WO2011099037A1 - Method and system for guided communication - Google Patents

Method and system for guided communication Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2011099037A1
WO2011099037A1 PCT/IN2011/000095 IN2011000095W WO2011099037A1 WO 2011099037 A1 WO2011099037 A1 WO 2011099037A1 IN 2011000095 W IN2011000095 W IN 2011000095W WO 2011099037 A1 WO2011099037 A1 WO 2011099037A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
content
user
communication
method
queries
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PCT/IN2011/000095
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Sanjay Bajaj
Nixon Michaelangelo
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Sanjay Bajaj
Nixon Michaelangelo
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Priority to IN307DE2010 priority Critical
Priority to IN307/DEL/2010 priority
Application filed by Sanjay Bajaj, Nixon Michaelangelo filed Critical Sanjay Bajaj
Publication of WO2011099037A1 publication Critical patent/WO2011099037A1/en

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination

Abstract

The present invention describes a method and system for enabling a human author such as a teacher, an advertiser, and the like, to express guided communication with a user such as a student or a consumer. The method and system of the invention facilitate structured content creation, and hence increase the learning of the user while facilitating better assessment of a user's understanding of the subject matter, preferences, and the like. Examples of these guidance steps include but are not limited to hints, sub-questions, solutions to the sub-questions, explanation of relevant concepts such as fundamental theories, and the like. Thus, a user is guided through a structured communication, thereby enabling an interactive and guided learning.

Description

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR GUIDED COMMUNICATION

Technical Field

The present invention generally relates to communication techniques, and more particularly, to a communication method and system for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network.

Background

A guided or structured communication is of substantial importance in, for example, learning, teaching, entertainment, business, and several other human interactions. For example, a teacher may guide the students by lecturing or delivering notes, asking specific questions and providing corrective feedback, an advertiser can educate a consumer about a product by guiding the conversation with the consumer in a specific manner, and the like.

Various techniques in Artificial Intelligence (Al) have been proposed for modeling a meaningful conversation between a person and a computer based model of a person. While sophisticated in their approach, these general purpose approaches to model human intelligence and hence mimicking conversations with humans, have met with limited success. An example of such a system includes US 2006/0228689, which describe an intelligent interactive tutorial system. The tutorial system includes a computing system having artificial intelligence, which enables the communication in a two-way conversation mode between a student at a computer station and the computing system thereby facilitating anytime one-on-one individual assistance for the student. The computing system provides tutoring on a specific curriculum and/or a specific subject matter. The tutoring includes assistance on problems or questions associated with a specific textbook in any subject matter or other course load assigned to the student. The student may optionally communicate with a live tutor if further assistance is necessary.

Other existing solutions include predicted human conversation flows. For example, US663 887 disclose a method and system for tutoring a student in solving a problem described in the form of a dialog with a student involving questions posed to the student and analysis of student responses. The method employs a student model for receiving and diagnosing student input and a tutorial model for deciding what new questions to ask the student. The method comprises the following steps: receiving the diagnosis in a tutorial processing module; generating an agenda including at least one question; applying at least one tutorial strategy to the diagnosis; and, providing feedback to the student based on application of the tutorial strategy given the current context as indicated by the agenda data structure. In certain aspects of the method, at least one knowledge remediation dialog and/or at least one knowledge construction dialog can be applied to generate dialog between the tutor and the student. System embodiments are also provided that incorporate the functions of the methods for tutoring a student. In addition, in other embodiments, the present tutoring methods and systems are practiced in connection with instructions stored on a computer-readable medium.

However, most of such existing systems involve the use of complex authoring tools for creating content such as quizzes, study material, marketing material, and the like.

These client authoring tools require installation and training for the author and may involve use of programming languages, scripts and the like to author conversation flows. Alternatively, trained professionals may be needed to create content. Further, the existing systems do not provide a structured method to visualize and analyze, for example, the learning, the flow of ideas, and the like, during content creation.

Furthermore, most of the content created using these systems may be offered in the form of packages such as Flash files, and the like. Hence, a complete download of the all possible conversation flows is required before initiating learning, teaching or a communication process. For example, in case of a quiz, a complete Flash file may need to be downloaded or installed, which consumes significant bandwidth, and involves a cumbersome and time-consuming process.

Another example of such systems includes US 2005/0192205, which disclose an interactive tour guide system including software downloaded from a tour-guide web site to a PDA (portable digital assistant) or tablet laptop computer. The user indicates his geographic location to the interactive tour-guide device by entry on a dynamic city map. Intelligent agent software responsive to a request from the user creates a customized tour program. The intelligent agent guides the user along the customized tour route by voice, video and/or graphics, and provides information about each exhibit on the tour. The downloaded interactive tour guide system provides interactive guided tours, theme guided tours and a self-guided "wander mode" tour. The virtual tour-guide system can personalize each directed tour by taking individual user expressed preferences into account, and can use collaborative filtering of experiences with prior users to suggest other exhibits which may be of interest to the present user. The interactive tour-guide system responds like a human tour-guide to the needs of the user.

Other existing solutions including the thin client solutions, e.g. online quiz sites model simpler communication methods and offer little or no flexibility in content creation, and are usually ineffective in simulating a guided communication. Further, in such cases, the communication is not interactive.

Based on the foregoing, there is a need for a computer-based communication method and system, which facilitates interactive and guided communication with humans and enables, for example, self- paced learning, marketing, and the like. Further, there is a need for a communication method which allows an analysis of the communication trajectories and corresponding interactions. Such method should avoid the need to download bulky files for all possible conversation flows on users' machines. Furthermore, there is a need for a guided communication system which allows easy, systematic, and intuitive approach for authoring of content involving guided communication, without the need to install complex authoring tools.

Summary

In accordance with the teachings of the present invention, a system and method for facilitating interactive and guided learning in a network is provided.

A preferred embodiment of the present invention provides a method comprising the steps of at least one user initiating a conversation associated with an application with a content, wherein at any stage in the conversation one or more users can join a communication with the content and generating or retrieving a response thereto; if desired, guiding the one or more users through a structured communication by retrieving an appropriate guidance from one or more databases; and creating a trajectory based on the structured communication and if desired, tracking the trajectory.

Another embodiment of the present invention provides a method comprising the steps of at least one user initiating a conversation with a content, wherein the conversation comprises one or more queries from the at least one user; guiding the at least one user through a structured communication by providing an appropriate guidance for each of the one or more queries; and creating one or more trajectories for the at least one user based on the one or more queries, wherein the one or more trajectories comprise the at least one user's traversal through the structured communication.

Yet another embodiment of the present invention provides a system comprising the means configured for at least one user to initiate a conversation associated with an application with a content, wherein at any stage in the conversation one or more users can join a communication with the content and generate or retrieve a response thereto; if desired, means configured for guiding the one or more users through a structured communication by retrieving an appropriate guidance from one or more databases; and means configured for creating a trajectory based on the structured communication and if desired, tracking the trajectory.

Still another embodiment of the present invention provides a computer readable medium comprising a program, when executed by a processor performs the method for facilitating online interactive and guided learning in a network. Still another embodiment of the present invention provides a method, system and computer readable medium comprising a program for creating content for facilitating interactive and guided communication comprising the steps of verifying authenticity of a content creator creating the content of an application; authoring the content; and creating a structured communication, the structured communication comprising at least one guidance associated with one or more queries, the one or more queries comprising responses of a user to the content or the at least one guidance- Various embodiments of the present invention provide a thin client implementation of the method and system for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network and for creating content for facilitating said interactive and guided communication.

Brief description of the drawings

The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. The detailed description is described with reference to the accompanying figures. In the figures, the left-most digit(s) of a reference number identifies the figure in which the reference number first appears. The same numbers are used throughout the drawings to reference like features and components.

Figures 1A and Figure 1B is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary guided communication method, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 2A to Figure 2D illustrate exemplary user interfaces (Ul) for a guided communication method, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 3 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary method of content creation for guided communication, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 4A to Figure 4G illustrate exemplary trajectories for guided communication, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 5 illustrates an exemplary communication system for facilitating guided communication in a network, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

Figure 6 illustrates an exemplary network environment in which the present invention can be implemented in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Detailed description of embodiments of the invention

The exemplary embodiments described herein in detail for illustrative purposes are subject to many variations. It should also be emphasized that the present invention is not limited to a particular guided communication method and system, as shown and described. It is understood that various omissions and substitutions of equivalents are contemplated as circumstances may suggest or render expedient, but these are intended to cover the application or embodiment without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The terms "first," "second," and the like, as used herein do not denote any order, quantity, or importance, but rather are used to distinguish one element from another, and the terms "a" and "an" herein do not denote a limitation of quantity, but rather denote the presence of at least one of the referenced item. The terms guided or assisted have been used interchangeably, and denote the presence of a guidance step. Further, the term 'user* or the 'student' as mentioned herein and throughout the present invention may refer to an elementary student, a high school student, a university student, an employee, a web-user, a person appearing in an examination for a specific purpose, a business customer, and the like. Moreover, the student may be a constant learner such as a school student, or a one-time ad hoc learner that may utilize the present invention for a specific purpose such as appearing for a special examination, entertainment, shopping, and the like. Also, the terms 'author' or 'content creator1 have been used interchangeably and mentioned herein and throughout the present invention may refer to a teacher, advertiser or any person capable of providing assisted or guided learning to the user. The words 'choice' or 'query' as mentioned herein and throughout the present invention may refer to a question, an answer or merely a selection, a response of a user to the content or options provided, or a single node in the conversation of the user with the author or the online content, depending upon the corresponding context of use in the description. The word 'online content' is used to indicate any content that is accessible within the said network.

Communication between two human beings can be literally infinite in its scope. For purposes of illustration, let us consider a Cartesian plane (referred to as a "Conversation Plane" hereafter), where the X-axis depicts a unit of time after which a first person utters something to a second person, and the Y-axis has a unique value for every possible utterance that could be expressed in the language being used for the communication. An utterance in this description may include, for example, a single word from the dictionary, a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, a lecture, a mime, a monologue etc. or any combination of these along with any communication aid in oral, written or visual forms including, but not limited to, gestures like clapping, booing, and the like. The points on this Conversation Plane may include, for example, X=1, and Y= a unique number corresponding to the first utterance by the first person, X=2 and Y= the unique number corresponding to the response uttered by the second person, and the like.

These points on the conversation plane may be joined to generate a conversation path, hereinafter referred to as a trajectory. It may be evident that the trajectory of one conversation between two persons can be very different from another conversation between the same persons. Similarly, multiple trajectories can be plotted for conversations between the one person and several others similar to the second person.

A guided or structured conversation is of substantial importance, in for example, learning, teaching, sales, entertainment, and several other human interactions or applications. The applications may be selected based on user profiles, interests, likes or dislikes or keywords. The present invention describes an innovative method of enabling a human author such as a teacher, an advertiser and the like, to express guided communication with a user such as a student or a consumer, wherein a finite number of utterance choices are allowed at each time step. Further, the invention describes a method of building trajectories, visualizing conversation flows, utilizing information captured about the trajectories traversed by users and conducting such conversations with users in a light weight manner so as not to require transmitting information about all possible trajectories to a user's computer who may traverse only one trajectory when engaging in such conversation. The conversation is done through a structured communication which can either be pre-determined or created by the users in a real time. The structured communication may include, for example, predicted queries from the user and the appropriate guidance to the predicted queries to guide the user towards at a definite result or conclusion.

More particularly, the present invention provides a method and system for guided or assisted communication.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, guided communication may involve a teaching or a learning process where a user such as a student is provided interactive content, such as a quiz, which is structured in a manner to assist the student in arriving at answers to the questions of the quiz, thereby facilitating learning of the student. For example, an interactive quiz including multiple quiz questions may be provided to the student. Each quiz question may include multiple answer choices. On selection of a correct answer choice to a quiz question, a next quiz question may be provided to the student. However, an incorrect answer to the quiz question may lead to a series of guidance steps, which may assist the student to think in a structured manner, and answer the original question correctly. Examples of these guidance steps include but are not limited to hints, sub-questions, solutions to the sub-questions, explanation of relevant concepts such as fundamental theories, and the like. Thus, a student is guided towards the correct answer, thereby facilitating learning of the student. Other examples of such assisted communication may include an online advertisement or marketing method, wherein a customer is educated about a product or service he/she desires via the Internet, a method for conducting market research wherein a structured approach is used to design an interview, and the like.

In accordance with an embodiment, the interactive content, such as the quiz, may be created by content creators such as teachers, learned professionals, specialists, and the like. Alternatively, the quiz may be prepared by a web-user for entertainment, networking, knowledge-sharing, and the like. The method and system of the invention facilitate structured communication creation, and hence increase the learning of the user while facilitating better assessment of a user's understanding of the subject matter, preferences, and the like. Moreover, the user's answers and approach to, for example, questions in a quiz may provide invaluable insights to the content creators/Accordingly, one or more guidance steps may be invoked based on user's choice of answer in a multiple choice question. Examples of the guidance steps may include hints, solutions, sub-questions which may be, for example, multiple choice sub-questions, and the like. The number of guidance steps utilized, choice of answers after a hint, and the like, may be used to for feedback and assessment. From a user's perspective, the present invention provides a thin client implementation which does not require download of heavy files on the user's end, thus requiring minimal network bandwidth and latency. From a content creator's perspective, the method of the present invention provides a thin client implementation which does not require download of heavy files for content creation and enables a graphical visualization during content creation which helps the content creator in expressing a classroom-like teaching experience in the online learning mode. Further, the content creators are not required to learn any specific programming language to access the intuitive user-interface and method of the present invention.

EXEMPLARY METHOD

Referring now to Figure 1A and Figure 1B, a flowchart illustrating a guided communication method 100 is depicted, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Specifically, Figure 1A and Figure 1B illustrate a teaching process, where two sub-questions are provided as guidance steps to assist a student in solving a quiz question. It may be evident to a person skilled in the art that the number of sub-questions may be varied without departing from the scope of the invention. Further, the content creator may choose to include other type of guidance steps such as explanatory hints, riddles, solutions, and the like, and may choose to follow any flow that is better suited to his/her teaching style or to the subject being taught.

The guided communication method 100 starts at step 102. At step 102, content, such as a quiz, may be made available to a student for, for example, teaching, assessment, entertainment, marketing, and the like. The content may be accessed by the student using a data processing device, such as a personal computer, a mobile, a Personal Digital Assistant, and the like. Preferably, a network, such as the Internet, a Local Area Network (LAN), a Wireless Area Network (WAN), the Internet, and the like, is used by the data processing device for accessing the content available at the remote location such as a web server, or a similar remote server. More preferably, the content is accessed using the Internet, through a secured web page.

At step 104, a quiz question along with a plurality of answer choices may be provided to the student. At step 106, a response such as a selection of an answer choice from the plurality of answer choices is received from the student. This marks the initiation of a conversation with the content such as the quiz. It should be noted that the response may be received in the form of a query, a selection of an answer choice, a click, and the like from the user. This may be enabled by, for example, enabling a hyperlink using one or more check boxes.

At step 108, the student's selection of the answer choice is compared with the correct answer choice to the quiz question. On determining the student's selection of the answer choice to be same as the correct answer choice to the quiz question, step 110 is performed. At step 110, a check is performed to determine whether all the questions in the quiz have been attempted by the student. On determining that all the questions have been attempted, the quiz is reported to be complete at step 112. On determining that all the questions have not yet been attempted, step 114 is performed where a next quiz question is provided to the student along with the corresponding answer choices. Thereafter method 100 may be repeated for the next question starting at step 106.

At step 108, on determining the student's selection of the answer choice to be incorrect, step 116 is performed. At step 116, a guidance , such as a first sub-question along with one or more answer choices is provided to the student. Further, a selection of an answer choice for the first sub-question, or a query is received from the student at step 116. Preferably, the first sub-question is based on the incorrect choice of the answer choices for the quiz question and may be different for different selection of incorrect answer choices. At step 118, a check is performed to determine whether the selection of the answer choice for the first sub-question is the same as the correct answer choice for the first sub- question. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, this check may be performed at the student's end, also hereinafter referred to as the client side by incorporating appropriate logic in, for example, client's browser. On determining the response for the first sub-question to be correct, the quiz question is provided again to the student at step 120 and a response is received. Thereafter, at step 122, a check is performed to determine whether the response for the quiz question is correct. On determining a correct response for the quiz question at step 122, step 110 is performed. On determining an incorrect response for the quiz question at step 122, the correct answer choice for the quiz question is provided to the student at step 124. Thereafter step 110 is performed.

At step 118, if the response for the first sub-question is determined to be incorrect, then a second sub- question may be provided to the student based on the response for the first sub-question. Alternatively, a different guidance step such as a hint may be provided. Further, a response for the second sub- question is received from the student at step 126. At step 128, a check is performed to determine whether the student's response for the second sub-question is correct. On determining a correct response for the second sub-question, the first sub-question is provided again to the student at step 130 and a response is received. On determining an incorrect response at step 128, the correct answer for the second sub-question is provided to the student at step 132. Step 130 is performed thereafter.

At step 134, a check is performed to determine whether the response for the first sub-question is correct. On determining the response for the first sub-question to be correct, step 136 is performed where the quiz question is provided to the student again, and a response is received. On determining an incorrect response at step 134, the correct answer to the first sub-question is provided to the student at step 138. Thereafter, step 136 is performed. Step 136 is followed with step 122, where a check is made on the response for the quiz question, as described above.

Evidently, the steps 116 through 136 of method 100 describe a method for guiding the user or the student through a structured communication but providing an appropriate guidance for each student response or query. In this case, the structured communication refers to the quiz that contains predicted student responses and the corresponding guidance steps for guided learning of the student.

It must be noted that while the present invention has been described using an example of a quiz as the structured communication, it is in no way intended to limit the scope of the invention. Further, in accordance with various embodiments of the invention, the quiz question and the sub-questions may include multiple choice questions, fill in the blanks type questions, one-word answer questions, subjective answer questions, and the like. Furthermore, the correct answer at step 108 in the aforementioned example may also be followed with guidance steps such as detailed elaboration of fundamental concepts, a feedback note, and the like.

Further, while the above embodiment describes a three level structure for structured communication including the quiz question at the first complexity level, the first sub-question at the second complexity level, and the second sub-question at the third complexity level, several variations are possible within the scope of the invention. For instance, an incorrect choice for the quiz question may be followed with two sub-questions at the same complexity level. The student may not need to be provided with the quiz question once the two sub-questions have been answered. Other examples may include providing hints instead of the sub questions, providing a theoretical explanation on the subject matter of the quiz question, and the like.

According to another embodiment of the invention, a similar communication method may also be employed for applications such as advertisement where a user may be guided or assisted to, for example, a desired product choice. In this case, the guidance steps may include relevant questions about, for example, product features, specifications, user location and preferences, and the like. For example, during targeting advertisement, a user may be asked one or more questions using the guided communication process of the invention. The responses or queries of the user may be used to, for example, educate the user about one or more products, selection of advertisement for display to the user, profiling the user for future advertisement purposes, and the like. For example, a guided communication method similar to method 100, may be used for targeted advertisement on a webpage of, for example, a search engine such as Google. Based on predefined criteria, a subject or the application may be chosen by the search engine or an Ad server for advertisement. The predefined criteria may include, for example, the search query used by the user, previous profiles or interests of the user, and the like. Assuming the user searched for a soundtrack, one or more music store advertisements may be selected. Thereafter, the user may be asked one or more questions using a guided communication process of the invention, to understand his preferences, meanwhile educating him on, for example, the latest music from his favorite artist, availability of this latest album, album's rankings and reviews, most popular soundtracks of the album, and the like. This may be followed with a link to an online music store advertisement or its website which sells the album online. The response of the user may be used for future profiling of the user, feedback for the advertiser, trend analysis for the advertisement, and the like.

Preferably, the content creation method of the present invention, as described in more detail in conjunction with Figure 3 below, may allow the content creator to design the learning or the communication trajectory for the user such as a student, a customer, and the like. For example, after the student answers the second sub-question correctly at step 128, he may be routed to the quiz question directly without prompting the first sub-question again at step 130. Similarly, the student may be routed to the next quiz question after step 128. Several similar trajectories are well within the scope of the invention wherein the content creator is allowed to design the communication process. The communication trajectories comprising of queries and responses are stored in a database residing in storage 514 of a system 500. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, a user's responses to the communication, such as the quiz question and the sub-questions may be logged. Accordingly, the trajectory followed may be tracked and analyzed to derive insights into, for example, user's understanding of the subject matter, preferences, and the like. Hence, method 100 may be used for the purposes of guided teaching, performance assessment, targeted advertisement, and the like. For example, in method 100, a correct response at step 108 may be given a score of 10, a correct response at step 118 followed with a correct response at step 122 may be given a score of 5, a correct response at step 128 followed with correct responses at step 134 and step 122 may be given a score of 3, and the like. Further, the analysis of the trajectories may be used to update the content of the quiz, modify the guidance steps, add more guidance steps, and the like. Essentially, the analysis may be used as a feedback for the content creator to update the content of the quiz or the structured communication.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the user's data processing device acts as a client which sends the information pertaining to the answer choices or responses to a remote web-server, and the logics such as comparisons may be executed at the web-server location. Alternatively, the client may be provided with the information regarding the correct answers and the logics may be executed locally. Distributed logic execution is also within the scope of the present invention.

The guided communication method 100 as explained herein assists users in arriving at inferences such as correct answers, to content such as quiz questions by gradually building their understanding through one or more guidance steps. Specifically, the user may develop the understanding of the subject matter without the physical presence of a teacher, and at a comfortable pace of learning as per his or her choice. Further, the interactive nature of the guided communication method 100 facilitates improved learning and more insightful assessment of the user's performance, preferences, and the like.

Figure 2A to Figure 2D illustrate exemplary user interfaces (Ul) for the guided communication method 100, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The embodiment pertains to a teaching method, but it should be understood that similar extensions are possible for other applications. Specifically, Figure 2A corresponds to a first screen shot 210 generated when a student accesses teaching content, such as a quiz question Q2. Moreover, Figure 2B and Figure 2C correspond to a second screen shot 230 with a first sub-question Q2.1, and a third screen shot 250 with a second sub- question Q2.1.1 , respectively, that are generated when the student provides an incorrect answer choice for the quiz question Q2 at the first screen shot 210. Figure 2D corresponds to a fourth screen shot 270 that is generated when the student provides an incorrect answer choice for the first sub-question Q2.1 at the second screen shot 230, and subsequently an incorrect choice for the second sub-question Q2.1.1 at the third screen shot 250. Figure 2D provides a solution S2.1.1 of the second sub-question Q2.1.1 to the student.

Referring to Figure 2A, the first screen shot 210 includes a first content preview area 202, a content display area 204, and a first content status area 206. The first screenshot 210 includes a preview of the quiz question Q2 provided to the student. The first content preview area 202 indicates the quiz question Q2 or a preview of the quiz question Q2 received by the student. The first content preview area 202 may be embodied in a box structure. Moreover, the first content preview area 202 may be highlighted in a color, such as blue color so as to differentiate the first quiz content preview area 202 from the first content display area 204. Further, the color may also be used to indicate the complexity level for the quiz question Q2 vis-a-vis the following sub-questions Q2.1 and Q2.1.1.

The first content display area 204 may also include a selection icon, such as an icon 208 for receiving the selection of the answer choice by the student. The selection may be identified by, for example, enabling a hyperlink on the icon 208.

In one exemplary case, the first content status area 206 may be present at the bottom most portion of the first screen shot 210, and may be embodied, for example, in a box structure similar to the first content preview area 202. Further, the first content status area 206 may be highlighted in a color similar to the color of the first content preview area 202. Moreover, the color of the first content status area 206 may differentiate the first content status area 206 from the first content display 204.

Referring to Figure 2B, a second screen shot 230 of the Ul for the guided communication method 100 is illustrated. The second screenshot 230 includes a preview of the first sub-question Q2.1 provided to the student. The second screen shot 230 may include at least a portion of the first content preview area 202, a second content preview area 232, a second content display area 234, and a second content status area 236. Preferably, the color of the second content preview area 232 may be different from color of the first content preview 202 to visually distinguish the second content preview 232 from the first content preview area 202. The second screen shot 230 may also include an icon 238 similar to the icon 208.

The second content status area 236 may be located at the bottom-most portion of the screen shot 230, and may be highlighted in a color similar to the color of the second content preview area 232. Additionally, the second content status area 236 may include a Split View tab 240 providing an option of splitting the view to simultaneously display the screenshots 210 and the screenshot 230 adjacent to each other instead of the aforementioned overlapping configuration. Referring to Figure 2C, a third screen shot 250 of the Ul for guided communication method is illustrated. The third screenshot 250 includes a preview of second sub-question Q2.1.1 provided to the student. The third screen shot 250 includes at least a portion of the first content preview area 202, at least a portion of the second content preview area 232, a third content preview area 252, a third content display area 254 and a third content status area 256. The color of the third content preview area 252 may be different from the color of the first content preview area 202 and the second content preview area 232 for visual distinction purposes. The third screen shot 250 may also include an icon 258 similar to the icon 208, and a split view tab 260 to simultaneously display two or more of the screenshots 210, the screenshot 230, and screenshots 250 adjacent to each other instead of the aforementioned overlapping configuration.

Referring to Figure 2D, a fourth screen shot 270 of the Ul for the guided communication method 100 is illustrated. The fourth screen shot 270 is generated when an incorrect answer for the second sub- question Q2.1.1 is selected by the student. Specifically, the fourth screen shot 270 provides an answer S2.1.1 for the second sub-question Q2.1.1 to the student.

The fourth screen shot 270 includes at least a portion of the first content preview area 202, at least a portion of the second content preview area 232, at least a portion of the third content preview area 252, a fourth content preview area 272, a fourth content display area 274 and a fourth content status area 276. Additionally, the fourth content status area 276 may include an 'OK' tab 278 that may be selected by the student upon completing the review of the answer, to navigate to the third screen shot 250.

The disclosed guided communication method 100 as explained with reference to Figures 1A, Figure 1B, and Figure 2A through Figure 2D may be embodied in an guided teaching system.

Figure 3 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary method 300 of content creation for guided communication, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. While method 300 has been illustrated for creation of a quiz, other communication content such as Advertisements, market surveys, and the like, may be created using similar method, and should be construed well within the scope of the invention. Method 300 starts at step 302. At step 302, a content creator accesses a guided teaching system for creating content, such as a quiz, for utilization by students for learning coursework, for entertainment, and the like. The content creator may provide authentication information, such as a usemame and a user password, for verifying his or her authenticity. On verification of the authentication details, the content creator may be allowed to create content for guided communication.

At step 304, a predefined template for creation of content such as a quiz may be provided to the content creator. The content creator may include, for example, a teacher, a web-user, and the like. Specifically, the template may provide a visual representation of the different trajectories based on, for example, the number of incorrect choices to be provided for the quiz, the level of depth desired for hints or sub- questions, options for adding explanatory hints or sub-questions, and the like. Further, the template may include a user manual for the template. Moreover, the template may preferably provide a substantially user-friendly interface in, for example, an HTML format with an option to add Text, special characters, mathematical formulae, chemical structures, voice, video, and the like.

At step 306, a quiz question is received from the content creator. It may be evident to a person skilled in the art that while method 300 has been explained using an example of a multiple choice quiz question, other variations such as a one word answer, one phrase answer, explanatory answer, and the like may also be implemented without departing from the scope of the invention. At step 308, a plurality of answer choices containing at least one correct answer and at least one incorrect answer corresponding to the quiz question is received. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the template may provide separate sections for inputting the correct and the incorrect answer choices. Alternatively, only a correct answer choice may be provided.

At step 310, one or more guidance steps are received for each incorrect answer provided in step 308. In accordance with various embodiments of the invention, the one of more guidance steps are provided by the author based on the predicted queries or responses of the user such as a student. Moreover the guidance steps and the user responses are used to build a structured communication with the user, the structured communication including several possible trajectories that the user can take during the course of a method such as method 100. Herein, the guidance step may include, for example, a sub- question, an explanation, a solution, and the like. Further, a guidance step may be used for more than one incorrect answer based upon the choice of the content creator. Specifically, the template may provide an option to create a communication trajectory by providing the guidance steps. For example, for an incorrect answer, a first sub-question may be provided along with at least one correct answer choice and at least one incorrect answer choice. For each incorrect answer for the first sub-question, a second sub-question may be provided. This process is continued until a predefined level of complexity is achieved in each trajectory. It should be noted that a trajectory as referred to herein includes the path that the user takes through the structured communication, which is a function of the selection of choices or the user response and the one or more guidance steps provided to the user.. Depending on the selection of an answer choice or the response to each question or guidance step, a student may be guided along different paths to arrive at the correct answer. Each such path followed by the student may constitute a trajectory. Thus, a trajectory may be a series of guidance steps followed by a student to arrive at the correct answer. It may be noted that while step 310 may include a recursive process to provide more than one guidance step to the user based on the requirements. For example, as explained in conjunction with Figure 1, one guidance step may be followed with a second guidance step, and so on, to ensure guided learning towards the solution to the quiz question. In this recursive process, the content creator may choose a combination of guidance steps such as hints, solutions, descriptions, and the like.

A plurality of trajectories may be formed from the series of guidance steps for arriving at the correct answer. These trajectories have been explained in more detail in conjunction with Figures 4A to 4G below.

Optionally, at step 312, the scores for the student corresponding to each trajectory are received from the content creator. Specifically, this step may be performed by predicting, tracking and analyzing the trajectory followed, and particularly when the method 300 is being used to create content for assessment of the student or a user. Alternatively, step 312 may also include receiving some comments on the understanding level of the student for each trajectory followed, based on the complexity level of the sub-questions, hints, and the like, in a trajectory. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the template may include predefined algorithm for determining the score of the student based on the trajectory followed. For example, the length of a trajectory for a series of incorrect answer choices may be relatively large and may reflect poorly on student's grasp of the subject matter. The length of the trajectory for a correct answer may be relatively short and may reflect well on the student's grasp of the subject matter. Accordingly, a performance of a student may be gauged by the trajectory followed by the student for arriving at the correct answer.

Finally, at step 314, it is determined whether the content creator wants to add a next quiz question. Based on an input from the content creator, the method 300 may be terminated if no further content is to be created. Step 304 may be performed if a next question is desired.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the content creator may be provided with an option to switch between two or more views to for example, create the content, preview each trajectory, preview the entire learning path, and the like. For example, the content creator may switch between a trajectory view and a media editor view for reviewing and editing the created content. The trajectory view and the editor view are explained in conjunction with Figures 4A to 4G.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, method 300 may also include a step of linking one or more guidance steps in different trajectories. For example, if one guidance step is applicable for more than one incorrect choice, then an option to link the trajectories may be provided. It should also be noted that for applications such as advertisement, video and voice editor may also be provided. Further, enhancements such as hyperiinking to, for example, other web-pages may be enabled for a content creator's use.

In accordance with various embodiments of the invention, method 300 may be implemented using a content creation system which can be a system 500 that is explained below and includes a combination of hardware and software modules. The content creation system may include at least one storage module, at least one processing module, at least one predefined executable logic, at least one receiving module and at least one returning module, connected operationally. The content creation system may be installed locally or may be accessible remotely through, for example, a network such as the Internet.

Referring to Figure 4A to Figure 4G, a visual representation of exemplary trajectories for content creation, using a method such as the method 300 is depicted. Specifically, Figures 4A and 4B refers to a trajectory view and a media editor view, respectively, of a trajectory T1 followed for guided teaching of an exemplary quiz question Q1. For the purpose of the present description, the quiz question Q1 is considered to be a 'Polynomial Factorization' question.

In the illustrative example, the quiz question Q1 may be:

Q1: "If x-4 is a factor of the polynomial x3 - 2ax2 + x - 64, then find the value of a.", and the answer choices for the question Q1 may be:

(A) 2; (B) 4; (C) 8; (D) 1/8; (E) ¼; (F) ½; (G) 1 ; (H) 16; (I) 1/16.

The quiz question Q1 may be answered correctly by selecting a correct answer choice, i.e. the choice (D), thereby following the shortest trajectory T1. Accordingly, as illustrated in Figure 4A, Trajectory T1: Q1. Q2.

Further, the trajectory T1 may be presented to the content creator in a trajectory view 4A, which is a high level visual representation, or in a media editor view 4B, which is more detailed as compared to the trajectory view 4A as illustrated in Figure 4A and Figure 4B. The media editor view 4B of the trajectory T1 allows editing of the content of the quiz question Q1 along with various answer choices for the quiz question Q1. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the content creator may use the media editor view for content creation and the trajectory view may be created automatically. For instances such as deletion, editing, the content creator may be provided editing options either in the media editor view or in the trajectory view, or a combination.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the trajectory T1 may be assigned a maximum score by the content creator, since no guidance step is utilized for answering the question Q1. Alternatively, other parameters such as time taken to answer may also be used for assessment and the score may be accordingly adjusted.

The correct answer to the quiz question Q1 may be arrived at by following an alternative trajectory, such as a trajectory T2. The trajectory T2 is explained in detail in conjunction with Figures 4C and 4D. Specifically, Figures 4C and 4D refer to a trajectory view 4C and a media editor view 4D of the trajectory T2, respectively, followed for guided teaching of the exemplary quiz question Q1.

The trajectory T2 may be followed when an incorrect response is received for the quiz question Q1. Accordingly, a sub-question Q11 may be provided following the selection of an incorrect answer choice for the quiz question Q1:

Q11 : "What was the first step you took in solving this?", and answer choices for the question Q11 may be:

"(A) Started dividing x3 - 2ax2 + x - 64 by x-4;

(B) Started factorizing the polynomial x3 - 2ax2 + x - 64;

(C) Used Remainder theorem;

(D) Tried various values of a, then factorized the polynomial;

(E) Randomly guessed an answer"

Further, corresponding to selecting of a correct answer choice (i.e. choice C) for the sub-question Q11, a sub-question Q112 may be provided. The sub-question Q112 may read as:

Q112: "So by applying Remainder theorem - we can say if (x-4) is a factor of the polynomial P(x) = x3 - 2ax2 + x - 64, then P(x) = Q(x) * (x-4);

thus P(4) = Q(4) * (44) = 0, So we need to solve P(4) = 0;

Which of the following is P(4) = 0?"

The answer choices for the sub-question Q112 may be:

u(A) 43 - 2*a*4+ 4 - 64 = 0

(B) a3 - 2a3 + a - 64 = 0

(C) x - 4 = 0

(D) 4 - 2*a*4 + x - 64 = 0"

For selection of a correct answer choice (i.e. answer choice (A)) for the sub-question Q112, a sub-question Q1121 may be provided. The sub-question Q1121 may read as:

Q1121: "So now by solving the equation P(4) = 0, i.e. 43 - 2*a*42 + 4 - 64 = 0, What is the value of a?",

The answer choices for the question Q1121 may be: " (A) 2; (B) 4; (C) 8; (D) 1/8; (E) ¼; (F) ½; (G) 1 ; (H) 16; (I) 1/16"

Finally, corresponding to a selection of the correct answer choice (i.e. answer choice (D)) for the sub-question Q1121, a second quiz question Q2 may be provided. Accordingly, the trajectory T2 may include Q1, Q11, Q112, Q1121, and Q2 linked in a manner for structurally assisting in arriving at the correct answer of the quiz question Q1.

It may be noted that Figure 4C and Figure 4D depict an embodiment of the present invention wherein a quiz question is divided into three sub-questions with varying levels of complexity to assist the student to a correct answer. Other embodiments such as explained in conjunction with Figure 1 are also possible and within the scope of the invention, wherein a sub-question may be further divided into sub- questions of varying complexity levels.

With reference to Figure 4D, the media editor view of the trajectory 12 may facilitate detailed visualization of the quiz question Q1, guidance steps-questions Q11, Q112, Q1121 , and answer choices thereof to the content creator, thereby enabling the content creator to review and modify the created content easily, and in a structured manner. The content creator may be provided an option to view the trajectory view while editing in the media editor view to visualize the effect of the edited or created content. The content creator may assign a specific score to the trajectory T2 for assessing the performance of a student in answering the quiz question Q1.

Referring to Figure 4E, a trajectory view of a Trajectory T3 is illustrated. The trajectory view illustrates a view corresponding to the selection of an incorrect answer choice for the sub-question Q1 , as well as the sub-question Q1121. Specifically, selection of an incorrect answer choice for the sub-question Q1121 may be followed with another sub-question Q11211 which may read as:

Q11211 : "Looks like you made a mistake in simplifying the equation:

We need to solve (43 - 2*a*42 + 4 - 64 = 0), which implies (64 - 2*a*16 + 4 - 64 = 0), which implies (64 - 32a + 4 - 64 = 0). What is the value of "a" now?"

The answer choices provided with the sub-question Q11211 may be:

"(A) 2; (B) 4; (C) 8; (D) 1/8; (E) ¼; (F) 1/2; (G) 1; (H) 16; (I) 1/16."

For a selection of the correct answer choice i.e. the answer choice (D) for the sub-question Q11211 , the second quiz question Q2 may be provided. Accordingly, the trajectory T3 includes may include Q1, Q11, Q112, Q1121, Q11211, and Q2, as illustrated in Figure 4E. Further, the content creator may assign a specific score to the trajectory T3 for assessing the performance of a student in answering the quiz question Q1. Preferably, the score for the trajectory T3 is lower than the score for trajectory the T2 and the trajectory T1.

As will be understood, the insights derived from the assessment of a student's understanding through, for example, by tracking and analyzing the trajectories followed, may also be used to adjust the complexity level of the next quiz question Q2. For example, the next quiz question Q2 following the trajectory T3 may be easier than the next quiz question Q2 following to the trajectory T2 since more number of guidance steps are utilized for answering the quiz question Q1 while following the trajectory T3 than while following the trajectory T2. Accordingly, the present invention provides a framework that may help the content creator or the teacher in designing an adaptive quiz.

Referring to Figure 4F, a trajectory view of the trajectory T4 is illustrated. The trajectory T4 may include processing of a sub-question Q11211 for an incorrect selection of an answer choice for the sub- question question Q 11211. Specifically, the content creator may provide a hint or a solution S11211 for the sub-question question Q 11211, whereby the guidance step-solution S11211 may explain the steps of calculation that may be performed for solving the equation in the sub-question Q11211 , as below:

S11211 : "If (x-4) is a factor of the given polynomial, then the polynomial must have a zero at x=4 (Remainder theorem)

Substituting x=4 above,

43 _ 2*a*42 + 4 - 64 = 0, which implies 64 - 32a + 4 - 64 = 0

Or 32a = 4, therefore A = 1/8."

Thereafter, the student may be directed to the next quiz question Q2. Accordingly, the trajectory T4 may include the sub-questions in an order as Q1, Q 1, Q112, Q1121, Q11211, S11211, and Q2.

The present invention is explained with respect to multiple trajectories, such as T1, T2, T3 and T4. However, it will be understood that there may be numerous other possible trajectories that may be created for answering the question Q1. Specifically, each sub-question may be associated with a correct answer choice and one or more incorrect answer choices. Selection of an incorrect choice may be followed by one or more sub-questions, explanatory hints, a solution, and the like, thereby resulting in numerous trajectories for a particular question. However, the description and explanation of such other trajectories is omitted here for the brevity of the present description.

Referring to Figure 4G, a screenshot 400 of the content creation user interface is illustrated. Specifically, screen 400 illustrates an exemplary user interface for a trajectory T2 as explained in conjunction with Figure 4C and Figure 4D. Screenshot 400 includes a trajectory window 410, a media editor window 420, an editor toolbar 430, and a navigation window 440. As explained with reference to Figures 4A to 4F, a content creator such as a teacher may develop the content for trajectory 12 using media editor window 420 and may be able to visualize the trajectory view in the trajectory window 410. Further, toolbar 430 may provide the content creator with various options for content creation and editing. Example of such options may include inserting text, voice, images, video, formatting options, viewing options, and the like. Navigation window 440 may be used to navigate across the content such as a quiz.

As explained in conjunction with Figure 3 and Figures 4A- 4G, a content creator may form the plurality of trajectories from the series of guidance steps, using the method of the present invention. Each trajectory is formed by providing guidance steps capable of guiding students to the correct answer choice for a quiz question.

In accordance with various embodiments of the present invention, the content creator may choose from several possible options to design the learning trajectory. For example, based on the student's response, the quiz question may be followed with one of a next quiz question, end of the quiz, a guidance step such as a sub-question, a hint and a solution. A sub-question such as the first sub- question may be followed with a guidance step such as a second sub-question, a hint, a solution, a next quiz question, the current quiz question and the end of quiz, based on the response of the student. A guidance step such as a hint to the first sub-question may be followed with the previous guidance step such as the first sub-question, a next guidance step such as the second sub-question and the quiz question. Similarly, a guidance step such as a solution to the first sub-question may be followed with a subsequent guidance step such as a first sub-question to reinforce the learning, the current quiz question, a next quiz question and the end of quiz.

EXEMPLARY SYSTEM

Figure 5 is an exemplary system 500 in which the guided communication method disclosed with reference to Figures 1A, 1B and 3 may be practiced in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention and Figure 6 illustrates an exemplary network environment comprising the system 500 using which the present invention can be implemented in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

The system 500 may operate as a standalone device or may be connected, e.g., using a network, to other computer systems or peripheral devices through a network interface 506. The system contains a bus 508 where a bus is a set of hardware lines used for data transfer among the components of the system. Bus 508 is a shared conduit that connects different elements of a system such as processor, storage, memory, input/output interface, network ports etc that enables the transfer of information between the elements. In a networked deployment, the system may operate in the capacity of a server or as a client user computer in a server-client user network environment, or as a peer computer system in a peer-to-peer (or distributed) network environment as illustrated in Figure 6. It comprises of a server 602 having a data store or database 610. The server is connected to one or more client devices 608A...608N through a network 604. The network can be wired or wireless connection and is not limited to local area network, wide area network, internet, intranet. The system 500 may also be implemented as or incorporated into various devices, such as a personal computer (PC), a tablet PC, a set-top box (STB), a personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile device, a palmtop computer, a laptop computer, a desktop computer, a communications device etc. It may also be implemented using electronic devices that provide voice, video or data communication.

The system 500 may include a processor 502, such as, a central processing unit (CPU), a graphics processing unit (GPU), or both. The processor 502 may be one or more general processors, digital signal processors, application specific integrated circuits, field programmable gate arrays, servers, networks, digital circuits, analog circuits, combinations thereof, or other now known or later developed devices for analyzing and processing data.

The system 500 may include a memory 516 that can communicate via a bus 508. The memory 516 may be a main memory, a static memory, or a dynamic memory. The memory may comprise of operation system 510 and application programs 512. The system may include various types of volatile and nonvolatile storage media, including but not limited to random access memory, read-only memory, programmable read-only memory, electrically programmable read-only memory, electrically erasable read-only memory, flash memory. The memory 516 may be operable to store instructions executable by the processor 502.

The system 500 may include external storage 514 which can be magnetic tape or disk, optical media and the like. It may also be database for storing data and may include a hard drive, compact disc ("CD"), digital video disc ("DVD"), memory card, memory stick, floppy disc, universal serial bus ("USB") memory device, or any other device operative to store data. The processing strategies may include multiprocessing, multitasking, parallel processing and the like. The database comprises trajectories created using the method 100 along with the queries and responses created by the author associated with the application.

The I/O devices 504 may be connected (e.g. keyboard, mouse, displays, printers, speakers etc.) to the system 500 through an I/O interface. The user may enter commands and information into the system through input devices. The means configured for facilitating interactive and guided communication in the network resides on the processor 502, memory 516 and storage 514 of the system 500. The system may include one or more receiving modules, one or more authentication modules, one or more processing modules, one or more comparison modules, one or more storage modules, and one or more returning modules. The one or more receiving modules are capable of receiving an input through I/O devices 104 from a system user. The system user providing the input may be a student who may be accessing the system for accessing communication content via a method such as the method 100 preferably for learning purposes, a web-user accessing online content for entertainment, a web-user accessing a targeted advertisement, and the like. Alternatively, the system user may be a content creator such as a teacher who may be accessing the system for creating content for teaching purposes, entertainment, advertisement, and the like. The input may be received in form of data bytes generated through, for example, text input, voice input, selection of specific content such as a quiz, an answer choice and the like. The one or more receiving modules may also receive authentication data such as a username, a password, fingerprints, and the like, from the users. In accordance with various embodiments of the invention, the system may include more than one receiving modules based on, for example, requirements from the content creators and the students. Further, the receiving modules are preferably capable of interacting with clients such as web browsers to receive the data from the users.

The one or more authentication modules are capable of verifying the authenticity of the users. An authentication module of the one or more authentication modules receives one or more user identification details such as a username, a password, and the like, through a receiving module and may apply one or more logics to process these details. Only on verifying the authenticity of the user, an access to the system may be provided to the user. For example, on verifying the authenticity of a student, content such as a quiz, may be accessible to the student. Similarly, a teacher may be provided an access for content creation on verifying his or her authenticity.

After authentication, the received information is provided to a processing module of the one or more processing modules. The one or more processing modules are capable of providing a response to the user. Specifically, the processing module may include executable logics to respond to the queries or information received by the receiving module according to, for example, method 100. For example, the responses provided to the student may include a quiz question on selection of a specific subject, a hint or a sub-question question on selection of an incorrect answer choice, a next question on selection of a correct answer choice to the quiz question, and the like. Similarly, specific responses, according to, for example method 300 may be elicited on selections made by a content creator such as a teacher, an advertiser, and the like. The processing module interacts with the comparison module of the one or more comparison modules to determine appropriate responses for the queries or information received by the receiving module. The comparison module contains predetermined logics for comparing a user input such as the selection of an answer choice with a predetermined correct answer choice. Based on the outcome of the comparison, the processing module may provide, for example, a next quiz question or a sub-question to the student, or any other information according to, for example, method 100. The comparison module may also be used to perform checks on, for example, the guidance steps used for a particular quiz question, the trajectory followed by the student, and the like.

One the information received from the system user has been processed, the returning modules may be used to return relevant response to the system user. For example, on selection of a quiz by a student, the returning module may be used to provide a webpage hosting the thin client implementation of a quiz to the student. Similarly, on selection of an incorrect choice in a quiz question, the returning module may be used to return the information regarding the choice of sub-question to the student's web browser.

The one or more storage modules are capable of storing data for use in the guided communication method 100, content creation method 300, the content created using content creation method 300, user authentication information, and the like. Examples of the data may include content created by a teacher, logs and details of different users, trajectories followed by a user while attempting a quiz, a question bank, correct answer choices, sub-questions corresponding to incorrect answer choices, and the like. For example, a teacher may input the content such as the quiz questions along with the multiple answer choices, sub-questions, and the like, through the receiving module, which may thereafter be stored in a storage module.

The system may be accessible to a remote user through a network interface 506 to communicate with other networks such as a WAN, a LAN, the Internet, Mobile networks, and the like. A user may have one or more display devices 504 to facilitating the display of the content received from the communication system. For example, a display module may be the computer screen of a student or a content creator.

It will be evident to those skilled in the art that each module of the disclosed system, such as the one or more receiving modules, the one or more authentication modules, the one or more processing modules, the one or more comparison modules, the one or more storage modules and the one or more returning modules may be implemented as a hardware module, a software module or an executable logic, a firmware module or any combination thereof. Further, various modules of the system are operatively coupled to one another. Requisite electrical connections may be provided for operatively coupling the various modules of the system.

The system as explained herein may be embodied on, for example, a web-server, a personal computer of the user, and the like. Further, more than one instance of the modules of the system may be used. Furthermore, the modules of the system may not be co-located and may interact through a network such as a wired network like LAN, the Internet, and the like or a wireless network.

For example, when the user is a student, the client such as a web browser of the student may include a receiving module, a storage module which contains information regarding the sub-questions for each selection made by the student, a processing module and a comparison module for returning a sub- question corresponding to a selection made, a display module, and the like. Similarly, a remote webserver may also contain similar modules for receiving, processing, comparing, storing and displaying information received from the user. Preferably, the selection of the configuration of modules is made to facilitate a substantially fast user experience while consuming a low bandwidth using conventional data transfer techniques.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the system may be configured to be lightweight, such that only a dynamic, i.e. interactive portion of the content such as the quiz is transmitted between a client and the server for each interaction, using technologies such as thin clients, well known in the art for Internet browsing.

Hence, the guided communication method and system of the present invention preclude the physical presence of a teacher to teach the users such as and enable learning and communication in an interactive manner, such as by providing guidance steps, which gives an impression of a teacher helping the student. Moreover, the user can set the pace of learning that he or she is comfortable with. Further, the guided communication system can be accessed by a large number of users, thereby vastly improving the scalability of promoting learning. From a content creator's point of view, the guided communication system facilitates easy content creation for teaching, entertainment, Advertisement, and other similar applications, and, moreover includes an efficient and accurate technique for evaluating user's responses including their understanding of the subject matter. Further, valuable insights may be gained from the responses received to each question or interaction, and the guidance steps. The guided communication system and method also preclude the need to download bulky files on user terminals for accessing online content. Thus, the guided communication method and system provides a lightweight, i.e. bandwidth friendly technique to users for learning and communication. Lastly, as explained in conjunction with Figure 3, the guided communication method of the present invention is simple to use and precludes the need of training content creators on existing authoring tools. Additionally, the present invention may enable users such as students to practice their examination skills and subject matter knowledge in a structured way. The invention may provide vital performance feedback to the users, for example, elapsed time per quiz question and percentage of correctly answered questions. The invention may also identify the substantive areas of the subject matter in which the user is either weak or strong. Also, the invention may be able to assist the user in predicting his/her eventual performance.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the present invention may take the form of a computer program product on a computer-usable storage medium having computer-usable program code embodied in the medium.

Furthermore, the present invention was described in part above with reference to flowchart illustrations and/or block diagrams of methods, apparatus (systems), and computer program products according to embodiments of the invention.

It will be understood that each block of the flowchart illustrations and/or block diagrams, and combinations of blocks in the flowchart illustrations and/or block diagrams, can be implemented by computer program instructions. These computer program instructions may be provided to a processor of a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, or other programmable data processing apparatus to produce a machine, such that the instructions, which execute via the processor of the computer or other programmable data processing apparatus, create means for implementing the functions/acts specified in the flowchart and/or block diagram block or blocks.

These computer program instructions may also be stored in a computer- readable memory that can direct a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus to function in a particular manner, such that the instructions stored in the computer-readable memory produce an article of manufacture including instruction means which implement the function/act specified in the flowchart and/or block diagram block or blocks.

The computer program instructions may also be loaded onto a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus like a scanner/check scanner to cause a series of operational steps to be performed on the computer or other programmable apparatus to produce a computer implemented process such that the instructions which execute on the computer or other programmable apparatus provide steps for implementing the functions/acts specified in the flowchart and/or block diagram block or blocks. The foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the present invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The exemplary embodiment was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the present invention and its practical application, to thereby enable people skilled in the art to best utilize the present invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.

Claims

We Claim:
1. A method for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network comprising the steps of:
at least one user initiating a conversation associated with an application with a content, wherein at any stage in the conversation one or more users can join a communication with the content and generating or retrieving a response thereto;
• if desired, guiding the one or more users through a structured communication by retrieving an appropriate guidance from one or more databases; and
• creating a trajectory based on the structured communication and if desired, tracking the trajectory.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the structured communication is pre-determined or is created by the at least one user in real time.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising the step of updating the structured communication based on the trajectory.
4. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the application is selected from a group including user profile, interests, likes or dislikes, keywords.
5. A method for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network comprising the steps of:
at least one user initiating a conversation with a content, wherein the conversation comprises one or more queries from the at least one user;
guiding the at least one user through a structured communication by providing an appropriate guidance for each of the one or more queries; and
creating one or more trajectories for the at least one user based on the one or more queries, wherein the one or more trajectories comprise the at least one user's traversal through the structured communication.
6. The method as claimed in claim 5, wherein the structured communication is pre-determined.
7. The method as claimed in claim 5 further comprising the step of updating the structured communication based on the at least one trajectory.
8. The method as claimed in claim 5, wherein the one or more queries comprise one or more selections from one or more pre-defined options.
9. The method as claimed in claim 5, wherein providing an appropriate guidance comprises presenting the at least one user with one or more pre-defined options.
10. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the network is selected from a group including a local area network, a wide area network, a wireless network, an intranet, the Internet.
11. A method for creating a content for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network, comprising the steps of:
• verifying authenticity of a content creator creating the content of an application;
• authoring the content; and
• creating a structured communication, the structured communication comprising at least one guidance associated with one or more queries, the one or more queries comprising responses of a user to the content or the at least one guidance.
12. The method as claimed in claim 11 , wherein authoring the content comprises accessing a predefined template related to the application.
13. The method as claimed in claim 11, wherein authoring the content comprises facilitating access to an existing online content.
14. The method as claimed in claim 11 further comprising updating the structured communication.
15. The method as claimed in claim 11 , wherein the one or more queries are pre-defined.
16. The method as claimed in claim 11 , wherein the content is multimedia content.
17. A system for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network comprising the steps of:
means configured for at least one user initiating a conversation associated with an application with a content, wherein at any stage in the conversation one or more users can join a communication with the content and generating or retrieving a response thereto; • if desired, means configured for guiding the one or more users through a structured communication by retrieving an appropriate guidance from one or more databases; and
• means configured for creating a trajectory based on the structured communication and if desired, tracking the trajectory.
18. The system as claimed in claim 17, wherein the structured communication is pre-determined or is created by the at least one user in real time.
19. The system as claimed in claim 17, wherein the application is selected from a group including user profile, interests, likes or dislikes, keywords.
20. A system for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network comprising of:
means configured for at least one user initiating a conversation with a content, wherein the conversation comprises one or more queries from the at least one user;
means configured for guiding the at least one user through a structured communication by providing an appropriate guidance for each of the one or more queries; and
means configured for creating one or more trajectories for the at least one user based on the one or more queries, wherein the one or more trajectories comprise the at least one user's traversal through the structured communication.
21. The system as claimed in claim 20 further comprising means configured for updating the structured communication based on the trajectory.
22. The system as claimed in claim 20, wherein the structured communication is pre-determined.
23. The system as claimed in claim 20, wherein the network is selected from a group including a local area network, a wide area network, a wireless network, an intranet, the Internet.
24. The system as claimed in claim 20, wherein the at least one user can communicate using a device selected from a group including a mobile device, a Portable Digital Assistant (PDA), a tablet computer, a personal computer.
25. A system for creating a content for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network, comprising of: • means configured for verifying authenticity of a content creator creating the content of an application;
• means configured to author the content; and
• means configured to create a structured communication, the structured communication comprising at least one guidance associated with one or more queries, the one or more queries comprising responses of a user to the content or the at least one guidance.
26. The system as claimed in claim 25 further comprising means configured for updating the structured communication.
27. A computer readable medium comprising a program, when executed by a processor performs the method for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network, the method comprising the steps of:
■ at least one user initiating a conversation associated with an application with a content, wherein at any stage in the conversation one or more users can join a communication with the content and generating or retrieving a response thereto;
• if desired, guiding the one or more users through a structured communication by retrieving an appropriate guidance from one or more databases; and
• creating a trajectory based on the structured communication and if desired, tracking the trajectory.
28. The computer readable medium as claimed in claim 27 further comprising a program configured for updating the structured communication based on the at least one trajectory.
29. The computer readable medium as claimed in claim 27, wherein the structured communication is pre-determined or created by the users in a real time.
30. A computer readable medium comprising a program, when executed by a processor performs the method for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network comprising the steps of:
at least one user initiating a conversation with a content, wherein the conversation comprises one or more queries from the at least one user;
guiding the at least one user through a structured communication by providing an appropriate guidance for each of the one or more queries; and creating one or more trajectories for the at least one user based on the one or more queries, wherein the one or more trajectories comprise the at least one user's traversal through the structured communication.
31. The computer readable medium as claimed in claim 30, wherein the structured communication is pre-determined.
32. The computer readable medium as claimed in claim 30 further comprising the step of updating the structured communication based on the at least one trajectory.
33. The computer readable medium as claimed in claim 30, wherein the one or more queries comprise one or more selections from one or more pre-defined options.
34. The computer readable medium as claimed in claim 30, wherein providing an appropriate guidance comprises presenting the at least one user with one or more pre-defined options.
35. A computer readable medium comprising a program, when executed by the processor performs the method for creating a content for facilitating interactive and guided communication in a network, comprising the steps of:
• verifying authenticity of a content creator creating the content of an application;
• authoring the content; and
• creating a structured communication, the structured communication comprising at least one guidance associated with one or more queries, the one or more queries comprising responses of a user to the content or the at least one guidance.
36. The computer readable medium as claimed in claim 35, wherein authoring the content comprises facilitating access to an existing online content.
37. The computer readable medium as claimed in claim 35, wherein the content is multimedia content.
PCT/IN2011/000095 2010-02-12 2011-02-14 Method and system for guided communication WO2011099037A1 (en)

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