- Oct 2020
We eventually hope to create affect-sensitive learning environments that respond constructively and effectively to boredom and confusion. When we do, we will have made significant progress towards improving students’ learning experiences, reducing problem behaviors such as gaming the system, managing students’ frustration and confusion in the face of impasses, and ultimately improving students’ learning.
Researchers studied students cognitive-affective states doing online learning in 3 separate, very different studies, among different student populations, ranging from 12-year-olds to college students. They found that, contrary to prior assumptions, frustration did not necessarily have negative learning outcomes. Boredom tended to last longest of the cognitive-affective states covered, led to the greatest attempts to game the system, and had the least successful learning outcomes. Confusion was sometimes beneficial and sometimes harmful. Therefore, online learning environments should be developed that guard against boredom and perhaps confusion, rather than frustration. 8/10