Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 141–153 | Cite as

Enhancement of English learning performance by using an attention-based diagnosing and review mechanism in paper-based learning context with digital pen support

  • Chih-Ming ChenEmail author
  • Jung-Ying Wang
  • Mi Lin
Long Paper


Since English is probably the most popular second language, helping students learn English through technology is a critical issue in non-English-speaking countries. With the growth of digital pen technologies, developing an interactive learning environment that combines printed textbooks and a digital pen to support English-language classroom learning has become feasible. This work presents an attention-based diagnosing and review mechanism (ADRM) based on brainwave detection to help learners identify the passages with low attention level in a lesson as review targets in order to perform efficiently and accurately review processes while reading paper-based English texts with digital pen support in autonomous learning environments. Based on the true experimental design, this work aims to confirm whether the ADRM improves the review performance and sustained attention of learners while reading paper-based English texts with digital pen support. The research participants were a total of 108 students at an industrial vocational high school in Taipei City, Taiwan. All research participants were male and aged from 17 to 18 years. The experimental group used the ADRM while reading paper-based English texts with digital pen support, whereas the control group used the autonomous review while reading paper-based English texts with digital pen support. Experimental results reveal that the review performance of the experimental group was significantly better than that of the control group, proving that the ADRM improved review performance. The results also show that the field-dependent learners in the experimental group exhibited a great improvement in review performance in comparison with the field-independent learners. Additionally, the low-ability learners in the experimental group exhibited better review performance compared to those in the control group. Furthermore, learners with high attention level in the experimental group have exhibited better review performance and sustained attention than the learners in the control group. This work confirms that developing an ADRM based on brainwave detection to assist learners’ review processes is practicable. However, the usability and acceptability of using ADRM instead of human autonomous review should be further considered in the information society.


Brainwave signals Digital pen English learning Attention recognition Attention-based diagnosing and review mechanism 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Library, Information and Archival StudiesNational Chengchi UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Multimedia and Game ScienceLunghwa University of Science and TechnologyTaoyuan CityTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.Department of Industrial EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan, ROC

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