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[C-E] 基于Agent技术的远程教学平台设计

(2010-10-03 09:07:31)


分类: 汉译英习作


    A Design of Distance Teaching Platform Based on Agent Technology


    Abstract: The computer network technology, satellite communication technology and multi-media technology offer a new teaching mode for the distance education. Now there are still many problems in modern distance education such as weak generality, flexibility and intelligence, etc. This paper will bring up a design mode of distance teaching platform based on Agent mechanism and the concrete implementation method through analyzing the characteristic and structure of Agent technology.

    关键词:远程教育,Agent技术, 自适应,学生模型

    Key Words: Distance Education, Agent Technology, Self-adaptation, Student Model

    1 前言

    1 Preface

    近年来,随着多媒体技术和网络技术的日臻成熟, 基于Internet/Intranet的远程教学系统得到了前所未有的发展。我国1998 年在高校中推行远程教育,兴起了网上教学研究的高潮,各种网络教学系统纷纷出台,取得了不少成果。 但是,基于Internet/Intranet的远程教学效果和传统课堂教学相比,还有一定的差距,主要存在的问题有:

    In recent years, with increasing maturity of the multi-media and network technology, the distance teaching system based on Internet/Intranet has got the unprecedented development. Since our country started implementing distance education in universities and colleges in 1998, the online teaching research has been very popular, various kinds of teaching systems have appeared on the stage, and many results have been achieved. However, compared with the traditional class teaching, the distance teaching based on Internet/Intranet is still not desirable, with the main existing problems as following:

    (1) 系统缺乏个性化。目前许多的远程教学系统并没有充分考虑到学习者的需求与习惯,所以造成了个性化差、不能提高学生的学习兴趣、教学效果不明显等诸多问题。

    (1) The system lacks individuality. At present, many distance teaching systems haven't made full consideration about learner's requirements and habits, which results in many problems such as poor individuality, failure to improve student's interest, inapparentness of teaching effect, etc.


    (2) The systems lack intelligence. Most of modern distance education systems just pile up teaching materials, focusing on the presentation of teaching materials, students only accept those teaching materials passively, and the way to search net information lacks intelligence, so it is very hard for students to search something attracting their interest from a great deal of teaching resources.


    (3) The systems don't have strong dynamic interaction, and students cannot have discovery learning or creative learning, so it is hard to attain the best learning effect.


    (4) The system doesn't have strong testing and assessment function, seldom considers the indexes of students' activeness, participating, creativity and learning ability, and is rough in difficulty levels, so it doesn't have enough accurate assessment.


    In view of these deficiencies in distance teaching systems based on Web, Agent technology can be used to improve the system's intelligence, makes the system learn according to the learner's requirement, thus improve the performance of the whole distance teaching system.

    2 智能代理技术

    2 Intelligence Agent Technologies

    Agent (智能代理)技术是人工智能和网络技术相结合的产物,是一个具有自适应性和智能性的软件实体,能代表用户或其它程序,以主动服务的方式完成一项工作。也就是说,Agent是一个封装的有独立功能的模块,它包括自己的数据和对这些数据进行操作的算法,它能够接受和处理其他Agent发送来的消息,也能向其他Agent发送消息,是一个有独立解决问题能力、并随环境变化而变化的实体。

    Agent(Intelligence Agent) technology is the outcome of artificial intelligence combined with network technology, which is a software entity with self-adaptation and intelligence on behalf of customers or other programs to accomplish a task by the way of initiative service. That is to say, Agent is an encapsulated module with independent functions, includes its own data and algorithms of operating these data, can accept and process the messages from other Agents and also send messages to other Agents, so it is an entity which has its independent problem-solving ability and can change along with the changing environment.


    Agent includes the following basic features:


    (1) Autonomy: Agent can control its status and behavior by itself and can run without the involvement of anybody or other programs.


    (2)Reaction: Agent can timely feel and respond to the changes of its surrounding environment.


    (3)Initiative: Agent can actively perform target-driven behaviors and choose by itself right opportunity to take proper actions.


    (4) Communicability: Agent can exchange and interact with other entities in some communication way.


    (5)Collaboration: Exchange and collaboration can be done between Agents.


    (6) Intelligence: Agent can do related reasoning and intelligent computing based on learning knowledge and experience.


    Like a black box, Agent's construction model is as figure 1. Agent perceives the external environment and interact with it through the interface; Agent accepts outer information by sensor, filter and sort the input information, then send it to the reasoning machine, which can do reasoning and make decisions according to knowledge and rules in the knowledge base; eventually, hands action instructions to the effectors and produce operations on the external environment through interface.

    3 基于Agent的远程教学平台

    3 Distance Teaching Platform Based on Agent


    In recent years, people have made broad research about the distance teaching and the intelligence of teaching. On this basis, we have designed a distance teaching system platform based on Agent with the purpose of integrating personal learning's and cooperative learning's advantages and building a distance teaching system which can realize personal and cooperative learning. Let's look at its model in Figure 2.


    The whole modern distance teaching system includes three parts: (1) Basic Database, including learning resources library, test questions library, system knowledge library, teaching strategies library, teaching objectives library, and student models library; (2) Basic Users, i.e., teachers, students and administrators;(3) Agent, including teacher Agent, student Agent, administrator Agent, human-machine interface Agent, teaching Agent and administrating Agent.


    Let's introduce some functions of Agent.


    Student Agent: After a student logs on the distance teaching system, the system will automatically create a Student Agent. On the one hand, the Student Agent system will offer the student an interactive interface, guide the student to learn, and choose proper strategy from the teaching strategies library through the Teacher Agent to give the student the guidance according to the student's actual condition in the process of learning, then return the student's learning result to the student model library after the student finishes the learning; on the other hand, the Student Agent can tutor the student, answer questions and do discussions by communicating with the Teacher Agent.


    Teacher Agent: After a teacher logs on the distance teaching system, the system will automatically create a Teacher Agent. The Teacher Agent can distribute assignments and test questions by communicating with the Teaching Agent. In addition, it can learn the student's learning situation by exchanging information with the Student Agent, thus pertinently implement the teaching, answering questions and discussion, etc.


    Administrator Agent: After a teacher logs on the distance teaching system, the system will automatically create an Administrator Agent. The Administrator Agent can manage the system by communicating with other Administrator Agents, such as student's management, classroom management, user's management, resources management, security management, etc.


    Human-Machine Interface Agent: It chiefly takes charge of students, teachers, administrators and teaching, managing the relationships between subsystems, and recording the interactive process. Meanwhile, it can record every student's learning status, progress, effect and learning ability in order to offer different students individual teaching.


    Teaching Agent: As the core of the whole teaching system, it offers teachers and students various services and accomplishes functions of teaching and learning by communicating with Teacher Agents and Student Agents. The main functions of Teacher Agent include:


    Assignments Distribution: With the Agent's learning and reasoning mechanism, by analyzing the learner's behaviors such as browsing and downloading the teaching materials, the teacher can confirm the learner's interest; wish and knowledge level, and then generate learning contents in accordance of the student's aptitude from the teaching resources library as well as generating the pertinent exercises from the test questions library. The Student Agent will update the student model library after every learning is finished and offer some suggestions for the next learning.


    Online Answering Questions and Discussing Problems: Learners should get various help when they come across difficulties, The important functions of distance teaching system based on Web include answering questions and discussing problems which can be realized by communication between Agents. To some common topics attracting students' interest, Teacher Agent can answer questions or give guiding opinions for the discussion on the electronic blackboard accessible to each Student Agent.


    Remote Test: Test examines and evaluates the learning effect. With the analysis of students' average level from the student model library as well as the learning objective, the Teacher Agent determines the difficulty degree of test questions, then extract from the questions library and organizes the test, as well as timely generates the students' test scores and related score analysis.


    Remote Learning: It is an individual and intelligent learning by exchanging information with Student Agent, and it can record students' learning conditions and give guiding suggestions.


    Administrator Agent: It takes charge of a series of management during the teaching process, such as course management, student-status management, score management, user's management, etc.

    4 主要Agent的设计

    4 Main Design of Agent


    Agent can be defined as a 5-dimensional entity, namely, Agent=< A, I, S, T, K>, among them: A represents name or mark, which should be unique and describes the Agent's type; I represents interface, which describes the human-machine interface and communication interface (including communication protocol and I/O interface), and usually follows the principle of separation between interface and function; S represents status set, which describes the Agent's inner status, actually, Agent's behavior is the process from one status to anther status; T represents transaction set, which defines Agent's behaviors and embodies Agent's functions; K represents knowledge source, which describes the knowledge, data, reasoning rules and related resources required by Agent's behaviors in the form of data structure, database (or knowledge base), etc.

    4.1 教师Agent的设计

    4.1 Design of Teacher Agent


    Teacher Agent's task is to create a teacher model, playing the role of teacher in the system. Its design model is shown in figure 3.


    1, Teacher Agent is described as follows:


    <Teacher Agent>::=<AgentID, interface, teaching controller, knowledge base>


    <Teaching Controller>::=<Teacher Function Module, Teaching Reasoning Machine>


    <Teacher Function Module>::=<Questions Base's Query, Editing, Adding and Deleting; Learning Resources Base's Query, Adding and Deleting; Discussion & Answering Questions Area's Starting and Managing; Remote Test; Resource's Query, Editing, Adding and Deleting>


    <Teaching Reasoning Machine>::=<Choice of Teaching strategies, Knowledge Base's Query, Editing, Adding and Deleting>


    <Knowledge Base>::=< Learning Resource Library, Teaching Strategy Library>


    2. Related Databases are described as follows:


    Learning Resource Library: It stores the teaching contents, which can be updated through the interface or controller.


    Teaching Strategy Library: Teaching strategy is a general consideration about the teaching activity procedures, methods, forms and medias which are adopted in order to accomplish the specific teaching objectives. It is based on the student's cognitive model.

    4.2 学生Agent的设计

    4.2 Design of Student Agent


    Student Agent's task is to create a student's model, playing the role of student in the system. Its design model is shown in figure 4.


    1. Student Agent is described as follows:


    <Student Agent>::=<AgentID, Interface, Individual Learning Controller, Student's Model Library>


    <Individual Learning Controller>::=< Judgment of Student's Type, Registration and Logging on, Learning and Testing, Student's Model Library's Query, Editing, Add and Deleting>


    <Student's Model Library>::=< Student's Basic Information Library, Cognitive Status Library, Testing Record Library>


    2. Related Databases are as follows:


    Personality Library: Including all information about students such as learning ability, interest, and characteristic.


    Cognitive Status Library: Recording every student's learning progress and mastery degree in every realm of concept.


    Student's Basic Information Library: Recording every student's ID, name, sex, age, etc.


    Testing Record Library: Recording every student's score, errors, mastery condition of every part of knowledge in every test.

    5 结束语

    5 Conclusion


    Agent is a rising technology in the field of AI and computer software, which enjoys great superiority in the application of distance education. This paper has discussed about solving problems in distance education by using Agent thought on the basis of analyzing the deficiencies of traditional distance education based on Web, and designed a distance teaching system model based on Agent. This model has obtained very good teaching effect in the practical teaching applications.



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