User Modeling pp 277-288 | Cite as

Using the Student Model to Control Problem Difficulty

  • Joseph Beck
  • Mia Stern
  • Beverly Park Woolf
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 383)


We have created a student model which dynamically collects information about a student’s problem solving ability, acquisition of new topics and retention of earlier topics. This information is provided to the tutor and used to generate new problems at the appropriate level of difficulty and to provide customized hints and help. Formative evaluation of the tutor with 20 students provides evidence that the student model constructs problems at the correct level of difficulty. The problem generation technique is extensible for use in other problem-based domains. This paper describes the design and implementation of the student model and illustrates how the tutor adjusts the difficulty of a problem based on the student model.


Retention Factor Student Model Equivalent Fraction Simple Number Less Common Multiple 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Beck
    • 1
  • Mia Stern
    • 1
  • Beverly Park Woolf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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