Affective Computing to Enhance E-Learning in Segregated Societies

Authors Khaled El-Abbasy, Anastassia Angelopoulou, Tony Towell

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Khaled El-Abbasy
Anastassia Angelopoulou
Tony Towell

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Khaled El-Abbasy, Anastassia Angelopoulou, and Tony Towell. Affective Computing to Enhance E-Learning in Segregated Societies. In 2015 Imperial College Computing Student Workshop (ICCSW 2015). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 49, pp. 13-20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)


According to UN Women, to build stronger economies, it is essential to empower women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors. Increasing women and girls’ education enhances their chances to participate in the labor market. In certain cultures, like in Saudi Arabia, women contribution to the public economy growth is very limited. According to the World Bank, less than 20 percent of the female population participate in the labor force. This low participation rate has many reasons. One of them, is the educational level and educational quality for females. Although Saudi Arabia has about thirty three universities, opportunities are still limited for women because of the restrictions of access put upon them. A mixture of local norms, traditions, social beliefs, and principles preventing women from receiving full benefits from the educational system. Gender segregation is one of the challenges that limits the women access for education. It causes a problem due to the shortage of female faculty throughout the country. To overcome this problem, male faculty are allowed to teach female students under certain regulations and following a certain method of education delivery and interaction. However, most of these methods lack face-to-face communication between the teacher and students, which lowers the interactivity level and, accordingly, the students' engagement, and increases the need for other alternatives. The e-learning model is one of high benefit for female students in such societies. Recognizing the students' engagement is not straightforward in the e-learning model. To measure the level of engagement, the learner's mood or emotions should be taken into consideration to help understanding and judging the level of engagement. This paper is to investigate the relationship between emotions and engagement in the e-learning environment, and how recognizing the learner's emotions and change the content delivery accordingly can affect the efficiency of the e-learning process. The proposed experiment alluded to herein should help to find ways to increase the engagement of the learners, hence, enhance the efficiency of the learning process and the quality of learning, which will increase the chances and opportunities for women in such societies to participate more effectively in the labor market.
  • Affective computing
  • E-learning
  • Women Education


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