Error detection through mouse movement in an online adaptive learning environment

Susanne M. M. de Mooij, Maartje E. J. Raijmakers, Iroise Dumontheil, Natasha Z. Kirkham, Han L. J. van der Maas

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


While response time and accuracy indicate overall performance, their value in uncovering cognitive processes, underlying learning, is limited. A promising online measure, designed to track decision-making, is computer mouse tracking, where mouse attraction towards different locations may reflect the consideration of alternative response options. Using a speedy arithmetic multiple-choice game in an online adaptive learning environment, we examined whether mouse movements could reflect arithmetic difficulties when error rates are low. Results showed that mouse movements towards alternative responses in correctly answered questions mapped onto the frequency of errors made in this online learning system. This mapping was stronger for the younger children, as well as for easy arithmetic problems. On an individual level, users showed more mouse movement towards their previously made response errors than towards other alternative options. This opens the possibility of adapting feedback and instruction on an individual basis through mouse tracking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-252
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2020


  • adaptive learning
  • arithmetic
  • educational games
  • error detection
  • mouse tracking


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