Do my students understand what I'm saying? Am I leaving some behind? Teachers worry about this issue a lot. Now facial analysis software may be able to help them to quickly identify struggling students:
A recent study from North Carolina State University shows how this might work. Researchers there used video cameras to monitor the faces of college students participating in computer tutoring sessions. Using software that had been trained to match facial expressions with different levels of engagement or frustration, the researchers were able to recognize when students were experiencing difficulty and when they were finding the work too easy. [...]
The NC State researchers’ experiment involved students who were using software called JavaTutor to learn to write Java code. The researchers analyzed 60 hours of video footage with the Computer Expression Recognition Toolbox, a program that recognizes facial expressions. They compared the software’s conclusions with the students’ own reported state of mind and found that they matched closely. The work will be presented Saturday at the Sixth International Conference on Educational Data Mining.