Future University Hakodate (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Page: 79 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-37758-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2022.0073
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Anxiety is the most studied affective variable in foreign language education but one that has suffered from methodological neglect since it rose to prominence in the 1980s. Although physiological indicators of autonomic nervous system arousal are now trackable through wearable devices, the domain of foreign language education research has not accommodated them and the associated technologies into its methodological repertoire. Measurements of anxiety remain dependent upon the subjective processing of sensations removed from real-time situations and communicated through reflective self-report assessments. However, it is now possible to overcome these methodological limitations as a means of broadening understanding into situation specific anxiety and its affective role within education. This presentation showcases the role of the Empatica E4 and its potential for revolutionizing the research methodologies used within the study of anxiety in foreign language education. The E4 is a “medical-grade wearable device that offers real-time physiological data acquisition, enabling researchers to conduct in-depth analysis and visualization” (Empatica Inc., 2021). Supported by a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Kakenhi Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No: 19K00765), this presentation introduces the Situation Specific Arousal Analyzer (SSAA), an OS X / Windows script that makes use of session data uploaded to E4 Connect via E4 Realtime. The SSAA has been devised primarily for use within the context of foreign language education for the on-off task physiological measurement and tracking of autonomic nervous system arousal (under certain conditions termed as anxiety) although it more has broad application concerning the assessment of situation specific arousal. The SSAA can be tailored to operate within a range of experimental conditions. Using the raw data streamed by the E4, the SSAA calculates and packages Heart Rate Variability (HRV) (time-domain methods, frequency-domain methods, non-linear domain methods) and Electrodermal Activity (EDA). For the HRV time-domain, the mean value of the beat-to-beat interval (NNMean), the standard deviation of the beat-to-beat interval (NNSD), the mean value of the HR (HRMean), and the standard deviation of the HR (HRSD) are calculated. For the HRV frequency-domain, low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and the ratio of LF and HF (LF/HF) are calculated. For the HRV non-linear domain, SD1 and SD2 Poincaré Plots are calculated. For the EDA analysis, EDAMean and EDASD are calculated. The SSAA script packages and exports this data as a tabulated CSV file and through data visualizations which are accessible to non-clinical researchers. The presentation argues that research methodologies currently used in the measurement of anxiety within educational contexts are insufficient given the opportunities now afforded by contemporary technologies.
Anxiety, assessment, foreign language education, wearable technology.