/ Education

How Emotuit Uses Facial Recognition To Enhance Online Learning

You may not think that engagement analytics can change the future, but understanding more about your students and how they are learning and where they need support is vital for moving forward.

Ross Jones was reading an article on the rise of applications used for facial recognition when he had an idea: why not use facial recognition to enhance online learning? As a student enrolled in an online class, he considered how facial recognition technology might better help him retain the information he was trying to learn. So Jones began exploring facial recognition technology and researching the role of emotional responses in education. Jones then realized there was a business to made and founded Emotuit.

Emotuit uses facial expression recognition to analyze the response of students taking online courses. Emotuit creates a baseline for each student then cross-references facial expression data against that baseline. “This allows us to provide a breakdown to educators in a clear, easy to understand dashboard, which helps them understand where students are and aren’t engaged in courses,” Jones says. The data also helps educators create more effective materials, identify any students that may need extra attention, and ensure that each student achieves optimal performance.

According to Jones, we all have seven core emotions that we express every single minute of every single day. The core emotions are anger, fear, disgust, sadness, neutral, surprise, and happiness. We are expressing all these emotions to a different degree all the time. Emotuit measures a student’s engagement with educational content based on the degree of each emotion a student expresses. “We want to match your seven core emotions with contextual response to online courses to understand your engagement,” Jones says. “We know that not everyone is as expressive as the next person, which is why we use algorithms to help us understand your personal ‘engagement score’ which helps us plot our data as accurately as possible.”

As a student who never quite fit the mold, Jones understands the importance of making sure each students’ needs are met. “You may not think that engagement analytics can change the future, but understanding more about your students and how they are learning and where they need support is vital for moving forward,” Jones says. “In an age where digital/online learning is growing so rapidly, we need to ensure that we actually get feedback to help us improve.”

Jones recently graduated from Boom Startup, where he structured his business, established corporate sponsorships, and created new offerings. “Boom Startup is a great experience,” Jones says. “You get out of it the sum total of what you put in, and more. If you’re willing to work like you never have, and make use of their fantastic pool of mentors, then you will really accelerate your business.”

Published 2/4/2016