Faculty Advisor

Baker, Ryan Shaun


We investigate the relationship between a student's time off-task and the amount that he or she learns to see whether or not the relationship between time off-task and learning is a more complex model than the traditional linear model typically studied. The data collected is based off of students' interactions with Cognitive Tutor learning software. Analysis suggested that more complex functions did not fit the data significantly better than a linear function. In addition, there was no evidence that the length of a specific pause matters for predicting learning outcomes. As such, previous theoretical accounts arguing that off-task behavior primarily reduces learning by reducing the amount of time spent learning remain congruent with the current evidence.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2012

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies