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Feelin' Good...And Then Some: A Functional Evolutionary Approach to Positive Emotions in Sport

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Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct

Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct positive emotions with diverse implications for behavior. The present study applied this evolutionarily informed approach in the context of sport to examine which positive emotions are associated with play. It was hypothesized that pride, amusement, and enthusiasm, but not contentment or awe, would increase in Ultimate Frisbee players during a practice scrimmage. Further, it was hypothesized that increases in pride and amusement during practice would be differentially associated with sport outcomes, including performance (scores, assists, and defenses), subjective social connectedness, attributions of success, and attitudes toward the importance of practice. It was found that all positive emotions decreased during practice. It was also found that increases in pride were associated with more scores and greater social connectedness, whereas increases in amusement were associated with more assists. The present study was one of the first to examine change in positive emotions during play and to relate them to specific performance outcomes. Future studies should expand to determine which came first: emotion or performance.

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2014-05

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Enhancing the affordances of a tangible learning environment through prompts delivered through a teachable robotic agent

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For this master's thesis, a unique set of cognitive prompts, designed to be delivered through a teachable robotic agent, were developed for students using Tangible Activities for Geometry (TAG), a tangible learning environment developed at Arizona State University. The purpose

For this master's thesis, a unique set of cognitive prompts, designed to be delivered through a teachable robotic agent, were developed for students using Tangible Activities for Geometry (TAG), a tangible learning environment developed at Arizona State University. The purpose of these prompts is to enhance the affordances of the tangible learning environment and help researchers to better understand how we can design tangible learning environments to best support student learning. Specifically, the prompts explicitly encourage users to make use of their physical environment by asking students to perform a number of gestures and behaviors while prompting students about domain-specific knowledge. To test the effectiveness of these prompts that combine elements of cognition and physical movements, the performance and behavior of students who encounter these prompts while using TAG will be compared against the performance and behavior of students who encounter a more traditional set of cognitive prompts that would typically be used within a virtual learning environment. Following this study, data was analyzed using a novel modeling and analysis tool that combines enhanced log annotation using video and user model generation functionalities to highlight trends amongst students.

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2014

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What Predicts Student Comprehension in Language Learning? Augmenting Student Action with Elapsed Time in an Educational Data Mining Approach

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Reading comprehension is a critical aspect of life in America, but many English language learners struggle with this skill. Enhanced Moved by Reading to Accelerate Comprehension in English (EMBRACE) is a tablet-based interactive learning environment is designed to improve reading

Reading comprehension is a critical aspect of life in America, but many English language learners struggle with this skill. Enhanced Moved by Reading to Accelerate Comprehension in English (EMBRACE) is a tablet-based interactive learning environment is designed to improve reading comprehension. During use of EMBRACE, all interactions with the system are logged, including correct and incorrect behaviors and help requests. These interactions could potentially be used to predict the child’s reading comprehension, providing an online measure of understanding. In addition, time-related features have been used for predicting learning by educational data mining models in mathematics and science, and may be relevant in this context. This project investigated the predictive value of data mining models based on user actions for reading comprehension, with and without timing information. Contradictory results of the investigation were obtained. The KNN and SVM models indicated that elapsed time is an important feature, but the linear regression models indicated that elapsed time is not an important feature. Finally, a new statistical test was performed on the KNN algorithm which indicated that the feature selection process may have caused overfitting, where features were chosen due coincidental alignment with the participants’ performance. These results provide important insights which will aid in the development of a reading comprehension predictor that improves the EMBRACE system’s ability to better serve ELLs.

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2017

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A Person-Centric Design Framework for At-Home Motor Learning in Serious Games

Description

In motor learning, real-time multi-modal feedback is a critical element in guided training. Serious games have been introduced as a platform for at-home motor training due to their highly interactive and multi-modal nature. This dissertation explores the design of a

In motor learning, real-time multi-modal feedback is a critical element in guided training. Serious games have been introduced as a platform for at-home motor training due to their highly interactive and multi-modal nature. This dissertation explores the design of a multimodal environment for at-home training in which an autonomous system observes and guides the user in the place of a live trainer, providing real-time assessment, feedback and difficulty adaptation as the subject masters a motor skill. After an in-depth review of the latest solutions in this field, this dissertation proposes a person-centric approach to the design of this environment, in contrast to the standard techniques implemented in related work, to address many of the limitations of these approaches. The unique advantages and restrictions of this approach are presented in the form of a case study in which a system entitled the "Autonomous Training Assistant" consisting of both hardware and software for guided at-home motor learning is designed and adapted for a specific individual and trainer.

In this work, the design of an autonomous motor learning environment is approached from three areas: motor assessment, multimodal feedback, and serious game design. For motor assessment, a 3-dimensional assessment framework is proposed which comprises of 2 spatial (posture, progression) and 1 temporal (pacing) domains of real-time motor assessment. For multimodal feedback, a rod-shaped device called the "Intelligent Stick" is combined with an audio-visual interface to provide feedback to the subject in three domains (audio, visual, haptic). Feedback domains are mapped to modalities and feedback is provided whenever the user's performance deviates from the ideal performance level by an adaptive threshold. Approaches for multi-modal integration and feedback fading are discussed. Finally, a novel approach for stealth adaptation in serious game design is presented. This approach allows serious games to incorporate motor tasks in a more natural way, facilitating self-assessment by the subject. An evaluation of three different stealth adaptation approaches are presented and evaluated using the flow-state ratio metric. The dissertation concludes with directions for future work in the integration of stealth adaptation techniques across the field of exergames.

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2017