AURA – Ascertaining Un-Reported Affect
Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
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Small Business Information
21st Century Technologies Inc.
4515 Seton Center Parkway, Suite 320, Austin, TX, 78759
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractIntelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) functions as virtual tutors that adapt to student responses. Such ITSs, however, do not yield student learning improvements equivalent to students tutored by human instructors. Ascertaining Un-Reported Affect (AURA) is a closed-loop, platform-independent “front-end” for informing ITSs with near real-time inferences of student engagement and affect during learning sessions to further improve student learning and minimize student frustration. AURA leverages low-cost, non-invasive sensors to monitor students without disrupting their learning experience. Such an approach enables the large-scale deployment of AURA to students using ITSs. The key innovation in AURA is the ability to serve as a modular component that informs an ITS of changes in a student’s emotional or physical state that can affect the learning process by leveraging audio, video, text, and user interface feedback. AURA Phase I includes preliminary experiments to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach, and concludes with the specification of a design for an Engineering prototype. AURA leverages 21st Century Technologies expertise developing systems for the military in speech and audio processing, modeling multiple-actor interactions in a decision space using Bayesian networks, and creating machine learning algorithms.
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