Multimodal capture of teacher-student interactions for automated dialogic analysis in live classrooms


We focus on data collection designs for the automated analysis of teacher-student interactions in live classrooms with the goal of identifying instructional activities (e.g., lecturing, discussion) and assessing the quality of dialogic instruction (e.g., analysis of questions). Our designs were motivated by multiple technical requirements and constraints. Most importantly, teachers could be individually mic'ed but their audio needed to be of excellent quality for automatic speech recognition (ASR) and spoken utterance segmentation. Individual students could not be mic'ed but classroom audio quality only needed to be sufficient to detect student spoken utterances. Visual information could only be recorded if students could not be identified. Design 1 used an omnidirectional laptop microphone to record both teacher and classroom audio and was quickly deemed unsuitable. In Designs 2 and 3, teachers wore a wireless Samson AirLine 77 vocal headset system, which is a unidirectional microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern. In Design 2, classroom audio was recorded with dual firstgeneration Microsoft Kinects placed at the front corners of the class. Design 3 used a Crown PZM-30D pressure zone microphone mounted on the blackboard to record classroom audio. Designs 2 and 3 were tested by recording audio in 38 live middle school classrooms from six U.S. schools while trained human coders simultaneously performed live coding of classroom discourse. Qualitative and quantitative analyses revealed that Design 3 was suitable for three of our core tasks: (1) ASR on teacher speech (word recognition rate of 66% and word overlap rate of 69% using Google Speech ASR engine); (2) teacher utterance segmentation (F-measure of 97%); and (3) student utterance segmentation (F-measure of 66%). Ideas to incorporate video and skeletal tracking with dual second-generation Kinects to produce Design 4 are discussed.

Publication Title

ICMI 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction