Cyber Education

The growth of the Internet has created a wide range of opportunities for companies and organizations.

Now education is jumping on the Internet bandwagon with an increasing amount of reputable colleges offering online courses and degrees.

Many prospective students appropriately ask, what if I have a question or don’t understand the material?  The fear that they will be bored and learn little is a real concern.  Now, technology is finding ingenious solutions to those pertinent questions.

eScience News has reported that researchers from MIT,  the University of Notre Dame and the University of Memphis have created new software dubbed “Auto Tutor” that can respond to student’s emotional states such as frustration and boredom in online classes.

This new software gauges student’s knowledge by asking questions and identifies and corrects misconceptions and senses frustration and boredom via facial expression and body posture.

This new software technology rivals the interaction of human tutors according to its creators.

Sydney D’Mello, the University of Notre Dame’s Assistant Professor of Psychology, commented, “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.” also noted that the new technology, which mimics the interaction of human tutors, offers tremendous learning possibilities for students by redefining human-computer interaction.

The study, which will be published in a special edition of ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems.

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