Ideas: interactive domain reasoners

Domain reasoners help students solving interactive exercises in learning environments, such as ActiveMath, MathDox, and the Digital Mathematical Environment from the Freudenthal Institute.

Ideas is a framework for developing domain reasoners that give intelligent feedback. Using Ideas, we have developed domain reasoners for solving algebra problems such as quadratic equations, but also for logic, and programming.


The distinguishing feature of our tools is the detailed feedback that they provide, on several levels. They support a student using an interactive learning environment for solving exercises by: We offer our feedback services as webservices. For a complete list of services see our documentation pages. You can experiment online with our services.


We have developed domain reasoners that can deal with many kinds of exercises: For a complete list of the kind of exercises we offer see our documentation pages. We have written a tutorial on how to develop your own domain reasoner.

More information

The ideas framework uses rewrite strategies for specifying how to solve exercises. The main ideas are described in our paper Specifying Rewrite Strategies for Interactive Exercises.

Several other aspects of our domain reasoners are described in the various publications about our work.

Information about our framework, documentation, etc, is available on our trac.




Our work on domain reasoners is performed at the Faculty of Computer Science of the Open Universiteit Nederland and the department of Information and Computing Sciences of Utrecht University, by


For questions about Ideas, please contact:

Johan Jeuring:
  • Email:
  • Phone:
    +31 30 2534115 work
    +31 30 2711281 home
    +31 6 40010053 mobile
  • Room:
    Buys Ballot Laboratorium (BBL), 571, Universiteit Utrecht
Bastiaan Heeren:
  • Email:
  • Phone:
    +31 30 2534255
  • Room:
    Buys Ballot Laboratorium (BBL), 572, Universiteit Utrecht




How to reach us, fax, postal address, etc.