Faculty Advisor

Baker, Ryan Shaun


We use sensor-free affect detection and a discovery with models approach to explore the relationship between affect over varying durations and learning outcomes among students using Cognitive Tutor Algebra. Researchers have suggested that the affective state of confusion can have positive effects on learning as long as students can resolve the confusion, and recent research seems to accord with this hypothesis. However, there is room for concern that some of this earlier work may have conflated frustration and confusion. We replicate these analyses using sensor-free automated detectors trained to distinguish the two affective states. Our analyses suggest that the effect may be stronger for frustration than confusion, but is strongest when these two affective states are taken together.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

February 2013

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies