Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New computers respond to students' emotions, boredom

Date:
March 2, 2012
Source:
University of Notre Dame
Summary:
Emotion-sensing computer software that models and responds to students' cognitive and emotional states -- including frustration and boredom -- has now been developed.

New emotion-sensing computer software models and responds to students' cognitive and emotional states -- including frustration and boredom.
Credit: Scott Hancock / Fotolia

Emotion-sensing computer software that models and responds to students' cognitive and emotional states -- including frustration and boredom -- has been developed by University of Notre Dame Assistant Professor of Psychology Sidney D'Mello, Art Graesser from the University of Memphis and a colleague from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. D'Mello also is a concurrent assistant professor of computer science and engineering.

Related Articles


The new technology, which matches the interaction of human tutors, not only offers tremendous learning possibilities for students, but also redefines human-computer interaction.

"AutoTutor" and "Affective AutoTutor" can gauge the student's level of knowledge by asking probing questions; analyzing the student's responses to those questions; proactively identifying and correcting misconceptions; responding to the student's own questions, gripes and comments; and even sensing a student's frustration or boredom through facial expression and body posture and dynamically changing its strategies to help the student conquer those negative emotions.

"Most of the 20th-century systems required humans to communicate with computers through windows, icons, menus and pointing devices," says D'Mello, who specializes in human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence in education.

"But humans have always communicated with each other through speech and a host of nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, eye contact, posture and gesture. In addition to enhancing the content of the message, the new technology provides information regarding the cognitive states, motivation levels and social dynamics of the students."

AutoTutor is an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) that helps students learn complex technical content in Newtonian physics, computer literacy and critical thinking by holding a conversation in natural language; simulating teaching and motivational strategies of human tutors; modeling students' cognitive states; using its student model to dynamically tailor the interaction to individual students; answering students' questions; identifying and correcting misconceptions; and keeping students engaged with images, animations and simulations. In addition to these capabilities, Affective AutoTutor adds emotion-sensitive capabilities by monitoring facial features, body language and conversational cues; regulating negative states such as frustration and boredom; and synthesizing emotions via the content of its verbal responses, speech intonation and facial expressions of an animated teacher.

D'Mello's study, titled "AutoTutor and Affective AutoTutor: Learning by Talking with Cognitively and Emotionally Intelligent Computers that Talk Back," that details this new technology will be published in special edition of ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems that highlights innovative technology of the last decade.

"Much like a gifted human tutor, AutoTutor and Affective AutoTutor attempt to keep the student balanced between the extremes of boredom and bewilderment by subtly modulating the pace, direction and complexity of the learning task," D'Mello says.

Considerable empirical evidence has shown that one-on-one human tutoring is extremely effective when compared to typical classroom environments, and AutoTutor and Affective AutoTutor closely model the pedagogical styles, dialogue patterns, language and gestures of human tutors. They are also one of the few ITSs that help learning by engaging students in natural language dialogues that closely mirror human-human tutorial dialogues.

Tested on more than 1,000 students, AutoTutor produces learning gains of approximately one letter grade -- gains that have proven to outperform novice human tutors and almost reach the bar of expert human tutors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Notre Dame. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Notre Dame. "New computers respond to students' emotions, boredom." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120302132546.htm>.
University of Notre Dame. (2012, March 2). New computers respond to students' emotions, boredom. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120302132546.htm
University of Notre Dame. "New computers respond to students' emotions, boredom." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120302132546.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazon Offering One-Hour Delivery Through Prime Now

Amazon Offering One-Hour Delivery Through Prime Now

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Amazon is now offering one-hour delivery to Amazon Prime members in Manhattan and hopes to expand to other cities soon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Jaguar unveils a virtual 360 degree windshield that may be the most futuristic automotive development yet. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins