Zone out no more: Mitigating mind wandering during computerized reading

Sidney K. D’Mello, Caitlin Mills, Robert Bixler, Philip N 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
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

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Productivity
Processing
Experiments

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

Cite this

D’Mello, S. K., Mills, C., Bixler, R., & Bosch, P. 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.

Zone out no more : Mitigating mind wandering during computerized reading. / D’Mello, Sidney K.; Mills, Caitlin; Bixler, Robert; Bosch, Philip N.

2017. 8-15 Paper presented at 10th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, EDM 2017, Wuhan, China.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

D’Mello, SK, Mills, C, Bixler, R & Bosch, PN 2017, 'Zone out no more: Mitigating mind wandering during computerized reading' Paper presented at 10th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, EDM 2017, Wuhan, China, 6/25/17 - 6/28/17, pp. 8-15.
D’Mello SK, Mills C, Bixler R, Bosch PN. Zone out no more: Mitigating mind wandering during computerized reading. 2017. Paper presented at 10th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, EDM 2017, Wuhan, China.
D’Mello, Sidney K. ; Mills, Caitlin ; Bixler, Robert ; Bosch, Philip N. / Zone out no more : Mitigating mind wandering during computerized reading. Paper presented at 10th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, EDM 2017, Wuhan, China.8 p.
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