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WPI - Computer Science Department , MS Thesis Presentation , Ashish Gurung " Examining Student Effort on Help through Response Time Decomposition"

Tuesday, April 27, 2021
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Examining Student Effort on Help through Response Time Decomposition

Ashish Gurung

MS Student

WPI -Computer Science

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Advisor: Neil T. Heffernan

Reader: Joseph E. Beck




Many teachers have come to rely on the affordances that computer-based learning platforms offer in regard to aiding in student assessment, supplementing instruction, and providing immediate feedback and help to students as they work through assigned content. Similarly, researchers commonly utilize the large datasets of clickstream logs describing students’ interactions with the platform to study learning.


For the teachers that use this information to monitor student progress, as well as for researchers, this data provides limited insights into the learning process; this is particularly the case as it pertains to observing and understanding the effort that students are applying to their work. From the perspective of teachers, it is important for them to know which students are attending to and using computer-provided aid and which are taking advantage of the system to complete work without effectively learning the material.


 In this paper, we conduct a series of analyses based on response time decomposition (RTD) to explore student help-seeking behavior in the context of on-demand hints within a computer-based learning platform with a particular focus on examining which students appear to be exhibiting effort to learn while engaging with the system. Our findings are then leveraged to examine how our measure of student effort correlates with later student performance measures.