New technology analyzes facial expressions and body language to help trainers measure course effectiveness and identify opportunities for improvement
Palo Alto, California – April 10, 2014 – Mindflash has released a powerful new version of its online business-training software that allows corporate trainers to understand whether trainees are confused or excited by course material, just as they might in traditional, in-person training. The new functionality, available now and developed in concert with Stanford-based computer-vision company Sension, precisely analyzes trainees’ facial expressions to compute a real-time “Engagement Score” for each portion of the course. The score is provided in aggregate, never by trainee, to help the trainer identify opportunities for improvements in course materials. A minimum of five trainees must complete a course before an Engagement Score is generated.
“With the $130 billion worldwide corporate training market growing 15% last year, it’s clear companies are quickly adopting online training to get the benefits of rapid, large-scale, cost-effective training,” says Donna Wells, CEO at Mindflash. “But until now, there was one critical benefit of in-person training that they were giving up: the rich, non-verbal cues that tell a trainer in a classroom setting whether or not they are holding their audience’s interest and inspiring learning. It’s required a significant technical breakthrough, but I’m delighted to say that Mindflash is now the first to return that critical feedback to corporate trainers. It’s a terrific resource for improving the quality of online courses.”
With this new release, Mindflash trainers have the option to activate emotion tracking. The technology can recognize 74 different trainee movements while viewing course materials, such as forward and backward leaning, turning the head to the side, smiling, yawning, raising eyebrows and talking. The software uses this data to calculate an aggregate, anonymous Engagement Score for each element of the course, slide-by-slide, for example. This information is available in real-time, giving trainers insights such as “70% of users were highly engaged during the first section of the course, but only 25% were highly engaged during the final portion.”
Last year Mindflash launched FocusAssist, a groundbreaking face-tracking technology developed with Sension that pauses an online training course when a trainee looks away. This helps trainers ensure that trainees are not missing important material when they get distracted, and is key for compliance and regulatory training. Now, in conjunction with Mindflash’s emotion tracking capability, FocusAssist users can more deeply understand which course material is effective, and incorporate that data to improve their courses.
“The engagement data is never used to single out a student but instead to generate aggregate, statistically significant feedback,” says Randhir Vieira, vice president of product and marketing at Mindflash. “In fact, the reaction of an individual trainee is not likely helpful to a trainer interested in evaluating course materials. On the other hand, an average Engagement Score from precise measurements of hundreds or thousands of trainees can accurately and reliably pinpoint areas of success and failure within course content. That’s a powerful new tool.”
Mindflash provides the leading online platform for employee and customer training. Its cloud-based, simple-yet-powerful design allows businesses to more easily create and manage critical company training programs — saving them significant time and money. No engineering or IT support is required, as there is no software to install or maintain. Courses are created using the file types that businesses already use (PowerPoint, PDF, Word, video, audio). Trainers simply upload and organize files using an intuitive course dashboard, add quizzes and then publish to the web to create self-paced new hire training, sales training, customer certification courses, etc. As needed, the software scales to support thousands of simultaneous training sessions. Mindflash has over 1,000 customers including McDonalds, Microsoft, Lufthansa and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Founded in 1999, Mindflash is a privately held company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. To learn more, please visit www.mindflash.com.