Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Computer Science


Human Computer Interaction

First Advisor

Stephen Gilbert

Second Advisor

Les Miller


This work first presents two implementations of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) on engineering undergraduate-level diagram education: StaticsTutor for free-body diagram and Thermo Cycle Tutor for refrigeration T-v diagram. Initial investigations on several groups of students have shown their educational effectiveness.

Unlike text-based input, diagram has some intrinsic challenges that lead it hard to teach. One example is conceptual knowledge is highly interconnected with procedural knowledge. Learned from the two ITSs, we provided some general pedagogical guidelines for the future Diagram-based ITSs.

Also, we learned classes can be used as a way of representing geometric shapes in diagrams. Thus, we extended our work to the generality of how the current approach can be applied to other domains. We chose a popular type of diagram, called Block Diagram, which contains geometric objects and lines/arrows in connecting them. We developed a methodology to represent a diagram’s information and an ontology of diagram evaluation processes to diagnose students' diagrams. Our work contributes to the development of Diagram-based ITSs authoring tools.

Copyright Owner

Enruo Guo



File Format


File Size

216 pages