IBM Watson Tutor

IBM Watson Tutor is an intelligent tutoring system that guides students through a review session using natural language conversation. Students engage in a dialogue with Watson as part of their course of study. We developed this project to enhance learning, help students retain information, and increase engagement.


I conducted exploratory workshops with university students to understand their classroom experiences, learning needs, and study habits. We engaged in interactive design thinking activities to understand how, when, and where students study. The workshops included activities such as empathy maps, scenario maps, and storyboards to understand who students are, what they need, and how they envision technology improving their experiences.

We learned that students benefit from receiving help from instructors, but often need access to this assistance at off hours (weekends, late at night) in order to accommodate their study schedules. We also explored how students best retain knowledge so we could incorporate aspects of those strategies into the solutions we were creating.

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Based on these findings, we created an interactive tutor that students could access alongside their coursework. I collaborated closely with a university to conduct ongoing design and usability testing throughout the development process. We recruited students for in-person sessions during which they interacted with the tutor and then completed both a questionnaire and an interview about the experience.

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As a result of the feedback we received, we made changes to the navigation and the way we display information. We added an initial introduction to help familiarize students with the tutor and their new study experience. We also explored the ways in which the tutor interacts with the students, adjusting language and responses to devel0p a tone and voice that resonates with students. These insights helped us create an effective tutor that students will want to use.