The Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools, or CTAT, is a tool suite that enables you to add learning by doing (i.e., active learning) to online courses. CTAT supports the creation of flexible tutors for both simple and complex problem solving, capable of supporting multiple strategies that students may draw on when solving tutor problems. CTAT tutors track students as they work through problems and provide context-sensitive, just-in-time help.
CTAT supports the creation of two types of tutors: example-tracing tutors, which can be created without programming but require problem-specific authoring, and cognitive tutors, which require AI programming to build a cognitive model of student problem solving but support tutoring across a range of problems. The two types of tutors are roughly behaviorally equivalent.
CTAT-based tutors can be created in Java or Flash. It is also possible to use CTAT to add tutoring to an existing simulator or problem-solving environment (see CycleTalk for an example of this approach).
CTAT tutors are seamlessly integrated with PSLC Data Shop. Tutors developed with CTAT write detailed logs of the student-tutor interactions, suited for teachers or researchers. This logging capability does not require any extra effort by tutor authors. The Data Shop provides support for detailed analysis of students' learning trajectories, based on the log data. For those who prefer to do logging only, CTAT provides a separate library with logging functions.
CTAT tutors can be delivered via OLI (Open Learning Initiative) courses, but a number of other delivery options are available, including standard web delivery.