Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools 2.0 > CTAT Basics > Authoring Modes

4. Authoring Modes

CTAT has three authoring modes for creating tutors. Since tutor development is inherently an iterative process, you will probably use each of these modes more than once while creating a tutor.

A description of each Authoring Mode follows.

[CUT THIS?] The first two (Set Start State and Demonstrate) roughly correspond to the first two phases of authoring an Example-tracing Tutor. The last mode, Test Tutor, is used in each of the tutor types.

4.1. Set Start State

In Set Start State mode, you define the initial state for the tutor problem by interacting with the student interface.

Each problem has a single start state, which is stored as a section at the beginning of the BRD file. In contrast to previous versions of CTAT, you can now set or modify the start state of the problem at any time during authoring.

To enter Set Start State mode, select Set Start State from the combo box at the top of the CTAT window. The tutor state will switch to its initial state, allowing you to enter or modify values that will be shown to the student.


Changing the start state for an existing graph does not ensure that new values you enter for the start state will be consistent with values throughout the rest of the graph. Therefore, if you make changes to the start state for a complete graph, and this changes the values in the problem significantly, later links in your graph will be inconsistent with the start state.

4.2. Demonstrate

In Demonstrate mode, you demonstrate student problem-solving by interacting with the student interface. Interactions you perform in the student interface will be recorded in the graph in the Behavior Recorder window.

Any sequence of demonstrated actions will be recorded in the graph as a single branch. To create new branches (for example, from a point in the middle of an existing branch), click a state in the Behavior Recorder window—the student interface will update to reflect that state—and demonstrate a new path.

4.3. Test Tutor

Test Tutor mode previews how your tutor will behave when interacting with students. In this mode, you can play a student attempting to solve a problem. You can also test the tutor, or make changes to the graph and/or production rules.