Perseverance Is crucial for learning. “OK! but Can I take a break?”

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


In a study with 108 10- to 12-year-olds who used a digital educational game targeting history, we addressed the phenomenon of perseverance, that is, the tendency to stick with a task even when it is challenging. The educational game was designed to make all students encounter tasks they did not succeed to solve, at which point they were offered a set of choices corresponding to perseverance and non-perseverance. Methods used were behavioral log data, post-questionnaires, and an in-game questionnaire conducted by a game character, who asked the students about the reason for their choice. Overall, we found no differences between high and low-perseverance students as to their experiences of effort, difficulty, and learning, and neither in their self-reported motives for persevering – when doing so. With respect to performance, however, high-persevering students solved significantly more tasks at higher difficulty levels. Comparing high-perseverance students who tended to take a break directly after a failed test – before they continued with the same task – with those who did not take a break, we found no significant differences, indicating that taking a break is not detrimental to learning and perseverance.


External organisations
  • Linköping University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Learning


  • Challenge, Educational software, Meaning-making, Pausing, Performance, Perseverance, Teachable agent
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence in Education - 19th International Conference, AIED 2018, Proceedings
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783319938424
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch
Event19th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2018 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2018 Jun 272018 Jun 30

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10947 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference19th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2018
CountryUnited Kingdom