to understand more deeply, and to enjoy their learning experience. Key elements of this system are a question model and an adaptive question management system that uses a hierarchical knowledge map to direct the learning process based on the student’s degree of understanding of individual or grouped concepts. Although there are several online computer- based questioning systems, they typically have no built-in help, no guidance if questions are answered incorrectly, no method for selecting questions based on the students needs, and no comprehensive monitoring of a student’s progress through a knowledge map of the course and the overall curriculum.

The knowledge map is a formal representation of the knowledge to be imparted to students in a program of study. In addition, the knowledge map has sufficient structure to capture a model of each student’s progression. It provides a graphical map of the concepts that a student has learned and the degree of understanding for each concept. At the highest level, the knowledge map represents the architecture of the entire curriculum. In the second level, the knowledge map represents each course as an interconnection of modules. The third level gives the architecture for the module's concepts and their relations. The structure representing each concept will specify the types of questions that are relevant. An adaptive guidance system will then be able to select a particular question from the question database depending on the student's current level of understanding. Grouped concepts will allow a comprehensive assessment at each level.

1. Introduction

Over the past several years, considerable effort has been devoted to research in the area of technology-enhanced education. Progress has been made, addressing a variety of educational needs, ranging from supplements to existing “traditional” courses, to complete on-line courses, to complete on-line programs. Despite all this effort, hype, and even product development, most

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Lakdawala, V., & Gonzalez, O., & Leathrum Jr., J., & Zahorian, S. (2001, June), Knowledge Maps For Intelligent Questioning Systems In Engineering Education Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9491

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