A new computerized tutoring system has been developed to keep students in the “flow” zone
As proposed by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “flow” is an ideal psychological state in which we are engaged enough by a task not to find it boring, and yet not so challenged by it that we get discouraged. When learning new subjects, however, students often end up falling at one end or the other of that scale. Now, a new computerized tutoring system has been developed to keep students in the “flow” zone. It does so by monitoring their emotional state, then adjusting its teaching method to steer them away from boredom or frustration.
Called AutoTutor, the system was created by University of Notre Dame Assistant Professor of Psychology Sidney D’Mello, Art Graesser from the University of Memphis, and a colleague from MIT. It teaches complex concepts in Newtonian physics, computer literacy and critical thinking.
AutoTutor (along with its sister program, Affective AutoTutor) works by holding a natural-language conversation with the student, in which it asks them questions about the subject. By analyzing their responses, it is able to assess their knowledge level, and can subsequently recognize and address misconceptions that they may have regarding the material. Additionally, it is able to respond to their own questions or criticisms, and is designed to maintain their interest with images, animations and simulations.
More importantly, however, it also monitors their facial features, body language and conversational cues, in order to gauge their psychological state. Should it detect negative emotions, it will subtly alter the pace, direction and complexity of the learning task, to improve the situation. It can also alter its own “emotions” accordingly, by changing the content and intonation of its verbal responses, and the facial expressions of the on-screen animated teacher.
Read more . . .
Bookmark this page for “boosting grades” and check back regularly as these articles update on a very frequent basis. The view is set to “news”. Try clicking on “video” and “2” for more articles.