Title

An exploration of off topic conversation

Abstract

In a corpus of expert tutoring dialogue, conversation that is considered to be "off topic" (non-pedagogical) according to a previous coding scheme is explored for its value in tutoring dynamics. Using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) tool, phases of tutoring categorized as "off topic" were compared with interactive problem solving phases to explore how the two differ on the emotional, psychological, and topical dimensions analyzed by LIWC. The results suggest that conversation classified as "off topic" serves as motivation and broad pedagogy in tutoring. These findings can be used to orient future research on "off topic" conversation, and help to make sense of both previous coding schemes and noisy data sets. © 2010 Association for Computational Linguistics.

Publication Title

NAACL HLT 2010 - Human Language Technologies: The 2010 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Main Conference

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