This limits the opportunity for students to learn and practice vocabulary and sign language communication. Our work focuses on the use of technology to create educational tools that aim to help students with hearing disabilities develop their vocabulary and communication skills in a fun and interactive manner.
The DeSIGN tutor aims to increase the reading level of students by reinforcing the mapping between vocabulary and signs through lessons, tests and games. The DeSIGN tutor utilizes a knowledge-tracing algorithm to adapt its tests to the learning level of the students.
In addition, the tutor has an interactive game which provides teachers with a customizable tool for motivating students to practice the relation between the vocabulary of the language they are using and the corresponding sign language. The game has three levels: the first level tests the association of words and phrases to signs; the second level tests the association of signs with definitions; and the third level tests the association of definitions with words and phrases.
Work is ongoing for the field-testing of DeSIGN at the Educational Hearing Girls School (EHGS) in Qatar with students at primary school level. The Arabic interface has gone through various iterations that adapted the language based on feedback from EHGS. DeSIGN will be ready for field-testing this fall. Plans are underway for evaluating the applicability of this software to aide in the instruction of Arabic sign language and vocabulary, the cultural relevance of the games and the long-term effect on student motivation.
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Issue 1 - May 2009
Issue 2 - November 2009
Issue 3 - March 2010
Issue 4 - October 2010