Slow is Good: The Effect of Diligence on Student Performance in the Case of an Adaptive Learning System for Health Literacy

Leon Fjadljevic, Dominik Kowald, Katharina Maitz, Viktoria Pammer-Schindler, Barbara Klicpera-Gasteiger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


This paper describes the analysis of temporal behavior of 11-15 year old students in a heavily instructionally designed adaptive e-learning environment. The e-learning system is designed to support student's acquisition of health literacy. The system adapts text difficulty depending on students' reading competence, grouping students into four competence levels. Content for the four levels of reading competence was created by clinical psychologists, pedagogues and medicine students. The e-learning system consists of an initial reading competence assessment, texts about health issues, and learning tasks related to these texts. The research question we investigate in this work is whether temporal behavior is a differentiator between students despite the system's adaptation to students' reading competence, and despite students having comparatively little freedom of action within the system. Further, we also investigated the correlation of temporal behaviour with performance. Unsupervised clustering clearly separates students into slow and fast students with respect to the time they take to complete tasks. Furthermore, topic completion time is linearly correlated with performance in the tasks. This means that we interpret working slowly in this case as diligence, which leads to more correct answers, even though the level of text difficulty matches student's reading competence. This result also points to the design opportunity to integrate advice on overarching learning strategies, such as working diligently instead of rushing through, into the student's overall learning activity. This can be done either by teachers, or via additional adaptive learning guidance within the system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLAK 2020 Conference Proceedings - Celebrating 10 years of LAK
Subtitle of host publicationShaping the Future of the Field - 10th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450377126
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2020
Event10th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge: Shaping the Future of the Field, LAK 2020 - University of Frankfurt, Virtuell, Frankfurt, Germany
Duration: 23 Mar 202027 Mar 2020

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference10th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge
Abbreviated titleLAK 2020
CityVirtuell, Frankfurt
Internet address


  • learning analytics
  • Health literacy
  • Adaptive e-learning system
  • Learning analytics
  • Diversity
  • Reading competence
  • Clustering
  • Differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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