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    THOUGHTSTICKER

    Intelligent Training
    and Information Management Software

    Product Description of October 1987

    Copyright (c) PANGARO Incorporated 1985 - 1987. All Rights Reserved.

    [This document was written originally as a "marketing brochure" for the THOUGHTSTICKER software system in 1985 and is reproduced here unchanged (except for the vagaries of OCR conversion from paper). As such it is long on overview and short on technical detail. The original system was designed and developed under a series of research contracts, and this write-up was an attempt to find additional customers for the software (see the 2nd-to-last paragraph of this introduction for the denouement). The original write-up included 1024 x 900 resolution screen shots of the user interface for authoring and browsing (a term we used liberally in 1985). These screen shots are not easily read via the Web (or quickly loaded), and hence are available as links. Apologies for their mixed visual quality. There is also a video available.

    In 1985 THOUGHTSTICKER took a minimum of 2 hours to demo for the average demo-ee. The first hour was spent in showing and explaining how THOUGHTSTICKER provides features such as hypertext; multi-media presentations; dynamic, mouse-driven menus that depend on the state of the system; and mixed-initiative (user- or system-directed) navigation through a knowledgebase. That part of the presentation would now take about 15 seconds, the time it takes to say or read the previous sentence. The second hour of the demo would be spent in describing the particular knowledgebase structures, and showing how THOUGHTSTICKER is adaptive to the user in ways meaningful to the user's interests and learning style. Because of that personalization, the system provided an early example of "personal computing" - something which "personal computers", in practice, do not provide. The approach provided by the software has yet to be superceded.

    Background on the concepts behind THOUGHTSTICKER can be found in a formal description, with some redundancy with the prose here. There is also a general description of the origins and functions in a published account.

    The demo ran on Symbolics AI workstations. The demo always concluded with our guests asking, "How much does this computer cost?" On giving the answer, "Around $100,000", that was it, demo over. This was true for Navy Admirals, company research directors, vice presidents of research, and so on. Protests that it could be ported easily, blah, blah, blah, although valid, were not heeded.

    Unchanged since 1987, the demo still provides insights to the use of a knowledgebase as the mediator in conversations at the user interface. The degree of personalization to individual users' learning styles, and the sophistication of the authoring process, are unsurpassed to my knowledge. THOUGHTSTICKER holds the potential for education and training (at least) that is still un-met anywhere else. With the advent of the World Wide Web, again there is hope for bringing these ideas to commercial applications.]

    Introductory THOUGHTSTICKER Screen

    1 Summary

    THOUGHTSTICKER is an intelligent software system for training and information management. The system is "intelligent" in the sense that it mediates between an expert knowledgebase and a user to provide some of the features of human conversation: a shared vocabulary, history and context of the dialogue. It is the most effective system of its kind available on any hardware.

    THOUGHTSTICKER has a theoretical basis in cybernetics and learning theory. It was developed as an enhancement to conventional computer-based training (CBT) and provides substantial improvements to CBT in:

    • Ease of use, for both courseware creation and delivery of training
    • Management of the courseware creation process
    • Sensitivity to individual learning style
    • Training efficiency and effectiveness, especially in complex tasks
    • Flexibility to encompass Job-aiding and advising, as well as training.

    THOUGHTSTICKER requires no previous experience in CBT to learn and use to its full effectiveness. Its theoretical basis is transparent to users.

    The software consists of two independent parts: the means for creating the knowledgebase (the Authoring Module); and for giving access to the knowledgebase (the Tutoring Module or Browser). Both are conceived and implemented as generic solutions that can be tailored to the specific requirements of the application, its users, the target hardware and interactive media (including videodisc, CD-ROM, graphics and sound). THOUGHTSTICKER is attached easily to existing application software and simulations for a complete training solution.

    A description of the background and features of the software follows, including by a brief glossary of terms.

    2 The THOUGHTSTICKER System

    THOUGHTSTICKER Screen explaining itself

    2.1 Background

    The term THOUGHTSTICKER refers to software based on a cybernetic approach to the problem of measuring understanding in human conversations (for example, see Conversation Theory 7 by Gordon Pask, published by Elsevier, 1976). In the 1970s, THOUGHTSTICKER was developed as an extension of Pask's studies of the 1950s and 1960s in human learning and individual conceptual style. These studies culminated in a comprehensive approach to educational technology (the CASTE system) that has been widely influential in educational theory and computer-aided instruction.

    The term THOUGHTSTICKER was coined by Pask to mark the maturation of a general approach to knowledge representation whose elements reflected cognitive structures. The name itself emphasizes that in order to converse we must externalize our thoughts into a tangible form for others. Using a computer as the medium for this conversation means that thoughts must temporarily take a static form in the computer, before becoming dynamic again as they are interpreted by a user. THOUGHTSTICKER models mental structures with a few simple but powerful constructs that:

    • Capture the author's or expert's precise approach to the subject matter, but still
    • Allow the user to learn the subject matter according to his or her conceptual style.

    THOUGHTSTICKER software is the medium for the conversation, not a participant.

    2.2 Modern THOUGHTSTICKER Software

    The current THOUGHTSTICKER software was developed originally by PANGARO Incorporated under research consultancy contracts, PANGARO Incorporated and its sister company, PANGARO Limited, were formed in 1982; they perform contracts in the US and UK for clients such as A T & T, the US Army Research Institute, Niagara Mohawk Power Company and the UK Admiralty Research Establishment.

    THOUGHTSTICKER has been re-written and extended by PANGARO Incorporated for commercial requirements. Written with all of the power of modern software environments, THOUGHTSTICKER makes extensive use of windows, menus and object-oriented programming.

    Today's THOUGHTSTICKER is an intelligent software system for training and information management that represents the most powerful computer-based training system available.

    First Screen to explain Symbolics Zmacs functions

    The power of THOUGHTSTICKER derives from:

    • A theoretical basis in cybernetics and learning theory. The advantages of Conversation Theory as a model for learning have been supported by experiments in cognitive style. THOUGHTSTICKER is derived directly from these ideas.
    • Evolutionary development in application to complex training problems, including those with training in the performance of a task. Extensions for job aiding and expert advising have also been demonstrated-

    2.3 Existing Applications

    Prototype knowledgebases have been constructed in the subjects of AI and cybernetics, naval strategy, introduction to computer usage, and word processing.

    For the Behavioural Science Division of the UK Admiralty, THOUGHTSTICKER has been integrated into an Expertise Tutor, consisting of a naval simulation and expert knowledgebase. The Tutor provides tactical training as well as basic rules and operations of the game. This system is effective because it provides the user with equal access to descriptive knowledge (elements, relations, goals), prescriptive knowledge (methods, tactics), and the environment (the simulation itself).

    For the US Army Research Institute, a videodisc interface controlled by THOUGHTSTICKER has been developed to demonstrate training of a vehicle identification task.

    Most recently a prototype training course has been developed for Symbolics Education Services. (Symbolics, Inc. is the manufacturer of advanced software engineering and Artificial Intelligence workstations; the most advanced implementation of THOUGHTSTICKER runs on this hardware. ) Derived from an introductory, paper-based workbook, this course presents basic components of the Symbolics computer, concepts of symbolic processing, and how to use certain features of the machine such as the editor and command processor. The learner can immediately practice what is to be learned via the "hands-on" capability: in the course of learning about the editor (for example) the editor window is automatically displayed and commands may be tried step-by-step by the learner concurrently with their presentation in the training material.

    Second Screen to explain Zmacs

    Symbolics, Inc. has also contracted for a demonstration to be developed by PANGARO Incorporated for use in Symbolics Sales Offices throughout the US. This demonstration will convey marketing information about the Symbolics environment, its capabilities and options, and will compare it to other systems. Symbolics chose THOUGHTSTICKER to demonstrate its powerful features because THOUGHTSTICKER is the only tool that can easily handle large quantities of information, and in an intelligent manner: a THOUGHTSTICKER-based presentation learns about the user as the user learns the material. This allows for the presentation to be targeted more accurately to what the user needs to know, avoiding material the user does not need. Further details on the nature of this quality of THOUGHTSTICKER can be found in Section 3.

    2.4 New Applications

    Recently Niagara Mohawk has contracted with PANGARO Incorporated to tailor THOUGHTSTICKER to its needs in the construction of nuclear power plants. Under federal regulations, any design changes must be documented, tracked and Justified as maintaining safety standards. Given the long time span, the large number of changes required and the turn-over of employees, the problem is intractable without computer support. THOUGHTSTICKER was chosen for a number of reasons, and the details of how it handles the issues are found in the next section, especially sub-sections 3.3 and 3.4.

    THOUGHTSTICKER Mode for training in procedures

    In summary, conventional database systems do not provide automatic management of components such as time-of-entry and user identity with the sophistication of THOUGHTSTICKER. New entries are compared to old and possible relations and conflicts are drawn to the immediate attention of the user. Queries are easily made and the context of a query maintains a focus for the user. Different users can specify different approaches, and THOUGHTSTICKER maintains these differences as well as an individual history, in all cases choosing specific retrievals based on the combination of these criteria. The same user can assert a variety of goals and switch between or combine them at will. Flexibility for different applications and capability for very large databases are further advantages of THOUGHTSTICKER.

    This particular example from industry is only one such application. Because of its basis in cognitive theory, THOUGHTSTICKER can be used as a vehicle for delivering training or manipulating a database in any subject matter. THOUGHTSTICKER can be viewed as a modular and extensible system that is easily configured to respond to the specific needs of particular applications.

    The following are broad areas of suitable application in training:

    • Computer-based tasks: training in the use of software applications programs. THOUGHTSTICKER is particularly suited to applications where hands-on practice is an important component of training. Learning programming languages and software development techniques are excellent applications. Third-party software, such as expert system shells, computer-aided design systems, financial advisors and management tools, can also be substantially enhanced by embedded training based on THOUGHTSTICKER. This can also be extended to provide expert advice, aiding the user in the proper execution of the task at a higher level than simple commands and functions. Systems for maintenance and repair that contain diagnostic aids, especially for critical situations, are examples where THOUGHTSTICKER provides exceptional advantages over other training systems.
    • Non-computer skills: Management training, sales support, office procedures and Job responsibilities are all efficiently learned from THOUGHTSTICKER because of its allowance for heterogeneous user populations and the directedness with which users can focus on particular aspects of the training course. Subjects that require large databases or require sensitivity to the learners' background are also very suitable, such as English as a second language (ESL).

    Screen: Allowing deeper exploration depending on skill level

    Screen: Still further exploration to obtain instructions on how to perform a specific command

    3 The Strengths of THOUGHTSTICKER Software

    Screen: THOUGHTSTICKER explains how it moves through its domain

    3.1 The User Experience

    THOUGHTSTICKER facilitates the user in any training and information management activities by:

    • Allowing a mixed-initiative dialogue so that the user may either give the system control, or direct the conversation based on immediate needs (e.g. uncertainty or current goal).
    • Producing distinctly different actions and responses for different individuals, based on the background, purposes, context and cognitive style of the user.

    Thus the user is provided with more focused and efficient interaction than conventional computer-aided instruction and information management systems.

    These results can be achieved because THOUGHTSTICKER "models the user" throughout the interaction, creating a history with each individual that is maintained even across sessions. Because this user model is the basis of all actions by THOUGHTSTICKER, the interaction has more of the qualities of human conversation: context, focus, and shared vocabulary.

    Screen: Explore Mode self-explained

    3.2 Comparison

    The following is a brief comparison of conventional computer-aided instruction techniques and THOUGHTSTICKER.

    The comments about computer-aided instruction can stand as generalizations across a number of commercial products, because they characterize a field which is substantially homogeneous. Although specific features of training packages vary, the instructional model and the organization of the subject matter does not.

    Conventional Computer-Aided Instruction

    1. Based on concepts of "programmed instruction" developed in the 1950s and substantially unchanged since then.
    2. The subject matter is given a pre-ordained sequence in which it is to be learned; there is no other structure to the material.
    3. All users are treated identically, and thereby are presumed to have the same cognitive learning style.
    4. The author of the subject matter makes assumptions of prior knowledge of the user; very little variation of material is possible despite differing backgrounds in the user population.
    5. Additional questioning by the user is limited or not allowed. Remedial material is offered to the user upon supposition of reasons for user's failure and usually from a static model based on averages or likelihood.

    THOUGHTSTICKER

    1. Based on a cognitive theory of human conversation developed over the period of 1955 to the present, and affirmed in empirical studies.
    2. Uses a robust knowledge representation scheme to provide a true knowledgebase; all conceptual dependencies are represented in a network structure with no fixed paths.
    3. Sensitive to an individual's cognitive style, modifying responses accordingly.
    4. Sensitive to individual variation in user's prior knowledge and can be tuned by a variety of user profiles (for example, naive computer users; experienced computer users but not of this particular type; users of another particular vendors' hardware ).
    5. User is free to ask questions and explore throughout the knowledgebase at any time. The user helps direct the remedial dialogue, which is derived from a combination of user's focus, the structure of the knowledgebase, and the history of the interaction.

    The driving force of the interaction is the user's interests and uncertainties. THOUGHTSTICKER has specific features that help the user discover these interests and uncertainties, and then explore or resolve them. By allowing such strong initiative on the part of the user, THOUGHTSTICKER provides an effective, efficient and supportive training experience.

    3.3 The THOUGHTSTICKER Knowledgebase

    Screen: THOUGHTSTICKER briefly explains its knowledgebase

    THOUGHTSTICKER is constructed as a generalized information management system. Its internal database, called a knowledge representation or knowledgebase in modern parlance, supplies a flexible, "relational" format that is suitable for any subject matter.

    Screen: How THOUGHTSTICKER responds individually to a user's requests

    To describe the format briefly: topics are defined and associated in relations by the author or expert. These objects together define a network or mesh of "knowledge" and thus determine the structure of the knowledgebase. There are no pre-defined types of relation; the author is free to create relations as desired. THOUGHTSTICKER contains heuristics, many concerned with the user's purpose and conceptual style, for moving over this structure. The conditions which determine the action of these heuristics are:

    • The User Profile: A preset stereotype of the background of the trainee. The author pre-determines what classes of users are expected to interact with THOUGHTSTICKER. For example, these classes may represent a particular range: novices at a particular task, individuals with some exposure to comparable tasks, and experts. The User Profile can be made a default chosen by the author, or chosen from a descriptive list by the user, or determined with highest accuracy and detail from a pre-test. Given such a User Profile for a particular user m the choices THOUGHTSTICKER makes are more directed to that individual's level. However, the Profile is only a starting basis and the two mechanisms described next provide further refinement of THOUGHTSTICKER's actions.
    • The User History: A tracking of all actions and results since the user started, whether at the present session on the machine or in the user's history. with THOUGHTSTICKER over time. The history consists of, among other details, a record of terms used by the user and the system, topics and explanations shown m and the current context of conversation. This shared history is used by THOUGHTSTICKER at each moment to choose an explanation or a new focus of attention. The result is more directed for the user and hence more efficient and satisfying. The disk requirement for storing this User History is modest.
    • The User Model: A representation of the user's conceptual learning style. As in the User History, the User Model influences THOUGHTSTICKER's choices at each moment but by applying criteria associated with the user's preferred modes of learning. For example, these may include a preference for examples before general descriptions; or preference for thoroughly completing current areas of learning before touching on n* areas; or preference for graphics over text. The User Model can be configured by the author, the user, or by the results of a pre-test. It can even be modified on the fly, provided the user is imposed upon to give feedback on the effectiveness of explanations. In addition, the User Model may include the broader components of the user's purpose. Thus THOUGHTSTICKER can respond differently if the user wishes to learn the entire subject, or the performance of a specific task, or a single precise command name.

    3.4 Aids to Authoring

    It is widely reported that the major expense in using computer-aided instruction is the cost of "authoring" the material, that is, creating the subject matter that the learner is to see.

    Conventional computer-aided instruction provides basic utilities for the creation of text and graphics to be assembled into frames for the user to view. In addition, features for managing the user's records, keeping statistics across groups, etc., are generally available.

    Like conventional CBT, THOUGHTSTICKER can provide any "management" functions relevant to a particular site; for example, tracking a student population, creating output reports, or collecting feedback on the effectiveness of any aspects of the course. These requirements are best defined for the specific needs of a CBT application, and tailored accordingly.

    Unlike CBT, THOUGHTSTICKER is exceptionally strong in providing tools for creation and maintenance of the knowledgebase. The power of its environment for providing such features, utilizing the bit-map display, menus, the mouse, etc., is unrivaled. The author uses a full-feature editor to create text material to be integrated into the knowledgebase. Graphics functions or particular devices (such as videodisc) can also be provided for specific training areas. A variety of tools provide views of the resulting structure and show the implications for the learner. In addition, semi-automatic tools are used to convert pre-existing, machine-readable text of the subject matter into THOUGHTSTICKER data files.

    Conventional computer-aided instruction systems provide authoring tools that are basically passive so far as the content of the presentation to the learner is concerned. THOUGHTSTICKER provides a number of active tools that facilitate the authoring process:

    THOUGHTSTICKER suggests key topics by which to represent the explanation in the knowledgebase; it searches the text as provided by the author, looking for variations and similar terms in the current author's, as well as other authors', knowledgebase.

    THOUGHTSTICKER checks the existing knowledgebase of all authors and reports how its contents relate to the new statement. It suggests how the statements might be related (identical, containing, contained, etc.).

    In certain cases THOUGHTSTICKER can detect a possible conflict between statements (technically speaking, it does this not by the semantics of the text but the structures of the knowledgebase the text expresses; THOUGHTSTICKER does not yet contain natural language processing). *e system offers a series of methods to resolve the conflict depending on the structures: statements may be declared "not accepted", they may be merged with others, distinctions may be added, etc.

    In all cases the author's input is tagged to that author and other key parameters such as time of entry. (The complete list of criteria and the associated heuristics are proprietary to PANGARO Incorporated.) Some THOUGHTSTICKER user interfaces provide the identity of the author at all times; others display it when the distinction is required. Any authors' denials of a statement are also so tagged, and hence many-valued disagreement and consensus may be stored. In this way, local extension or modification of the contents of the knowledgebase is easily achieved while still preserving the original.

    To stimulate the author to add further structure and material to the knowledgebase, THOUGHTSTICKER will propose new structures which do not yet exist and which, if instated by the author, will not conflict with existing structures. This process can be focused by having the author indicate areas to extend or areas to avoid. Alternatively, THOUGHTSTICKER can suggest areas that are "thin" compared to others; in this way the author is encouraged to achieve a uniform level of detail.

    Unique to THOUGHTSTICKER, the combination of these features make the process of creating the subject matter much more efficient. In addition, multiple authors, possibly at different sites, can contribute to the same knowledgebase without interfering with each other. The original knowledgebase can be augmented and tailored to differing needs at different locations.

    4 The THOUGHTSTICKER Implementation

    The following refers to the implementation running on Symbolics computers, with notations regarding implementations on other systems.

    4.1 Configurations

    Under the newest system software of the Symbolics, Genera 7, a complete authoring environment for use at customer sites provides advanced tools to speed the creation process. Frame-based CAI courseware and pre-existing databases can be converted into THOUGHTSTICKER's knowledge representation structure via semi-automated tools.

    THOUGHTSTICKER has been used with text, computer graphics, simulation, and videodisc media, and has been customized to interact with systems written in the Symbolics or systems running in external machines and attached via network or serial line. Software "hooks" are provided for executing applications software and administering tests in conjunction with the tutorial presentations.

    THOUGHTSTICKER runs in the Symbolics hardware and software environment because it represents the most powerful software development and delivery environment available. For some applications, however, it may be appropriate to consider alternatives for use of THOUGHTSTICKER. Since it is written in the new language standard of Common LISP, THOUGHTSTICKER may be easily potted to many other systems. However such a potting may be more or less necessary depending on certain details.

    Screen: THOUGHTSTICKER briefly explains its programming environment

    For example, in some cases a pre-existing network of hardware is available for low-cost delivery of training. THOUGHTSTICKER running on a single Symbolics system can fulfill the roles of authoring station and file server while driving the network of student terminals to provide the full advantages of THOUGHTSTICKER to each student at minimal additional cost per student. The best course for the creation of such a configuration is to design and test the final delivery system on the Symbolics, because implementation, testing and modification is very swift in that environment. Thereafter, moving the software to target hardware is straightforward given that the prototype on the Symbolics is implemented with knowledge of the limits of the target hardware.

    If owing to other constraints it is necessary to provide authoring capabilities on other hardware, transfer can be achieved; however this is not recommended until a final and approved version of the authoring features has been developed on the Symbolics.

    Finally, the cost of existing Symbolics systems is falling rapidly, and the company's commitment to low-cost (80386 based) compatible systems may make it feasible to remain in their environment.

    4.2 Implementation Details

    Source Language: Common LISP

    Distribution Medium: Cartridge Tape

    Hardware Prerequisites:

    Processor Type(s): Any of the Symbolics 3600 Family

    Minimum Memory: Standard Configuration

    Minimum Disk: Standard Configuration

    Software Prerequisites: Genera 7

    Binary License: By quotation depending on options. Authoring and tutoring modules available individually.

    Availability: North America and United Kingdom

    Support: By quotation

    Customization & Training: Yes

    Other Services: Creation of courseware. Writing system extensions, e.g. for additional I/O devices, graphics routines, simulations, and tests including performance measures and psychological profiles. Creation of new features for specific requirements, e.g. authoring and/or tutoring over distributed sites, low-cost networks for tutoring.

    5 Appendix: Glossary of Terms

    Author: A term from computer-based instruction, the author is the creator of the subject matter and usually a teacher or subject matter expert. In THOUGHTSTICKER however, there are situations where the knowledgebase needs to be extended locally by users, in order to customize it to local practices or needs, or extend its contents. In this situation, the user, even possibly the learner, may take the role of author; the system maintains the identity of each author and hence can control access to the material as appropriate.

    Authoring or To Author: The act of creating the subject matter.

    Authoring Module: That part of the THOUGHTSTICKER systems which allows a user to create or extend the knowledgebase. See Author, above.

    Branching: This is the primary format for conventional computer-aided instruction. The subject matter is arranged in a "tree" of fixed routes which the learner follows. The results of tests of the learner determine "branching" through the structure. THOUGHTSTICKER removes the restrictions of branching by utilizing a knowledge representation for the subject matter, freeing the learner to explore the subject based on individual experience, needs, and conceptual style. THOUGHTSTICKER can also be used in a sequential mode for convenient incorporation of existing computer-based instructional material, but still with liberal opportunities for the learner to be driven by uncertainty and curiosity.

    Browser: That part of THOUGHTSTICKER that allows inspecting the knowledgebase. This term reflects the application of THOUGHTSTICKER to information management, where the user is accessing, rather than extending, the knowledgebase.

    CBT/CAI: Computer-Based Training and Computer-Aided Instruction are terms from the training industry. The former is concerned with all aspects of training whether pedagogical or not, including managing the records of a student population and tracking the progress of individual students. The latter emphasizes the pedagogical component, especially in how the delivery of training via computer can be made different than other forms of training (classroom, self-study from books). THOUGHTSTICKER goes far beyond existing systems in the effectiveness of its pedagogical techniques and it maintains a complete knowledgebase of the learner's progress which is available for use at all times during the interaction.

    Courseware: The subject matter as created by the author, represented in the training software, and delivered to the student. It may consist of any combination of text, graphics, simulation, and videodisc media.

    Frames: The fundamental unit of experience for the learner in computer-aided instruction. Usually text or some combination of text and graphics, frames are linked in a fixed structure within which the learner "branches". Frames are a gross accumulation of many features of the knowledge to be learner which are neither broken down by the author nor distinguishable by the system. Hence a CAI system cannot learn very much about the individual learner, nor individualize its interaction very much, because it can distinguish very little of the learner's attention or uncertainty.

    Knowledge Representation or Knowledgebase: Term from the field of artificial intelligence referring to a software structure that is intended to represent knowledge, often of an expert. A number of approaches exist and none are considered to solve the problem for the general case. THOUGHTSTICKER uses a knowledge representation that was developed from a cognitive theory especially for the purpose of representing knowledge to be learned. Hence the heuristics that operate on the knowledge structure are well-suited to variations in conceptual style and provide highly individualized interaction for each user.

    Narrative: The term for a THOUGHTSTICKER sequence that tells a story and has some of its import conveyed by the particular order it is seen in; hence its name. The THOUGHTSTICKER features which are concerned with providing conventional computer-based instruction as part of THOUGHTSTICKER use the Narrative facilities for implementing a frame sequence. The learner is still free to explore away from the Narrative and to return easily to it as desired.

    Learner: In computer-based instruction, this term takes on its usual meaning. However, the learner may be focused on the subject matter for a variety of purposes: to cover the entire subject to acquire general skills; to perform a specific task requiring a subset of skills; or to answer a specific question or perform a single operation. THOUGHTSTICKER reacts differently for each of these purposes (see Persona, below).

    Persona: A term unique to THOUGHTSTICKER, the persona refers to (1) the individual currently using the system, and (2) the current goal of that use (see Learner, above). The persona can be used by THOUGHTSTICKER to guide its heuristics and present information in an adaptive way for this individual with a current goal. The user, whether author or learner, is identified to the system, and all history is attached to, the persona.

    Tutoring Module: That part of the THOUGHTSTICKER system which allows a user to explore the knowlegebase. This term reflects the application of THOUGHTSTICKER to training, where the user is in the role of student.

    - end -


    © Copyright Paul Pangaro 1994 - 2000. All Rights Reserved.