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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/5869

Title: Automated topic spotting provides added efficiency in a chat based tutoring environment
Authors: Butgereit, L
Botha, RA
Keywords: MXit
Dr Math
Chat
Topic spotting
Issue Date: May-2012
Publisher: IIMC International Information Management Corporation
Citation: Butgereit, L and Botha, A. Automated topic spotting provides added efficiency in a chat based tutoring environment. IST-Africa 2012 Conference Proceedings, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9 - 11 May 2012
Series/Report no.: Workflow;8985
Abstract: Dr Math is a mobile, online tutoring project which allows primary and secondary school pupils to contact tutors in mathematics using text based chat systems on their cell phones. The tutors use traditional Internet based workstations. Dr Math is extremely popular with school pupils and Dr Math tutors are often chatting to twenty pupils concurrently. It is important that the tutors are as efficient as possible. This paper describes the implementation of an automated topic spotter in a mobile chat-based tutoring environment. The tutors, although well versed in mathematics, were not all home language English speakers. They often struggled with the cryptic abbreviations which the pupils used in their queries. In addition, the number of pupils asking questions far exceeded the number of tutors available. It became important to ensure that the tutors were as efficient as possible. The automated topic spotter would process the cryptic questions, determine the general mathematical topic, and automatically provide supporting material to the tutors. The learning gained on this project could be easily reimplemented in other domains besides education including health and public services.
Description: IST-Africa 2012 Conference Proceedings, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9 - 11 May 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/5869
ISBN: 978-1-905824-34-2
Appears in Collections:Human language technologies
ICT in education, youth, gender
General science, engineering & technology

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