Investigating microadaptation in one-to-one human tutoring

Stephanie Ann Siler, Kurt VanLehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The authors investigated whether some advantages of tutoring over other instructional methods are due to microadaptation, or, tutors basing their actions on assessments of tutees they develop during tutoring. In a 2 × 2 between-subjects experiment, independent variables were shared experience (tutors either worked with the same or a different tutee in each of four segment of the tutoring session) and communication context (face-to-face or computer-mediated). Although there were no overall learning differences across experience conditions, tutees who worked with the same tutor demonstrated better learning of concepts initially discussed during the final tutoring segment. Shared experience led to accurate competence assessments only in the computer-mediated context, suggesting that cognitive load influences assessment development. However, there was no evidence of micro-adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-367
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Experimental Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015


  • assessment of tutee
  • human tutoring
  • learning
  • microadaptation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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