The role of intelligent agents in online learning environment
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The online courses were developed from ordinary courses, simple text converted in an electronic form, to learning environments, capable to guide students in their activities of learning. Also, an acceptable environment for teaching and learning has to satisfy requirements of the participants at the education process: teachers and students. This demand could be accomplished if the developers of online learning environment use intelligent agents, semi-autonomous software programs that assist the users in their tasks. In 1960 Licklider advanced the ideas about intelligent agents in his paper “Man-Computer Symbiosis”, published in IEE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, volume HFE-1. Now, intelligent software agents are used in a wide variety of areas: industry, medicine, communication, online learning. In this paper, I present an inventory of intelligent agents used in online learning, their characteristics and functions and their pedagogical role in the instruction process.