Implementation of real-time online mouse tracking on overseas quiz session

From server administrator point of view


Mouse tracking serves as an alternative to eye tracking in measuring the learning process in education because of its affordability. Moreover, mouse tracking does not require extra hardware, as in the case of eye tracking, because it is a feature in personal computers by default. Therefore, it is possible to implement mouse tracking in a massive open scale. However, mouse tracking has only been implemented in a laboratory setting to date, ostensibly because of the associated extremely high running costs. Nonetheless, there is no available data to support the claim of high resource costs, which has resulted in much speculation among implementers. In general, the implementation of mouse tracking in a non-laboratory environment is still rare. Therefore, the authors developed an application to investigate real-time mouse tracking online. It was implemented on the Moodle learning management system and tested on an online quiz session accessed abroad. Additionally, the application can handle tracking on mobile devices. In this work, the main resources that include CPU, network, RAM, and storage costs were measured when mouse tracking was used. These results can serve as a reference for network and server administrators during future implementation of this technique. It was determined that the characteristics of mouse activities were dynamic in that occasional surges and lulls were observed. Additionally, this article also discussed the advantage of real-time and online implementation to regular online implementation and showed that there is a possibility of implementing mouse tracking on a large scale if mouse tracking data are not aggregated and transmitted as a single data package.

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The authors are very grateful to Muhammad Bagus Andra, Hamidullah Sokout, Irwansyah, and members of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, National University of Mongolia, for participating in the experiment. The authors would also like to thank Masayoshi Aritsugi, Hendarmawan, Hamidullah Sokout, Alhafiz Akbar Maulana, and Sari Dewi for inspiring this research topic. A special thanks to Muhammad Bagus Andra and Ni Nyoman Sri Indrawati for suggesting some interesting ideas. The authors would also like to thank Fahd Ouassarni for providing suggestions with respect to compressing the mouse tracking application codes. Finally, the authors would like to thank Alvin Fungai for initiating this research and for his assistance in proofreading.


Part of this work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research 19H1225100 and 15H02795.

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The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are available in the Mendeley repository titled ’Data for: Implementation of Real-Time Online Mouse Tracking Case Study in a Small Online Quiz’ (Purnama et al. 2020).

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Purnama, F., Sukhbaatar, O., Choimaa, L. et al. Implementation of real-time online mouse tracking on overseas quiz session. Educ Inf Technol 25, 3845–3880 (2020).

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  • Mouse tracking
  • Online
  • Real time
  • Large open implementation
  • Resource cost