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iBaTs: Interactive Bash Shell Adaptive Tutoring System
Narasimha Karpoor Shashidhar, Cihan Varol, Keerthi Koneru
Pages - 1 - 9     |    Revised - 30-04-2020     |    Published - 01-06-2020
Volume - 11   Issue - 1    |    Publication Date - June 2020  Table of Contents
Adaptive Learning, Bash, Console, Command-line, Interactive Shell, Shell Scripting.
A vast majority of students in computing and related disciplines expect to interact with their systems and computing devices using a graphical user interface. Any other means of interacting with a device is deemed unseemly and is quickly met with frustration and rejection. This can partly be attributed to the fact that most operating systems and the tools that run on these platforms offer a rich “point-and-click” interface in an effort to make their systems user friendly. However, in contrast, when it comes to the study of system and cyber security, a mastery over the console and the command-line interface is imperative. In our experience in teaching most courses on system and cyber security, students seem to have the greatest difficulty in using the console/command-prompt/shell. This issue is further exacerbated since many security and related open source forensics tools are designed to run in a Unix-based environment, typically a shell, and even fewer students are familiar with the UNIX environment and find the entire experience all the more daunting. Even the simple command-prompt, ubiquitous on all Microsoft Windows operating systems, is met with significant disdain by today's students, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. There are several solutions that have been proposed and designed to alleviate this exact issue in the field of computer programming. Video tool, Dragon Drop Pictorial Programming, Alice and Jpie are various stand-alone tools introduced to ease the inherent challenges in learning a new programming language and environment. To alleviate this situation, in this paper, we propose the first tool of its kind, to the best of our knowledge, which aims to tutor a console application using a graphical interface and adapts to the students' progress. The ultimate aim is to eliminate students' dependence on graphical interfaces and convert her to a power user of a system. Our tool, called Interactive Bash Shell Adaptive Tutoring System (iBaTs), enables students to familiarize themselves with the UNIX environment and the Bash Shell on a Windows operating system. In this work, we discuss the architecture of our tutoring program and demonstrate that our system sports several innovative pedagogical features that makes it a unique, fun, encouraging and adaptive learning environment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such effort that aims to address this issue.
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Dr. Narasimha Karpoor Shashidhar
Department of Computer Science, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville - United States of America
Dr. Cihan Varol
Department of Computer Science, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville - United States of America
Mrs. Keerthi Koneru
Department of Computer Science, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville - United States of America

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