Intelligent Learning System for Automata (ILSA) and the Learners' Achievement Goal Orientations


Cesar Tecson

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science


Information Systems & Computer Science

First Advisor

Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo, PhD


In this study, an intelligent online tutoring system called ILSA (Intelligent Learning System for Automata) was developed to teach automata theory. ILSA was deliberately developed to appeal to the achievement goal orientations of learners: mastery and performance orientations. An overlay student model was embedded in ILSA to keep track of the learner’s mastery on the knowledge components covered. In ILSA, the learning path and remediation is personalized. The tutoring system was implemented in the classroom setting. Utilization results showed that the feature usage of mastery-oriented learners aligned with theory as evidenced by significantly higher utilizations of deep processing strategies. On the other hand, mastery-oriented learners also made significant utilizations to competitive features that were associated to performance-orientation. Nonetheless, this adaptation of mastery-oriented learners to some competitive features seemed to support the literature’s claim that mastery-oriented learners are more adaptive and flexible than performance learners in the learning environment. Contrary to the claim on achievement goal researchers that performance-avoidance learners are uniformly maladaptive, there were evidences that these learners engaged in help-seeking strategies in ILSA. This result seemed to suggest that performance-avoidance learners actually would engage with learning strategies, like help-seeking, if the manner of seeking help or support is not known by peers, which happens in ILSA. On the other hand, there were empirical evidences that learning was achieved after using ILSA across the different achievement goal orientations as manifested by Pre-Test and Post-Test results. There is a significant relationship between the rich utilization of ILSA features and the learning gains of mastery-oriented users. The v performance-approach learners’ prolonged exposure to ILSA seems to positively impact their learning. Whereas, the focusing of performance-avoidance learners on shallow learning processes did not render them better long-term gains in learning compared to other achievement goal orientations.

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