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Computer-Assisted Video Analysis Methods for Understanding Underrepresented Student Participation and Learning in Collaborative Learning Environments: 1842220

Principal Investigator: Marios Pattichis
CoPrincipal Investigator(s): Sylvia Celedon-Pattichis, Carlos LopezLeiva
Organization: University of New Mexico

Research that seeks to understand classroom interactions often relies on video recordings of classrooms so that researchers can document and analyze what teachers and students are doing in the learning environment. When studies are large scale, this analysis is challenging in part because it is time-consuming to review and code large quantities of video. For example, hundreds of hours of videotaped interaction between students working in an after-school program for advancing computational thinking and engineering learning for Latino/a students. This project is exploring the use of computer-assisted methods for video analysis to support manual coding by researchers. The project is adapting procedures used for computer-aided diagnosis systems for medical systems. The computer-assisted process creates summaries that can then be used by researchers to identify critical events and to describe patterns of activities in the classroom such as students talking to each other or writing during a small group project. Creating the summaries requires analyzing video for facial recognition, motion, color and object identification. The project will investigate what parts of student participation and teaching can be analyzed using computer-assisted video analysis. This project is supported by NSF’s EHR Core Research (ECR) program, the STEM+C program and the AISL program. The ECR program emphasizes fundamental STEM education research that generates foundational knowledge in the field. The project is funded by the STEM+Computing program, which seeks to address emerging challenges in computational STEM areas through the applied integration of computational thinking and computing activities within disciplinary STEM teaching and learning in early childhood education through high school (preK-12). As part of its overall strategy to enhance learning in informal environments, the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants.

The video analysis systems will provide video summarizations for specific activities which will allow researchers to use these results to quantify student participation and document teaching practices that support student learning. This will support the analysis of large volumes of video data that are often time-consuming to analyze. The video analysis system will identify objects in the scene and then use measures of distances between objects and other tracking methods to code different activities (e.g., typing, talking, interaction between the student and a facilitator). The two groups of research questions are as follows. (1) How can human review of digital videos benefit from computer-assisted video analysis methods? Which aspects of video summarization (e.g., detected activities) can help reduce the time it takes to review the videos? Beyond audio analytics, what types of future research in video summarization can help reduce the time that it takes to review videos? (2) How can we quantify student participation using computer-assisted video analysis methods? What aspects of student participation can be accurately measures by computer-assisted video analysis methods? The video to be used for this study is drawn from a project focused on engineering and computational thinking learning for Latino/a students in an after-school setting. Hundreds of hours of video are available to be reviewed and analyzed to design and refine the system. The resulting coding will also help document patterns of engagement in the learning environment.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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