Plenary Speaker

Perry Samson, PhD

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, USA


Prof. Samson is a Professor at the University of Michigan in the College of Engineering's Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences and the School of Information. Prof. Samson is recognised as an "Arthur F. Thurnau Professor" at the University of Michigan for his contributions to undergraduate education and has been honored as the "Distinguished Professor of the Year" in the State of Michigan. His coursework has been cited as one of ten "Courses with a Twist" by the New York Times.

Prof. Samson is co-founder of The Weather Underground (, a popular weather web site, and LectureTools, which provides active learning tools worldwide through Echo360 Inc.


Title: Lessons Learned from Measuring Student Behavior During Class

Presenter: Perry Samson

A report from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (Freeman et al., 2014) has shown that the use of active learning methods led to significant increases in student exam scores. This presentation demonstrates lessons learned from collecting student behavior data during class from several courses at the University of Michigan. These data show that attendance, by itself, is not related to student grades. Grades are, however, highly related to active participation in the form of number of slides viewed, video captures reviewed after class, volume of notes taken and number of times indicating confusion. Analytics also revealed unexpected relationships between grades and students' emotional state. It is argued that the growth of student behavior data will provide new opportunities to provide students with detailed feedback and provide instructors and advisors new insight into why students succeed or fail.