The Syncretic Effect of Dual-Source Data on Affective Computing in Online Learning Contexts: A Perspective From Convolutional Neural Network With Attention Mechanism

Publication Name

Journal of Educational Computing Research


Affective computing (AC) has been regarded as a relevant approach to identifying online learners’ mental states and predicting their learning performance. Previous research mainly used one single-source data set, typically learners’ facial expression, to compute learners’ affection. However, a single facial expression may represent different affections in various head poses. This study proposed a dual-source data approach to solve the problem. Facial expression and head pose are two typical data sources that can be captured from online learning videos. The current study collected a dual-source data set of facial expressions and head poses from an online learning class in a middle school. A deep learning neural network using AlexNet with an attention mechanism was developed to verify the syncretic effect on affective computing of the proposed dual-source fusion strategy. The results show that the dual-source fusion approach significantly outperforms the single-source approach based on the AC recognition accuracy between the two approaches (dual-source approach using Attention-AlexNet model 80.96%; single-source approach, facial expression 76.65% and head pose 64.34%). This study contributes to the theoretical construction of the dual-source data fusion approach, and the empirical validation of the effect of the Attention-AlexNet neural network approach on affective computing in online learning contexts.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Natural Science Foundation of China



Link to publisher version (DOI)