Responding to Student Uncertainty During Computer Tutoring: An Experimental Evaluation

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Abstract

This paper evaluates dialogue-based student performance in a controlled experiment using versions of a tutoring system with and without automatic adaptation to the student affective state of uncertainty. Our performance metrics include correctness, uncertainty, and learning impasse severities, which are measured in a “test” dialogue after the tutoring treatment. Although these metrics did not significantly differ across conditions when considering all student answers in our test dialogue, we found significant differences in specific types of student answers, and these differences suggest that our uncertainty adaptation does have a positive benefit on student performance.