Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence




100207 (1-13)


Classroom videos are a common source of data for educational researchers studying classroom interactions as well as a resource for teacher education and professional development. Over the last several decades emerging technologies have been applied to classroom videos to record, transcribe, and analyze classroom interactions. With the rise of machine learning, we report on the development and validation of neural networks to classify instructional activities using video signals, without analyzing speech or audio features, from a large corpus of nearly 250 h of classroom videos from elementary mathematics and English language arts instruction. Results indicated that the neural networks performed fairly-well in detecting instructional activities, at diverse levels of complexity, as compared to human raters. For instance, one neural network achieved over 80% accuracy in detecting four common activity types: whole class activity, small group activity, individual activity, and transition. An issue that was not addressed in this study was whether the fine-grained and agnostic instructional activities detected by the neural networks could scale up to supply information about features of instructional quality. Future applications of these neural networks may enable more efficient cataloguing and analysis of classroom videos at scale and the generation of fine-grained data about the classroom environment to inform potential implications for teaching and learning.


© 2024 The Authors.

This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.

Data Availability

Article states: "The DAI-244 Dataset is not available due to the nature of the consent form at the time of video data collection. The video data comes from a prior study: The Development of Ambitious Instruction. The overall research project had ethics approval from the Institutional Review Board for Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia."

Original Publication Citation

Foster, J. K., Korban, M., Youngs, P., Watson, G. S., & Acton, S. T. (2024). Automatic classification of activities in classroom videos. Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, 6, 1-13, Article 100207.


0000-0001-7197-1654 (Watson)