Mining the Dynamics of Student Utility and Strategy Use during Vocabulary Learning



Published May 1, 2013
Philip I Pavlik Jr


This paper describes the development of a dynamical systems model of motivation and metacognition duringlearning, which explains some of the practically and theoretically important relationships among three studentengagementconstructs and performance metrics during learning. In order to better calibrate and understand themodel, the model was also fit with additional fixed factor predictors determined from the factor scores from afactor analysis of the pre-survey given to students. This work mined data from computerized adaptive flashcardlearning system to create the dynamical systems model. This flashcard practice included pop-up surveyquestions on the students experience of recent easiness, strategy use, and usefulness, in addition to thecorrectness performance data for the practice. The dynamical systems model of this data was then used tosimulate various student profiles to predict how they would experience the flashcard system. These simulationsshow how strategy use in this task is crucial because of the ways it influences performance and perceivedusefulness. In the model, this result is shown by a bifurcation for higher and lower strategy use, where thehigher strategy use equilibrium is accompanied by performance predictions suggesting learning that is moreefficient. In addition, we examined the implications of our data for the flow theory of optimal experience bytesting models of this theory and comparing it to a Vygotskian perspective on the results.

How to Cite

Pavlik Jr, P. I. (2013). Mining the Dynamics of Student Utility and Strategy Use during Vocabulary Learning. JEDM | Journal of Educational Data Mining, 5(1), 39-71. Retrieved from
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