We present our work on introducing Adaptive Tutorials in first and second year
mechanics courses in Engineering. Adaptive Tutorials are interactive online modules
where an Intelligent Tutoring System adapts the instruction level to learners, based on
their individual performance. Through an ALTC-funded project, we formed a community
of practice of Engineering Mechanics educators from a range of Australian universities.
As a team, we began by identifying Threshold Concepts that if they are not grasped
inhibit students’ learning before developing a set of Adaptive on-line Tutorials to target
them. These Adaptive Tutorials were used by students throughout the first half of 2011,
and were found to be both engaging and conducive to learning. In this paper, we present
our approach and findings and discuss our strategy of giving educators pedagogical
control over such advanced technologically-based instructional methods with the goal of
increasing adoption and ultimately improving students learning.