Responding to learners' cognitive-affective states with supportive and shakeup dialogues

Sidney D'Mello, Scotty Craig, Karl Fike, Arthur Graesser

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

42 Scopus citations


This paper describes two affect-sensitive variants of an existing intelligent tutoring system called AutoTutor. The new versions of AutoTutor detect learners' boredom, confusion, and frustration by monitoring conversational cues, gross body language, and facial features. The sensed cognitive-affective states are used to select AutoTutor's pedagogical and motivational dialogue moves and to drive the behavior of an embodied pedagogical agent that expresses emotions through verbal content, facial expressions, and affective speech. The first version, called the Supportive AutoTutor, addresses the presence of the negative states by providing empathetic and encouraging responses. The Supportive AutoTutor attributes the source of the learners' emotions to the material or itself, but never directly to the learner. In contrast, the second version, called the Shakeup AutoTutor, takes students to task by directly attributing the source of the emotions to the learners themselves and responding with witty, skeptical, and enthusiastic responses. This paper provides an overview of our theoretical framework, and the design of the Supportive and Shakeup tutors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationAmbient, Ubiquitous and Intelligent Interaction - 13th International Conference, HCI International 2009, Proceedings
Number of pages10
EditionPART 3
StatePublished - Oct 28 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event13th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI International 2009 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 19 2009Jul 24 2009

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
NumberPART 3
Volume5612 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other13th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI International 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Affect
  • Affect-sensitive AutoTutor
  • Emotion
  • ITS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Responding to learners' cognitive-affective states with supportive and shakeup dialogues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this