Lead me gently: Facilitating knowledge gain through attention-aware ambient learning displays


This empirical study reports an intervention to investigate identified research challenges on the evaluation and use of ambient displays in a learning context with the objective to gain insights into the interplay between display design, user attention, and knowledge acquisition. The main research questions were whether an attention-aware display design can capture the user’s focus of attention and whether this has an influence on the knowledge gain. A display prototype corresponding to the main ambient display characteristics was designed, applied in a controlled authentic setting, and evaluated accordingly. The prototype presented information and guidelines for first responders in emergency situations, especially in cases of cardiac arrest. The prototype was enhanced with a custom-built sensor to measure user attention and trigger interruptive notifications. The study was conducted among 52 employees working at a university campus. Using an experimental research design, a treatment group exposed to an attention-aware display design was compared to a control group. The results provide evidence that such a display design can attract and retain attention in such a way that the acquisition of knowledge (i.e. the comprehension of the presented information) is effectively facilitated.

Computers & Education

Börner, D., Kalz, M., & Specht, M. (2014). Lead me gently: Facilitating knowledge gain through attention-aware ambient learning displays. Computers & Education. 78. 10-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.04.017

Marco Kalz
Marco Kalz
Professor of Digital Education and Open Education

My research interests is on open education, pervasive technologies and formative assessment to support (lifelong) learning and knowledge construction.