Soft Computing

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 963–977 | Cite as

A model for providing emotion awareness and feedback using fuzzy logic in online learning

  • Marta ArguedasEmail author
  • Fatos Xhafa
  • Luis Casillas
  • Thanasis Daradoumis
  • Adriana Peña
  • Santi Caballé
Methodologies and Application


Monitoring users’ emotive states and using that information for providing feedback and scaffolding is crucial. In the learning context, emotions can be used to increase students’ attention as well as to improve memory and reasoning. In this context, tutors should be prepared to create affective learning situations and encourage collaborative knowledge construction as well as identify those students’ feelings which hinder learning process. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to label affective behavior in educational discourse based on fuzzy logic, which enables a human or virtual tutor to capture students’ emotions, make students aware of their own emotions, assess these emotions and provide appropriate affective feedback. To that end, we propose a fuzzy classifier that provides a priori qualitative assessment and fuzzy qualifiers bound to the amounts such as few, regular and many assigned by an affective dictionary to every word. The advantage of the statistical approach is to reduce the classical pollution problem of training and analyzing the scenario using the same dataset. Our approach has been tested in a real online learning environment and proved to have a very positive influence on students’ learning performance.


Fuzzy logic Affective learning Students’ emotive states (APT) Affective Pedagogical Tutor Affective feedback 



The authors would like to thank the Technological Institute of Aragon for allowing us to employ the images and avatars used in this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

All procedures performed in our experiment that involved human participants (a human tutor and students) were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Arguedas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fatos Xhafa
    • 2
  • Luis Casillas
    • 3
  • Thanasis Daradoumis
    • 1
    • 4
  • Adriana Peña
    • 3
  • Santi Caballé
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Multimedia and TelecommunicationsOpen University of CataloniaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceTechnical University of CataloniaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceCUCEI, University of GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico
  4. 4.Department of Cultural Technology and CommunicationUniversity of Aegean, University HillMytiliniGreece

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