CourseWare: Advanced Technical Training System  
      AI controlled Dialog: simulated tutor and mobile communication

      CourseWare provides flexible, adaptive and "intelligent", intuitive, attractive and fun-to-use learning environments integrating two key ICT technologies into an innovative eLearning platform:
      • Artificial Intelligence, maintaining a teaching dialog by a real-time hybrid forward and backward chaining expert system, to provide adaptive, context sensitive, intelligent response to the student, a personalized tutor;
      • 3/4G mobile touch-screen phones as ubiquitous learning appliances with an open, Linux based operating system (e.g., the new generation of Android SmartPhones and tablets) and the associated communication technology with SMS/MMS and local apps, and mobile web access, for truly anywhere, anytime use.
      Adaptive and personalized content and delivery simulates a responsive tutor or lecturer for 'intelligent', context sensitive and adaptive and personalized Socratic dialog style within a course framework again managed by a real-time rule-based inference engine.

      The course delivery mechanism combines:

      • Web based lectures that include the use of on-line models and analytical tasks as 'simulated laboratory' on-line experimentation for the student;
      • 3/4G phone technology for course management and the delivery of interactive 'didactic tokens' (elements of micro learning, multiple-choice questions and related lecture elements, serious individual and cooperative games of "non-trivial pursuit") in support of the standard web-based lectures.

      Lectures are delivered by a real-time expert system as a conditional sequence of dynamically generated and thus personalized elements. Sequence and detail depend on student response, emulating a lecturer-student dialog. The intelligent tutor concept utilizes close monitoring and evaluation of the students' behavior (e.g., time spent, tests, personal learning history), including any number of embedded small multiple-choice tests to obtain immediate feedback on student comprehension, as well as the results from larger 'laboratory' assignments that involve on-line simulation and optimization model use. Additional feedback is provided by explicit on-line comments and questions by students. The same communication technology to support course management is used to maintain a virtual classroom modeled after highly popular social networks for student to student contact and communication internationally.

      Test applications at several universities and in an industrial context (continuing education) concentrate on environmental management topics related to air, water, risk, energy and climate, urban and regional development. These are complex, dynamic, and distributed problem domains, that will provide an ideal mixture of factual knowledge and analytical tasks, supported by simulation models, that can take full advantage of the proposed interactive methodology.

      The further development of CourseWare is supported by the Austrian Ministry for Transportation, Innovation, and Technology under the AT:net broadband initiative, Project.Nr. 826084


      University courses, continuing education, technical training:
      Urban Ecology   (Stadtökologie)
      (Universität Innsbruck, WS 2008/09, 2009/10)
      Spatial and Environmental Analysis
      (Ausgewählte Kapital in GIS II, TU Wien)
      Air quality assessment and management
      (AQCC, Tehran)
      Models in Planning   Quantitative Methoden der Stadt-, Regional- und Umweltplanung   (draft) Impact Assessment   Methods and tools for EAI/SEA/SIA   (draft) Tutorial: Industrial Environmental Management.

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