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Agent-controlled internet tools for computer based distant training in industry and education

Petropoulakis, L. and McArthur, S.D.J. and McDonald, J.R. (2002) Agent-controlled internet tools for computer based distant training in industry and education. International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Lifelong Learning, 12 (1-4). pp. 267-276. ISSN 1560-4624

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The paper examines ways in which standard internet-based tools and existing packages can be enhanced so as to provide efficient and cost-effective training both in academia and in industry. Aspects such as using existing CAI and CAD packages in conjunction with internet-based tools, the development of intelligent tutoring systems to assist the learning process and the existence of an environment for sharing information and resources are being considered as possible applications for such a development. The recent ''web presence'' of packages such as Matlab and Mathematica have also made this development more relevant from an educational viewpoint as both packages are used for training and both require further enhancement in their new role. We see the use of intelligent agents for the enhancement and subsequent control of such tools and packages as essential to the process of distance learning since the latter entails not only efficient communication over the internet, but it also requires the efficient control and management of a) access to facilities and software, b) user direction to the requested relevant information, b) protocols of information exchange between users and relevant software, c) techniques through which multiple distance tutoring can be effected, d) online decision support systems.