Talk like an Electrician: Student dialogue mimicking behavior in an Intelligent Tutoring System


Natalie Steinhauser, Gwendolyn Campbell, Leanne Taylor, Simon Caine, Charles Scott, Myroslava Dzikovska and Johanna Moore

Paper type: 
Full paper
3. 11:00-12:30, Wednesday 29 June


Students entering a new field must learn to speak the specialized language of that field. Previous research using automated measures of word overlap has found that students who modify their language to align more closely to a tutor's language show larger overall learning gains. We present an alternative approach that assesses syntactic as well as lexical alignment in a corpus of human-computer tutorial dialogue. We found distinctive patterns differentiating
high and low achieving students. Our high achievers were most likely to mimic their own earlier statements and rarely made mistakes when mimicking the tutor. Low achievers were less likely to reuse their own successful sentence structures, and were more likely to make mistakes when trying to mimic the tutor. We argue that certain types of mimicking should be encouraged in tutorial dialogue systems, an important future research direction.


Mimicking, Alignment, Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS), Human Computer Interaction (HCI)