About Cognitive Tutors

Cognitive tutors are more than just problem sets. They utilize cognitive models to provide students with context-sensitive, just-in-time help as they work through problems.

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.

Tutor with CTAT

Traditionally, the development of Cognitive Tutors has required considerable time and expertise. With CTAT, creating Cognitive Tutors is both easier for experts and possible for novices in cognitive science. The tools draw on ideas of programming by demonstration, structured editing, and others.


Is the CTAT Software Free?

Yes, CTAT is free for research purposes.

What is the Goal of CTAT?

To significantly reduce the amount of time needed to create a tutor, and to lower the amount of artificial intelligence programming expertise needed.

Who is using CTAT?

Learning science researchers, online course developers, teachers, and students of cognitive science.

What is the History of CTAT?

See a timeline showing the history of cognitive tutors and CTAT.

What skills or software do I need?

Besides CTAT, you will need either Firefox or Chrome and the Google Drive app or the Dropbox app. If you're interested in authoring production rules, you will need an editor such as Eclipse. All of the software is free.

You don't need any programming experience to create Example-tracing tutors; creating Cognitive tutors, however, requires familiarity with the Jess production rule language.