In the past, formal models of cognitive psychology successfully contributed to the development of computerized adaptive tutorial systems. Emotional and motivational aspects, however, were rarely considered, although a variety of studies demonstrated their significant influence on learning and performance. The aim of the current pilot study was to investigate whether the sound and empirically valid knowledge space theory is able to cover learning and performance in two different motivational states, which were hope for success and fear of failure. Moreover, within a factorial design these motivational states were combined with two different learning conditions. Pre-structured learning sessions within an adaptive tutorial system were contrasted with rather free text-based learning. The data collected with 104 high school students in the domain of elementary probability theory indicate that knowledge space theory is able to represent the responses obtained in a post-test for both motivational states, as well as for both learning conditions. These results lay out a promising route to integrating cognitive and emotional/motivational aspects into a comprehensive psychological model for adaptive tutorial systems.
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