Designing intelligent language tutoring system for learning Chinese characters

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Liu, Jingyu
Iowa State University
Chinese learning; Intelligent Tutoring System; Pedagogical effectiveness; Usability; User-Centered Design; User study
thesis / dissertation description
The purposes of this research are to explore 1) the design and usability of the interface for an intelligent tutoring system for recognition of Chinese characters, 2) the pedagogical effectiveness of different forms of information presentation and feedback. A prototype system (an iPad Chinese character tutor) was developed and was evaluated for its effectiveness and usability. In the evaluation test, two groups were given 34 Chinese characters and phrases to learn using two different versions of the system. Version A contained a metaphor-based pedagogy, feedback, and extra instructions; Version B did not. Participants’ learning performance and survey results were used to measure the effectiveness and usability of the system. Learning performance of the group who used Version A was statistically significantly better than that of the Version B group. Participants surveyed rated Version A significantly higher than Version B on several constructs, including usability, satisfaction, functionality, and usefulness. This study lays the foundation for the development of an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) for Chinese learning.