Annotation of Tutorial Dialogue Goals for Natural Language Generation

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We annotated transcripts of human tutoring dialogue for the purpose of constructing a dialogue-based intelligent tutoring system, CIRCSIM-Tutor. The tutors were professors of physiology who were also expert tutors. The students were 1st year medical students who communicated with the tutors using typed communication from separate rooms. The tutors made use of a rich variety of strategies, some specific to particular content areas and others more general, such as showing that the student holds contradictory beliefs about the domain. In this article, we describe our model of hierarchical goal structure for tutorial dialogues. We catalog each major pedagogical method we found in the dialogues, showing its structure and illustrating the features needed to represent each subgoal in its correct narrative and interpersonal context. We compare our goal structure with other analyses of tutorial dialogues.