Emotion Sensors for Effective Learning in the Classroom

Emotion Sensors for Effective Learning in the Classroom

Emerging technologies have long since spread their tentacles into education. Creativity in education has been massively been backed by the incoming innovations in the technology sector. However, there is one aspect of education that has not been explored much, but effective nonetheless.


Emotions form a sizeable chunk of reception and the consequent implementation of educational techniques. Teachers spend a lot of time in dealing with students’ feelings about what they are learning. Technology has identified and is slowly stepping into this sector as well with a few of the latest innovations. In this article we have discussed about some of these tools.


Developed as a joint project by researchers at the University of Notre Dame, University of Memphis, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, AutoTutor is basically a computer tutor that tracks student’s emotions and adapts and responds to them accordingly. The AutoTutor comes with a tall list of outstanding features. The primary focus of AutoTutor lies in understanding student’s reactions to the lessons, and cognitive behavior, etc., among others. The objective of AutoTutor can be segregated into four important goals as follows:

  • Restoring cognitive equilibrium: When a concept is taught for the first time, there might be a few aspects of it that students do not understand or are confused about, but do not feel confident enough to ask. AutoTutor accurately tracks these issues and adapts the lessons accordingly to make them simpler and easier to understand, thus making learning more effective.
  • Intentional disruption of thought process to stimulate learning: The whole idea of asking students to form a conclusion at the end of the lesson taught based on their understanding is old school. The newer methods of education demand more. AutoTutor disrupts this system by challenging students to analyze a topic. This, in turn, helps them to better comprehend the topics discussed.
  • Provide individualized instructions: AutoTutor helps students in understanding complex topics like Newtonian Physics, learn computer literacy, and enable critical thinking by continuing a conversation in natural language.
  • Engaging students: The AutoTutor can answer students’ queries, assess their level of understanding, facial expressions, body language and conversational cues and keep them engaged with images, animations, simulations and so on.

AutoTutor is meant for online learning. Therefore, learning with AutoTutor requires not just basic operational knowledge of the computer, but also an understanding of the online learning procedure. It is a very significant breakthrough in education which is set to change the face of online learning.

Pressure Mouse

This mouse is integrated with pressure sensors to detect the amount of pressure applied on it. The concept behind this is, students apply more pressure on the mouse when they are frustrated than they would in a normal scenario. This conclusion has been drawn by researchers who found that the more vexed users become the more pressure they exert on the mouse by clicking. Students could get stressed when they are in a state of unresolved equilibrium. Therefore, this would help to monitor the level of stress in the classroom. Whenever the stress level exceeds a certain limit, the teacher can reduce the activities or introduce an interactive respite to diminish the stress level in the classroom. In addition to that, teachers can also resolve the problems that students are facing to grasp a topic. This would help immensely in effective learning since understanding the concepts well may be difficult in a stressed-out classroom.

Wayang Outpost

The Wayang Outpost serves as a machine Math tutor which adapts itself according to students’ abilities. It uses interactive multimedia to help students improve their Math skills for exams like SAT, etc. With the progression of the presented Math problems, Wayang Outpost adjusts instructions and devises customized strategies for each student.

It has been found that an inquisitive approach towards education is the best way for learning anything. When students question their understanding, get into a state of confusion or find it difficult to solve a problem, they are exploring the negative side of a lesson. This approach induces a totally different level of comprehension and a firmer grasp on the topics than the effect achieved by employing the traditional methods of education. These unorthodox ways of integrating emotions into understanding and utilizing technology to attain such a level is quite beneficial for the next generation kids.


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