Reading Aides

This category of articles includes studies and reviews pertaining to the use of reading aids, such as text-to-speech software and e-books, both in and outside of the classroom.

The effectiveness of a pedagogical agent-based learning system for teaching word recognition to children with moderate mental retardation

Jun 28, 2013, 12:32 PM

Lin, Y-L., Chen, M-C., Wu, T-F., & Yeh, Y-M. (2008). The effectiveness of a pedagogical agent-based learning system for teaching word recognition to children with moderate mental retardation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(4), 715-720.

Characteristics

  • Pedagogical agents are animated agents embedded within computer and online programs that feature faces, bodies, the ability to move around the computer screen, and the ability to interact with program users.
  • They can respond to users’ questions about program navigation or needed assistance by offering suggestions or instructions.
  • Previous research has found that pedagogical agents can support learning by providing user friendly interfaces and guidance.
  • This study evaluated the effectiveness of using pedagogical agents to guide students with moderate mental retardation through an online program designed to improve word recognition.
  • Within this study, the pedagogical agents guided participants through the learning material and through word recognition tests.
  • Three Taiwanese children aged 8, 9, 10 with moderate mental retardation participated in the study.
  • All participants had speech disorders and were unable to recognize Chinese characters without a visual/verbal aid.

Setting

  • The study was conducted within a primary school in Taiwan.

Method

  • Four functional target words were selected by the students’ teachers as words they did not know independently: towel, bucket, clothes, and shoes.
  • These words were incorporated into the computer program using a picture fading strategy with four levels of fading (i.e., the picture of the item was slowly faded out over 4 different presentations of the word).
  • During a baseline phase, students’ familiarity identifying the target words without cues was assessed using the computer program; the baseline phase ended when participants had less than 40% accuracy across three consecutive sessions.
  • During the training phase, students used the computer-based learning system to learn the target words; participants could not proceed to the next level of picture fading until they achieved 80% accuracy across 5 trials.
  • After completing the training phase, a computer-based maintenance text was given 1 week later.
  • The pedagogical agent guided students through the program at each treatment phase.

Results

  • At baseline, all students were unable to recognize the target words without assistance.
  • Two participants learned the four target words successfully while the other participant continued to need a picture cue to identify the words.
  • All three students were able to interact with the computer-based program and identify the words with picture cues.
  • The mixed results of the study indicate that universal design features should be incorporated into computer programs so that the programs can flexibly meet all student needs.
  • In addition, the study results suggest that the pedagogical agent made the program accessible to students with cognitive disabilities.
Categories:
  • Reading
Tags:

Computer Assisted Instruction

The effectiveness of a pedagogical agent-based learning system for teaching word recognition to children with moderate mental retardation

Jun 28, 2013, 12:32 PM

Lin, Y-L., Chen, M-C., Wu, T-F., & Yeh, Y-M. (2008). The effectiveness of a pedagogical agent-based learning system for teaching word recognition to children with moderate mental retardation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(4), 715-720.

Characteristics

  • Pedagogical agents are animated agents embedded within computer and online programs that feature faces, bodies, the ability to move around the computer screen, and the ability to interact with program users.
  • They can respond to users’ questions about program navigation or needed assistance by offering suggestions or instructions.
  • Previous research has found that pedagogical agents can support learning by providing user friendly interfaces and guidance.
  • This study evaluated the effectiveness of using pedagogical agents to guide students with moderate mental retardation through an online program designed to improve word recognition.
  • Within this study, the pedagogical agents guided participants through the learning material and through word recognition tests.
  • Three Taiwanese children aged 8, 9, 10 with moderate mental retardation participated in the study.
  • All participants had speech disorders and were unable to recognize Chinese characters without a visual/verbal aid.

Setting

  • The study was conducted within a primary school in Taiwan.

Method

  • Four functional target words were selected by the students’ teachers as words they did not know independently: towel, bucket, clothes, and shoes.
  • These words were incorporated into the computer program using a picture fading strategy with four levels of fading (i.e., the picture of the item was slowly faded out over 4 different presentations of the word).
  • During a baseline phase, students’ familiarity identifying the target words without cues was assessed using the computer program; the baseline phase ended when participants had less than 40% accuracy across three consecutive sessions.
  • During the training phase, students used the computer-based learning system to learn the target words; participants could not proceed to the next level of picture fading until they achieved 80% accuracy across 5 trials.
  • After completing the training phase, a computer-based maintenance text was given 1 week later.
  • The pedagogical agent guided students through the program at each treatment phase.

Results

  • At baseline, all students were unable to recognize the target words without assistance.
  • Two participants learned the four target words successfully while the other participant continued to need a picture cue to identify the words.
  • All three students were able to interact with the computer-based program and identify the words with picture cues.
  • The mixed results of the study indicate that universal design features should be incorporated into computer programs so that the programs can flexibly meet all student needs.
  • In addition, the study results suggest that the pedagogical agent made the program accessible to students with cognitive disabilities.
Categories:
  • Reading
Tags: