Can You Ink While You Blink? Assessing Mental Effort in a Sensor-Based Calligraphy Trainer

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Jul 23;19(14):3244. doi: 10.3390/s19143244.


Sensors can monitor physical attributes and record multimodal data in order to provide feedback. The application calligraphy trainer, exploits these affordances in the context of handwriting learning. It records the expert's handwriting performance to compute an expert model. The application then uses the expert model to provide guidance and feedback to the learners. However, new learners can be overwhelmed by the feedback as handwriting learning is a tedious task. This paper presents the pilot study done with the calligraphy trainer to evaluate the mental effort induced by various types of feedback provided by the application. Ten participants, five in the control group and five in the treatment group, who were Ph.D. students in the technology-enhanced learning domain, took part in the study. The participants used the application to learn three characters from the Devanagari script. The results show higher mental effort in the treatment group when all types of feedback are provided simultaneously. The mental efforts for individual feedback were similar to the control group. In conclusion, the feedback provided by the calligraphy trainer does not impose high mental effort and, therefore, the design considerations of the calligraphy trainer can be insightful for multimodal feedback designers.

Keywords: expertise; handwriting; multimodal data; sensors; training.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Handwriting*
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male