New software aims to help instructors understand students better

In 2018, pending agreement from its Institutional Review Board, the University of St Thomas in Minnesota will trial sentiment analysis software in the classroom in order to test the software, which relies on analysing the expressions on students' faces captured by a high-resolution webcam. Instructors will be able to see the aggregate detected emotions of up to 42 students displayed in a glance at their computer screen. The project hopes to help teachers adapt their approaches in response, but has not decided yet how much students should know in advance about sentiment analysis. It also hopes to use time-stamped archived materials to provide a more granular post-class analysis. The technology is already able to make a reasonably accurate guess at age and gender.
Writer: Mark Lieberman
Publication: Inside Higher Ed