AAAI Publications, The Twenty-Sixth International FLAIRS Conference

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Does Immediate Feedback While Doing Homework Improve Learning?
Paul Kehrer, Kim Kelly, Neil Heffernan

Last modified: 2013-05-19


Much of the literature surrounding the effectiveness of intelligent tutoring systems has focused on the type of feedback students receive. Current research suggests that the timing of feedback also plays a role in improved learning. Some researchers have shown that delaying feedback might lead to a “desirable difficulty”, where students’ performance while practicing is lower, but they in fact learn more.  Others using Cognitive Tutors have suggested delaying feedback is bad, but those students were using a system that gave detailed assistance.    Many web-based homework systems give only correctness feedback (e.g. web-assign).  Should such systems give immediate feedback or might it be better for that feedback to be delayed?  It is hypothesized that immediate feedback will lead to better learning than delayed feedback. In a randomized controlled crossover-“within-subjects” design, 61 seventh grade math students participated.  In one condition students received correctness feedback immediately, while doing their homework, while in the other condition, the exact same feedback was delayed, to when they checked their homework the next day in class. The results show that when given feedback immediately students learned more than when receiving the same feedback delayed.


intelligent tutoring; homework; immediate feedback

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