Evaluating the Impact of Interactive Tutoring and Gaming Environments on Learning and Engagement

Project: Research project

Project Details


The purpose of this proposed project is twofold. First, we propose to conduct an experimental evaluation of four off-the-shelf computer-based mathematics tutors (Carnegie Learning, V Math Live, Tabula Digita, and ALEKS). Specifically, this portion of the project focuses on determining which mathematics program produces the largest learning gains and fosters the most learner engagement. The computer-based mathematics tutors range from Carnegie Learnings traditional ACT-R intelligent tutoring system to Tabula Digitas immersive 3D educational video game. The proposed project will rely on a minimum of 100 participants recruited from the ranks of local high schools and community colleges that are deemed representative of Naval recruits who would ultimately use the tutoring programs at the Great Lakes Naval Training Facility. These participants will be randomly assigned in equal numbers to one of the four tutoring systems and will use them several days a week over the course of a semester. The participants learning and engagement will be measured repeatedly with traditional measures. Second, we propose to study learning and engagement in game-based environments with a less traditional approach, using high-density sensors that unobtrusively monitor learners cognitive and affective responses. A goal of this portion of the project is to help establish guidelines for game designers to use in creating the optimal level of problem challenge in video- and computergames including how to present a sequence of increasing challenging problems to users that gradually enables them to develop competence, one of the techniques for fostering intrinsic motivation. The proposed sensory suite includes a state-of-the art eye tracking system by Tobii combined with a high resolution, neuro-signal acquisition and processing wireless headset by Emotiv. This suite will enable us to analyze learners EEG data, their attentional behavior, and their affective state including excitement, engagement/boredom, and frustration to systematically examine how to effectively promote challenge in game-based environments.1_
Effective start/end date11/1/094/30/13


  • DOD-NAVY: Office of Naval Research (ONR): $622,233.00


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