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      Harnessing Learners' Perceptual Load, the Attentional States, and Interactions in Digital Learning Environments



      Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI)

      Human Computer Interaction Conference

      4 - 6 July 2018

      Attention, Distracters, Digital Learning Environments, Human Computer Interaction

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          Learning effectiveness is highly subjective. It depends on how well an individual gets involved with learning: being attentive and engaged. It has been looked into from many different aspects: educational, psychological, and technological. Yet, we could not find appropriate mechanisms to perform an in-situ assessment of the attentional state of a learner. To address this deficiency, we initiate a blended approach that brings together the educational, psychological, and technological aspects related to attention in digital learning environments. We propose to predict the attentional state of a leaner by analyzing user interactions and the perceptual load presented by the learning activity. We suggest two ways to use these predictions: (1) Notify the user about wavering of attention so that the learner will be able to enhance his engagement with the learning activity (2) As an insight to the learning activity if many learners engaged with the activity find it difficult to focus on. This work is expected to make a positive impact by enhancing effectiveness in teaching and learning in digital learning environments.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control.

          A load theory of attention in which distractor rejection depends on the level and type of load involved in current processing was tested. A series of experiments demonstrates that whereas high perceptual load reduces distractor interference, working memory load or dual-task coordination load increases distractor interference. These findings suggest 2 selective attention mechanisms: a perceptual selection mechanism serving to reduce distractor perception in situations of high perceptual load that exhaust perceptual capacity in processing relevant stimuli and a cognitive control mechanism that reduces interference from perceived distractors as long as cognitive control functions are available to maintain current priorities (low cognitive load). This theory resolves the long-standing early versus late selection debate and clarifies the role of cognitive control in selective attention. ((c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)
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            On the need for attention-aware systems: Measuring effects of interruption on task performance, error rate, and affective state

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              Harnessing the wandering mind: The role of perceptual load

              Perceptual load is a key determinant of distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli (e.g., Lavie, N. (2005). Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 75–82). Here we establish the role of perceptual load in determining an internal form of distraction by task-unrelated thoughts (TUTs or “mind-wandering”). Four experiments demonstrated reduced frequency of TUTs with high compared to low perceptual load in a visual-search task. Alternative accounts in terms of increased demands on responses, verbal working memory or motivation were ruled out and clear effects of load were found for unintentional TUTs. Individual differences in load effects on internal (TUTs) and external (response-competition) distractors were correlated. These results suggest that exhausting attentional capacity in task-relevant processing under high perceptual load can reduce processing of task-irrelevant information from external and internal sources alike.

                Author and article information

                July 2018
                July 2018
                : 1-7
                University of Colombo School of Computing University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
                © Karunaratne. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of British HCI 2018. Belfast, UK.

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference
                Belfast, UK
                4 - 6 July 2018
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Human Computer Interaction Conference
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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