Brain scans to measure learning

This research looks interesting:

Your brain activity can be used to measure how well you understand a concept

Dartmouth researchers have developed a machine learning algorithm, which can be used to measure how well a student understands a concept based on his or her brain activity patterns.

“In the study, we found that when engineering students looked at images of real-world structures, the students would automatically apply their engineering knowledge, and would see the differences between structures such as whether it was a cantilever, truss or vertical load,” explained Kraemer. “Based on the similarities in brain activity patterns, our machine learning algorithm method was able to distinguish the differences between these mechanical categories and generate a neural score that reflected this underlying knowledge. The idea here is that an engineer and novice will see something different when they look at a photograph of a structure, and we’re picking up on that difference,” he added.

The informational network analysis could also have broader applications, as it could be used to evaluate the effectiveness of different teaching approaches. The research team is currently testing the comparison between hands-on labs versus virtual labs to determine if either approach leads to better learning and retention of knowledge over time.