Intelligent Agents for Online Learning

Choonhapong Thaiupathump, John Bourne, Olin Campbell


This research investigated the effects of applying intelligent agent techniques to an online learning environment. The knowbots (or Knowledge Robots) created for the research were intelligent software agents that automated the repetitive tasks of human facilitators in a series of online workshops. The study specifically captured experimental results of using knowbots in multiple sessions of an ALN (Asynchronous Learning Network) online workshop, Getting Started Creating Online Courses. The study used experimental groups and comparison groups to examine the association between the use of knowbots and workshop completion rates. Also examined were the effects of knowbots on other factors such as facilitation time and learner satisfaction. The findings indicated that the use of knowbots was positively associated with higher learner completion rates in the workshops. In addition, knowbots implemented a learning-support tool that reminded learners about deadlines. The support knowbots were found to be effective autonomous motivators. In sum, the results of this research suggest that the application of agent technology to online learning holds promise for improving completion rates, learner satisfaction, and motivation.


ALN,Intelligent Agents,Online Learning

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