Far from success – Far from feedback acceptance? The influence of game performance on young students’ willingness to accept critical constructive feedback during play

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


In a learning situation, feedback is of great importance in order to help a student to correct a possible misconception. However, previous research shows that many students tend to avoid feedback regarding failures, including critical constructive feedback (CCF) that is intended to support and guide them. This is especially true for lower-achieving students, who might perceive feedback as an ego-threat, and therefore protect themselves by neglecting it. However, it has been shown that such neglect can be suppressed by using teachable agents (TA’s). Another, but less studied factor that influences feedback acceptance is the degree or extent of failure when trying to solve a task. The present study explores if and how momentary performance levels influence middle school students’ willingness to accept CCF when playing an educational game in history – with or without a TA. On the basis of teacher assessments of the students’ general skills, data logs and analyses of sequential patterns, we concluded that the willingness to accept CCF differs between students, but also between conditions and situations. One major finding is that a TA supports the students to more readily embrace CCF, even if the effect is larger for lower-achieving students. Another finding is that indications of being far from succeeding, such as low success rates or repeated trials and revisions, have a negative impact on feedback acceptance, even if a TA mitigates some of this influence. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to meta-cognitive aspects of learning and to educational software design.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Learning
  • Human Computer Interaction


  • Critical constructive feedback, Feedback neglect, Lower-achieving students, Teachable agents
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence in Education- 21st International Conference, AIED 2020, Proceedings, Part I
EditorsIg Ibert Bittencourt, Mutlu Cukurova, Rose Luckin, Kasia Muldner, Eva Millán
PublisherSpringer Gabler
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030522360
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch
Event21st International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2020 - Ifrane, Morocco
Duration: 2020 Jul 62020 Jul 10

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12163 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference21st International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2020