A Data-Driven Approach to Quantify and Measure Students’ Engagement in Synchronous Virtual Learning Environments

Xavier Solé-Beteta, Joan Navarro, Brigita Gajšek, Alessandro Guadagni, Agustín Zaballos

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In face-to-face learning environments, instructors (sub)consciously measure student engagement to obtain immediate feedback regarding the training they are leading. This constant monitoring process enables instructors to dynamically adapt the training activities according to the perceived student reactions, which aims to keep them engaged in the learning process. However, when shifting from face-to-face to synchronous virtual learning environments (VLEs), assessing to what extent students are engaged to the training process during the lecture has become a challenging and arduous task. Typical indicators such as students’ faces, gestural poses, or even hearing their voice can be easily masked by the intrinsic nature of the virtual domain (e.g., cameras and microphones can be turned off). The purpose of this paper is to propose a methodology and its associated model to measure student engagement in VLEs that can be obtained from the systematic analysis of more than 30 types of digital interactions and events during a synchronous lesson. To validate the feasibility of this approach, a software prototype has been implemented to measure student engagement in two different learning activities in a synchronous learning session: a masterclass and a hands-on session. The obtained results aim to help those instructors who feel that the connection with their students has weakened due to the virtuality of the learning environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3294
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume22
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Keywords

  • digital interactions
  • student engagement
  • virtual learning environments

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