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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 15 (2010) pp 171-177

Accessible Artificial Intelligence-Based Chemistry Tutoring for Blind and Visually Impaired Students

Benny G. Johnson,*, Jeffrey S. Dittel, and Dale A. Holder

Quantum Simulations, Inc., 5275 Sardis Road, Murrysville, PA 15668; Britlan, Ltd., 516 East Birch Avenue, Whitefish Bay, WI 53217,
Received September 9, 2009. Accepted December 26, 2009.

Published: 17 March 2010

Abstract. We report the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) tutoring software system that is accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired, delivered through the Internet. In prior research, we have successfully developed, tested and brought to the classroom AI-based tutoring systems in chemistry education. This work achieved several important firsts in chemistry tutorial software: enabling students to get interactive assistance on their own problems, which they enter into the tutor, get feedback on their own work, which they also enter in detail, and ask the tutor specific questions about how the concepts being studied apply to their current situation. In controlled testing, these intelligent tutors have significantly improved student performance and understanding. The aim of the present research is to bring the full benefits of this new educational technology to students who are blind or visually impaired. The problem of quality educational software materials for the blind is known to be particularly acute. Certain unique attributes of the AI tutoring systems make them well suited for full accessibility using Internet-capable screen reader technology.

Key Words: Computers in Chemistry; general chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (298 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

An Appendix containing the Transcript of Example Tutoring Session is available (15 KB).

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