Sensing Behaviors of Students
in Online vs. Face-to-Face Lecturing Contexts

Online vs. Face-to-Face TeachingUniversity students are often presented with the choice between a traditional classroom and an online learning environment. Given the growing interest in web-based learning, it is essential to understand if students’ needs are met in these learning environments. Sensing mechanisms enable real- time monitoring of students’ reactions as they view and engage with course content. We use galvanic skin response and facial expression analysis to identify differences in behaviors associated with learning via a face-to-face versus an online lecture. We also explore the effects of incentives on learning. Findings indicate that physiological data recorded during a lecture is a good indicator of content difficulty, potentially providing a way for instructors to adjust their materials and delivery to benefit students’ understanding. The data further suggests that subjects react more negatively to online lecturing and that learning incentives may have the adverse effect of increasing stress on students as opposed to improving performance.

  • Rebecca Medina, School of Interactive Games and Media, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Daniel Carpenter, Sienna College
  • Reynold Bailey, Dept. of Computer Science, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Linwei Wang, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Cecilia O. Alm, College of Liberal Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Publications
  • Medina, R., D. Carpenter, J. Geigel, R. Bailey, L. Wang, and C. O. Alm (2018). Sensing behaviors of students in online vs. face-to-face lecturing contexts. In:
    HCCS'18: Proceedings of the Workshop on Human-Centered Computational Sensing, Athens, Greece.