Journal of
Engineering and Computer Innovations

  • Abbreviation: J. Eng. Comput. Innov.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6508
  • DOI: 10.5897/JECI
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 32

Full Length Research Paper

The Writing-Pal tutoring system: Development and design

Jianmin Dai, Roxanne B. Raine, Rod Roscoe, Zhiqiang Cai and Danielle S. McNamara*
Institute of Intelligent Systems, Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, 38152 Memphis, USA
Email: [email protected]

  •  Published: 30 January 2010



Writing-Pal is an intelligent tutoring system designed to offer high school students writing strategy instruction and guided practice to improve their essay-writing skills. Students are taught to use writing strategies via interactive lessons, games, and essay-writing practice. This paper presents an overview of Writing-Pal’s foundations and design, which are based on key pedagogical and educational-technology, and design principles. These considerations are important for the efficacy of the system, as well as its stability and portability in diverse settings, such as the laboratory, classroom, or students’ homes. We expect this paper to be of interest to educational developers, as well as other developers who may face similar goals and challenges.


Key words: Writing-pal, writing strategy training, architecture, design, intelligent tutoring system, essay-writing skills, vicarious learning, pedagogy, strategy instruction