Mind wandering during learning with an intelligent tutoring system


Mind wandering (zoning out) can be detrimental to learning outcomes in a host of educational activities, from reading to watching video lectures, yet it has received little attention in the field of intelligent tutoring systems (ITS). In the current study, participants self-reported mind wandering during a learning session with Guru, a dialogue-based ITS for biology. On average, participants interacted with Guru for 22 minutes and reported an average of 11.5 instances of mind wandering, or one instance every two minutes. The frequency of mind wandering was compared across five different phases of Guru (Common-Ground-Building Instruction, Intermittent Summary, Concept Map, Scaffolded Dialogue, and Cloze task), each requiring different learning strategies. The rate of mind wandering per minute was highest during the Common-Ground-Building Instruction and Scaffolded Dialogue phases of Guru. Importantly, there was significant negative correlation between mind wandering and learning, highlighting the need to address this phenomena during learning with ITSs.

Publication Title

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)