Zone out no more: Mitigating mind wandering during computerized reading

Sidney K. D’Mello, Caitlin Mills, Robert Bixler, Nigel Bosch

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Mind wandering, defined as shifts in attention from task-related processing to task-unrelated thoughts, is a ubiquitous phenomenon that has a negative influence on performance and productivity in many contexts, including learning. We propose that next-generation learning technologies should have some mechanism to detect and respond to mind wandering in real-time. Towards this end, we developed a technology that automatically detects mind wandering from eye-gaze during learning from instructional texts. When mind wandering is detected, the technology intervenes by posing just-in-time questions and encouraging re-reading as needed. After multiple rounds of iterative refinement, we summatively compared the technology to a yoked-control in an experiment with 104 participants. The key dependent variable was performance on a post-reading comprehension assessment. Our results suggest that the technology was successful in correcting comprehension deficits attributed to mind wandering (d = .47 sigma) under specific conditions, thereby highlighting the potential to improve learning by “attending to attention.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages8-15
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, EDM 2017 - Wuhan, China
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

Conference

Conference10th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, EDM 2017
CountryChina
CityWuhan
Period6/25/176/28/17

Keywords

  • Attention-aware
  • Gaze tracking
  • Mind wandering
  • Student modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Zone out no more: Mitigating mind wandering during computerized reading'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    D’Mello, S. K., Mills, C., Bixler, R., & Bosch, N. (2017). Zone out no more: Mitigating mind wandering during computerized reading. 8-15. Paper presented at 10th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, EDM 2017, Wuhan, China.