Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


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Published in International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 119-151, 2008.


I-MINDS provides a computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) infrastructure and environment for learners in synchronous learning and classroom management applications for instructors, for large classroom or distance education situations. For supporting the instructor, I-MINDS includes a teacher agent. The teacher agent allows the instructor to interact with students, manage Q&A sessions, administer quizzes, post evaluations, form groups and monitor individual and group performances. For computer-supported collaborative learning, I-MINDS, which stands for Intelligent Multiagent Infrastructure for Distributed Systems in Education, provides a student agent for each student. Each student agent monitors and models its user and carries out group formation with other student agents behind-the-scene. I-MINDS provides standard online collaborative features such as chat rooms and whiteboards and implements a structured cooperative learning mechanism called Jigsaw. The system also incorporates multiagent coalition formation algorithms for forming peer groups. I-MINDS also provides a group agent for each peer group that monitors and evaluates its assigned peer group. I-MINDS has been deployed and evaluated in an introductory computer science course (CS1). Results show that intelligent tools such as I-MINDS can be used in a real-time environment to support student cooperative learning activities, and also as a testbed to collect instructional or pedagogical data for better understanding of student collaborative learning. This paper describes the I-MINDS framework, implementation, deployment, and test results comprehensively.