ProPANE Notetaking Assistive Technology
Author:Bangyan Li ’22
Faculty Mentor(s):Janet VanLone, Education
M. Stu Thompson & Robert M. Nickel, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Funding Source:Ciffolillo Healthcare Technology Inventors Program
The Propane project is a collaborative research project between Electrical & Computer Engineering and Education at Bucknell University. Our goal is to develop an assistive technology that will support note taking for college students with learning disabilities (LD) and English Language Learners (ELLs) in the lecture-based classroom to improve their content learning and academic performance. While research has shown that effective note taking leads to better performance and content mastery, students with LD and ELLs may struggle with this task in lecture-based classrooms. The purpose of the project is to reduce students’ cognitive load and free students’ working memory space to absorb lecture content.
Our approach is to create a smartphone application that will be used by the student to capture the lecture. The student will submit a video of the lecture and the application will use various image processing techniques and segmentation algorithms to extract the key information from the lecture. The extracted information is returned to the student for them to further review and or annotate. The extraction of the targeted information is a unique aspect of this project and presents major technical challenges but can potentially support effective and efficient note taking. By allowing the student to focus on the lecture and not note taking, it allows them to engage in other ways and use their working memory space on activities and discussion.