Written activity, representations and fluency as predictors of domain expertise in mathematics

Sharon Oviatt, Adrienne Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

8 Citations (Scopus)


The emerging field of multimodal learning analytics evaluates natural communication modalities (digital pen, speech, images) to identify domain expertise, learning, and learning-oriented precursors. Using the Math Data Corpus, this research investigated students' digital pen input as small groups collaborated on solving math problems. Compared with nonexperts, findings indicated that domain experts have an opposite pattern of accelerating total written activity as problem difficulty increases, a lower written and spoken disfluency rate, and they express different content-including a higher ratio of nonlinguistic symbolic representations and structured diagrams to elemental marks. Implications are discussed for developing reliable multimodal learning analytics systems that incorporate digital pen input to automatically track the consolidation of domain expertise. This includes prediction based on a combination of activity patterns, fluency, and content analysis. New MMLA systems are expected to have special utility on cell phones, which already have multimodal interfaces and are the dominant educational platform worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICMI’14 - Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Multimodal Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationNovember 12–16, 2014 Istanbul, Turkey
EditorsOya Aran, Louis-Philippe Morency, Philip R. Cohen
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450328852
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Multimodal Interfaces 2014 - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 12 Nov 201416 Nov 2014
Conference number: 16th
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/2663204 (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Multimodal Interfaces 2014
Abbreviated titleICMI 2014
Internet address


  • Collaborative problem solving
  • Digital pen
  • Disfluency
  • Domain expertise
  • Math data corpus
  • Multimodal learning analytics
  • Written activity

Cite this