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Semi-automated math tutoring

This project aims to develop and study a demonstrator of semi-automated online math tutoring by combining a human approach and automated tutoring. The automation will be based on Natural Language Processing analysis of previous tutor-student interactions. To evaluate the semi-automated tutoring concept, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial by randomly assigning students into a treatment group where tutoring is semi-automated and to a control group with only human online tutoring. We will also conduct a thematic comparative analysis of student-automated tutor interaction compared to student-human tutor. The findings will contribute to research on semi-automated tutoring, a scientific area that has received limited attention. The semi-automated approach could greatly impact society because tutors can help more students. The project will serve as an example of beneficially using semi-automation without losing the human touch of tutoring.

It has been known for decades that one-to-one tutoring is a very effective teaching method, although the key challenge is to scale it up. Maths Coach Online ( has been offering one-to-one tutoring by teacher students to K-12 students using chat and interactive whiteboard since 2009 and has conducted more than 70,000 tutoring conversations. We are transforming Maths Coach Online into a national service, making scaling to a larger volume of students important. Therefore, we want to explore how to support high-quality math learning for as many students as possible by incorporating semi-automated intelligent tutoring.

Crossdisciplinary collaboration
The researchers in the team represent the KTH School of Industrial Engineering and Management, Department of Learning in Engineering Sciences and the KTH School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Department of Intelligent Systems.

Watch the recorded presentation at the Digitalize in Stockholm 2023 event:



Picture of Stefan Hrastinski

Stefan Hrastinski

Professor Unit of Digital Learning at KTH, Working group Educational Transformation, PI: Semi-automated math tutoring , Former Co-PI: Responsible Digital Assessment Futures in Higher Education (REFINE), Digital Futures Faculty

+46 8 790 65 68
Picture of Olov Engwall

Olov Engwall

Professor in Speech Communication and Technology, KTH, Co-PI of project Semi-automated math tutoring, Digital Futures Faculty

+46 8 790 75 35