UNESCO[1] is tracking the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on students worldwide. At the height of the impact in May 2020, more than 1.4 billion students were affected by school closures. That 84% of all primary, secondary, and post-secondary learners. And that doesn’t even consider the volume of professional education and corporate training that moved online in the past eight months. Even before COVID 19, there was high growth and adoption in education technology, with global EdTech investments reaching almost US$19 billion in 2019 and the overall market for online education project to reach $350 billion by 2025. (Louttet:2021). Students in higher education are heavily reliant on online learning, and the main problem with online learning is that there is no teacher to evaluate how students are behaving intellectually and emotionally. The most Colleges today talking with their students by asking them (questions by interview, surveys, focus groups, etc), but this it’s not working. Interview questions are asked in the vacuum as if the environment of decision making has no effect on our behavior. So, unless we can replicate the exact environment of decision making, we cannot trust people to tell us what they will, or they won’t do”. (Berman:2019[2]). Because student engagement during unsupervised learning is crucial to enhancing learning capacity, it is important to understand the issues that students experience in an online learning environment.

All this represents the motivation for our research, whose objective was twofold: (1) To understand from the perspective of neuromarketing, which learning content is going to be the best job in teaching the students at Oxford Business College and (2) to understand how well stimuli-based gaze analytics can be utilized to enhance the motivation and learning in Online classroom.

We tackle these questions from a teacher perspective (how much student follow the teacher from perceptual (following teacher’s deictics acts) and conceptual (following teacher discourse).

While the Oxford Business College (UK) quickly and smoothly transitioned to online classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the biggest issues was for teachers to capture students’ attention and their mental and emotional reaction to the material being presented. One of the challenges with online learning is loss of attention and concentration, resulting in low academic success.

To understand how motivation and learning performance can be enhanced using online classrooms, the Institute for Neuromarketing, has conducted a large neuromarketing research study at Oxford Business College lasting 5 days with 2000 students.

Out of this 2000 students, a sample of 297 OBC students (both genders, 18-50), who study at various Modules and cover Level 3 and Level 4 met the technical requirements (participated in the research via computers and not mobile phones, watched the video until the end, and controlled for excessive head movement).

For better accuracy, students were randomly assigned to either look at the 90-sec video (n=142) with professor talking or the 10-minute video (n=155) where professor shared his screen with the content but kept his camera on in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

The professors in the videos were different. This was done to ensure that research mimics real life as students have various teachers per module, and to avoid quality calibration and good results after the first video, and student fatigue and/or poor responsiveness when watching the second video. After receiving a participation link with the online-lecture, participants were also given a set of images with instructions to meet technical requirements before starting the eye calibration.

By using a real-world use case on Oxford Business College lectures and students, with implementation of several neuroscience metrics: eye tracking, facial coding, and emotional analysis this study highlights the importance of use of neuromarketing to enhance the learning performance and motivation of students in an online classroom, as well the findings how to improve the learning experience and motivation for both: lectures and students. The resulting data may be utilised to enhance online learning in the future to engage learners more actively in real-time when an inattentive mood is recognized.

During this research we opened potential pitfalls such as: long vs. short lecture, differences in types of lecture content, having a lecture with or without sharable content, listening attention of lecture, emotional activity during the online lecture, which makes a great contribution to the science as can serve as a framework that improves the learning performance and motivation of students in online learning environment.

Short summarization of our research is presented in poster mode.

The whole research will be published in peer-reviewed Journal, soon!



[1] Louttet, Richard (2021), Your Brain and Choices in Online Learning. Insights, issue No.33.
[2] Berman, K. (2019). “Don’t listen to your customers-Do this instead”. TedEx Talks Berlin Conference

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