Modeling Engagement with Multimodal Multisensor Data: The Continuous Performance Test as an Objective Tool to Track Flow

Engagement is one of the most important factors in determining successful outcomes and deep learning in students. Existing approaches to detect student engagement involve periodic human observations that are subject to inter-rater reliability. Our solution uses real-time multimodal multisensor data labeled by objective performance outcomes to infer the engagement of students. The study involves four students with a combined diagnosis of cerebral palsy and a learning disability who took part in a 3-month trial over 59 sessions. Multimodal multisensor data were collected while they participated in a continuous performance test. Eye gaze, electroencephalogram, body pose, and interaction data were used to create a model of student engagement through objective labeling from the continuous performance test outcomes. In order to achieve this, a type of continuous performance test is introduced, the Seek-X type. Nine features were extracted including high-level handpicked compound features. Using leave-one-out cross-validation, a series of different machine learning approaches were evaluated. Overall, the random forest classification approach achieved the best classification results. Using random forest, 93.3% classification for engagement and 42.9% accuracy for disengagement were achieved. We compared these results to outcomes from different models: AdaBoost, decision tree, k-Nearest Neighbor, naïve Bayes, neural network, and support vector machine. We showed that using a multisensor approach achieved higher accuracy than using features from any reduced set of sensors. We found that using high-level handpicked features can improve the classification accuracy in every sensor mode. Our approach is robust to both sensor fallout and occlusions. The single most important sensor feature to the classification of engagement and distraction was shown to be eye gaze. It has been shown that we can accurately predict the level of engagement of students with learning disabilities in a real-time approach that is not subject to inter-rater reliability, human observation or reliant on a single mode of sensor input. This will help teachers design interventions for a heterogeneous group of students, where teachers cannot possibly attend to each of their individual needs. Our approach can be used to identify those with the greatest learning challenges so that all students are supported to reach their full potential.

Methodology for Developing an Intelligent Tutoring System Based on Marzano’s Taxonomy

The Mexican educational system faces diverse challenges related with the quality and coverage of education. The development of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) may help to solve some of them by helping teachers to customize their classes according to the performance of the students in online courses. In this work, we propose the adaptation of a functional ITS based on Bloom’s taxonomy called Sistema de Apoyo Generalizado para la Enseñanza Individualizada (SAGE), to measure student’s metacognition and their emotional response based on Marzano’s taxonomy. The students and the system will share the control over the advance in the course, so they can improve their metacognitive skills. The system will not allow students to get access to subjects not mastered yet. The interaction between the system and the student will be implemented through Natural Language Processing techniques, thus avoiding the use of sensors to evaluate student’s response. The teacher will evaluate student’s knowledge utilization, which is equivalent to the last cognitive level in Marzano’s taxonomy.

Automotive Emotions: An Investigation of Their Natures, Frequencies of Occurrence and Causes

Technological and sociological developments in the automotive sector are shifting the focus of design towards developing a better understanding of driver needs, desires and emotions. Human centred design methods are being more frequently applied to automotive research, including the use of systems to detect human emotions in real-time. One method for a non-contact measurement of emotion with low intrusiveness is Facial-Expression Analysis (FEA). This paper describes a research study investigating emotional responses of 22 participants in a naturalistic driving environment by applying a multi-method approach. The research explored the possibility to investigate emotional responses and their frequencies during naturalistic driving through real-time FEA. Observational analysis was conducted to assign causes to the collected emotional responses. In total, 730 emotional responses were measured in the collective study time of 440 minutes. Causes were assigned to 92% of the measured emotional responses. This research establishes and validates a methodology for the study of emotions and their causes in the driving environment through which systems and factors causing positive and negative emotional effects can be identified.

Affective Robots: Evaluation of Automatic Emotion Recognition Approaches on a Humanoid Robot towards Emotionally Intelligent Machines

One of the main aims of current social robotic research is to improve the robots’ abilities to interact with humans. In order to achieve an interaction similar to that among humans, robots should be able to communicate in an intuitive and natural way and appropriately interpret human affects during social interactions. Similarly to how humans are able to recognize emotions in other humans, machines are capable of extracting information from the various ways humans convey emotions—including facial expression, speech, gesture or text—and using this information for improved human computer interaction. This can be described as Affective Computing, an interdisciplinary field that expands into otherwise unrelated fields like psychology and cognitive science and involves the research and development of systems that can recognize and interpret human affects. To leverage these emotional capabilities by embedding them in humanoid robots is the foundation of the concept Affective Robots, which has the objective of making robots capable of sensing the user’s current mood and personality traits and adapt their behavior in the most appropriate manner based on that. In this paper, the emotion recognition capabilities of the humanoid robot Pepper are experimentally explored, based on the facial expressions for the so-called basic emotions, as well as how it performs in contrast to other state-of-the-art approaches with both expression databases compiled in academic environments and real subjects showing posed expressions as well as spontaneous emotional reactions. The experiments’ results show that the detection accuracy amongst the evaluated approaches differs substantially. The introduced experiments offer a general structure and approach for conducting such experimental evaluations. The paper further suggests that the most meaningful results are obtained by conducting experiments with real subjects expressing the emotions as spontaneous reactions.

A Real Time Set Up for Retrieval of Emotional States from Human Neural Responses

Real time non-invasive Brain Computer Interfaces have a significant progressive role in restoring or maintaining a quality life for medically challenged people. This manuscript provides a comprehensive review of emerging research in the field of cognitive/affective computing in context of human neural responses. The perspectives of different emotion assessment modalities like face expressions, speech, text, gestures, and human physiological responses have also been discussed. Focus has been paid to explore the ability of EEG (Electroencephalogram) signals to portray thoughts, feelings, and unspoken words. An automated workflow-based protocol to design an EEG-based real time Brain Computer Interface system for analysis and classification of human emotions elicited by external audio/visual stimuli has been proposed. The front end hardware includes a cost effective and portable Emotiv EEG Neuroheadset unit, a personal computer and a set of external stimulators. Primary signal analysis and processing of real time acquired EEG shall be performed using MATLAB based advanced brain mapping toolbox EEGLab/BCILab. This shall be followed by the development of MATLAB based self-defined algorithm to capture and characterize temporal and spectral variations in EEG under emotional stimulations. The extracted hybrid feature set shall be used to classify emotional states using artificial intelligence tools like Artificial Neural Network. The final system would result in an inexpensive, portable and more intuitive Brain Computer Interface in real time scenario to control prosthetic devices by translating different brain states into operative control signals.