ERIC Number: ED284402
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Artificial Intelligence Applications in Special Education: How Feasible? Final Report.
Hofmeister, Alan M.; Ferrara, Joseph M.
The research project investigated whether expert system tools have become sophisticated enough to be applied efficiently to problems in special education. (Expert systems are a development of artificial intelligence that combines the computer's capacity for storing specialized knowledge with a general set of rules intended to replicate the decision-making process of a human expert.) To assess the feasibility of the technology, a series of prototypes was developed, in which a range of expert system development software tools and hardware systems was used. These prototype systems, which sampled administrative assessment and instructional problems, addressed: (1) classification of students as learning disabled; (2) classification of students as behaviorally disturbed; (3) classification of students as intellectually handicapped; (4) classification of students as having articulation problems requiring special education; (5) advice to teachers planning specific procedures to deal with behavior problems (Behavior Consultant); and (6) development of a second opinion of the appropriateness of the decision-making process used in the development of Individualized Education Programs (Mandate Consultant). Additional data are presented on the two prototypes that were taken through more extensive development and field testing. It was concluded that a need for the technology exists in special education and that it is possible to develop practical expert systems with the tools and research and development resources presently available. Nine appendixes comprising the bulk of the document are concerned with expert systems in relation to such topics as: (1) individual education program planning; (2) diagnosing, classifying, and treating learning disabled students; and (3) evaluating the development of such systems in education. (KM)
Descriptors: Articulation Impairments, Artificial Intelligence, Behavior Disorders, Behavior Problems, Classification, Computer Managed Instruction, Computer Software, Computer Uses in Education, Decision Making, Disabilities, Elementary Secondary Education, Expert Systems, Handicap Identification, Individualized Education Programs, Instructional Development, Learning Disabilities, Special Education, Systems Development
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Utah State Univ., Logan.
Note: For related document, see EC 200 221.