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Addressing Cognitive Differences and Gender During Problem Solving
Ivon Arroyo, Beverly P. Woolf and Carole R. Beal

This research evaluated the impact of supplementing user models with additional data about cognitive features of the student. Supplemental data included individual differences variables such as: developmental stage of the learner (Piagetian), spatial ability, math-facts-retrieval and gender. These differences were applied along with multimedia and customization in two intelligent tutoring systems, one for arithmetic and one for geometry. The research resulted in the general conclusion that enhancing user models with detailed information about cognitive ability led to improved response to instruction. This is especially important to consider for domains for which there are well-established group differences, such as gender differences in mathematics.

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