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Characterizing Pause Behaviors in a Science Inquiry Task

Dr. Caitlin Tenison
Educational Testing Service ~ Cognitive and Technology Sciences
Dr. Burcu Arslan
Educational Testing Service ~ Cognitive and Technology Sciences

In inquiry-based learning tasks students are actively involved in learning knowledge and skills through experimentation. The success of these activities largely depends on student’s inquiry practices. While traditional assessment infers student competency from their responses and problem-solving steps, the pauses between these actions provide a valuable source of information. Pauses during inquiry tasks capture a wide range of productive and unproductive activities such as planning, reasoning and mind-wandering. We present efforts to characterize the pauses behaviors during a science inquiry task using hidden Markov modeling. We explore how theory can inform data driven modeling approaches, describe initial evidence of meaningful pause states, and consider the limitations of this approach for supporting inferences about students’ science inquiry practices.

Changes in states over time? Last updated 3 years ago

Hi, thanks for your presentation! Very exciting work! I'm curious if you could use this method to identify changes in a student's learning process as they solve multiple problems in a row. For instance, would you see that the type and frequency of pauses changes as a student becomes more competent in the task?

Dr. Maarten van der Velde 1 comment

Dear Dr. Caitlin, an extraordinary talk. Excellent and very interesting. I have a few questions. In the same line of your conclusions and your future work, is it possible that another factor that influences the participants' pauses may be due to the type of thinking in solving the problem, that is, in a "novice" processing or an "expert" processing...

Dr. Alfonso Díaz Furlong 2 comments
pauses and mind-wandering Last updated 3 years ago

Very cool talk! I am working on mind-wandering, and in this research we embed questions in the task in which participants are asked about their mental state at that moment. Would that be helpful to find out what pauses are productive or unproductive? Also, are there any measures of learning on the single-task level such that you could compare the ...

Dr. Marieke Van Vugt 1 comment
Great talk/project!! Question Last updated 3 years ago

Thank you for this talk! I loved how you could identify the different problem-solving stages (including pauses!) in this inquiry-based learning task using a hidden markov model. Your explanation of the different stages on Figure 4 is very clear, and makes a lot of sense. As I was watching your video and reading your paper, I was reminded of protoco...

Mr. Pierre Gianferrara 2 comments
Cite this as:

Tenison, C., & Arslan, B. (2020, July). Characterizing Pause Behaviors in a Science Inquiry Task. Paper presented at Virtual MathPsych/ICCM 2020. Via