Attention! AI analysis to help improve student engagement
Advanced behavioural analysis of computer aided learning (CAL) to improve classroom learning.
Students now have greater connectivity to a range of devices – and the distractions they can cause!
A new first-of-its kind research study within the Faculty of Engineering and IT aims to improve understanding of how to capture and keep the attention of students, who learn at varying paces and have varying attention spans.
200 Data Science students are participating in the UTS x Acer Learner Attention Analytics Pilot Program, testing traditional teaching approaches that rely on a standardised curriculum, and looking for insight into learner behaviour to help develop personalised learning methods for classrooms of the future.
This research study harnesses breakthrough technology in attention analysis to
- better understand learner behaviour
- devise new methods to characterise attention, and
- develop a proof-of-concept platform that could lead to enhanced learning experience and outcomes.
Professor Fang Chen, Executive Director of Data Science, UTS is working on a blueprint for the education sector that can generate tailored personalised learning programs according to individual learners’ behaviour patterns.
Learner data will be collected using hand gesture and eye tracking technology, combined with a graphical user interface (GUI) to record mouse movements, keyboard and digital pen usage and eye movements. Data analysis will use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to determine behaviour patterns, and the linkage to learning outcomes.
Using learners’ behaviour as a fundamental indicator of attention and analysing with AI and machine learning technologies will help educators to optimise pace and learning materials for the needs of different learners.
The project has the potential for further extension to detect learner frustration and hesitation. Determining when, and why, this happens is an essential step towards customised teaching and learning and is integral to improving student experience and wellbeing.
ACER and Intel are partners in the program. Darren Simmons, Managing Director, Oceania, Acer says he is very excited to be part of a program he believes can transform education and be crucial in preparing students for the future.
Knowledge gained can assist technology providers such as Acer to develop new computers, software applications, and behaviour-aware computer technology, which will facilitate the changing needs of the education sector.
Currently in the initial data collection stage, the pilot is being tested on an undergraduate class of 150 students studying software engineering, and a postgraduate class of 50 students using machine learning.