Marguerite Doman, Ph.D.


Computer Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Computer Science and Quantitative Methods


Online Education, Attention, Brain-Computer Interface, NeuroSky


Brain computer interfaces (BCI) use neural signals as input into computer applications. In this study, we demonstrate the use of a low-cost, commercially available BCI to directly measure participants’ attention levels while using WUtopia, and online learning platform developed at Winthrop University. Previous research demonstrated that students using this platform performed better on a post-lecture quiz than those who only viewed the lecture (Grossoehme et al.). We hypothesize that the increase in performance is due to an increase in attentiveness when using the WUtopia platform. We divided participants into the intervention (n = 7) and non-intervention (n = 12) groups. Both groups viewed the chosen lecture video, completed a survey on their experience and attentiveness during the video, and took a quiz on the content of the video while wearing the BCI. Preliminary results corroborate the finding that WUtopia users perform better on post-lecture quizzes. However, readings from the BCI indicate that the non-intervention group had greater attentiveness during the video, while participants in the intervention group rated themselves higher on the attention survey. This suggests that either a) the BCI chosen is not effective at gauging attentiveness or b) there is a disconnect between actual and self-perceived attentiveness.