“Mind” TS: Testing a brief mindfulness intervention with an intelligent tutoring system

Kristina Krasich, Stephen Hutt, Caitlin Mills, Catherine A. Spann, James R. Brockmole, Sidney K. D’Mello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Attention is critical for learning, but difficult to sustain. Here, we investigated the possibility of integrating a short mindfulness exercise into an ITS to reduce mind wandering (MW)—an attentional shift from task-relevant to task-irrelevant thoughts—and improve learning. Participants were randomly assigned to engage with a 5-min auditory mindfulness exercise (experimental group), a relaxation exercise (active control group), or nothing (control group) before completing a 20-min (SD = 5.77) learning session from GuruTutor, a conversational biology ITS. Participants self-reported MW in response to pseudo-random thought probes during learning and completed pre- and posttest assessments that measured learning. On average, participants reported MW on 25% (SD = 20%) of probes, but there was no evidence that MW rates or learning varied across conditions. Our findings suggest that integrating this mindfulness exercise did not improve attention or learning within the ITS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence in Education - 19th International Conference, AIED 2018, Proceedings
EditorsRose Luckin, Kaska Porayska-Pomsta, Benedict du Boulay, Manolis Mavrikis, Carolyn Penstein Rosé, Bruce McLaren, Roberto Martinez-Maldonado, H. Ulrich Hoppe
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9783319938455
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event19th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2018 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 27 2018Jun 30 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10948 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference19th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (DRL 1235958 and IIS 1523091). Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018.


  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Learning
  • Mind wandering
  • Mindfulness


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