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Attention management for dynamic and adaptive scaffolding

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Many pedagogues have argued that learners should shape their own learning experience whilst tutors should facilitate this process of knowledge construction. Digital environments have been often used in an attempt to scaffold learning in these innovative learning settings. However the results obtained have been mixed both in terms of learning achievements and learners’ satisfaction. We argue that this is due to the fact that scaffolds are often implemented in a too static and generic manner, and attention-related, fine-grained aspects of timeliness and fitness are normally disregarded. We propose that dynamic and adaptive scaffolds can be provided by observing and responding-to learners’ attentional processes. We present a system that implements such attention-based scaffolding. We indicate how learners’ attentional states may be detected and how several categories of interventions with the learners may scaffold learning in a timely and appropriate manner. Finally, we report the results obtained in system tests which show an improvement in performance and motivation for students working with attention based scaffolding.
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Keywords: adaptive scaffolding; attention; attention aware system; attention management system; e-learning system

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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