An Adaptive Learning System for Reasoning about St.. (TERENCE)
An Adaptive Learning System for Reasoning about Stories with Poor Comprehenders and their Educators
Start date: Oct 1, 2010,
End date: Sep 30, 2013
Developing the capabilities of children to comprehend written texts is key to their development as young adults. Text comprehension skills and strategies develop enormously from the age of 7-8 until the age of 11, when children develop as independent readers. Nowadays, more and more young children turn out to be poor (text) comprehenders: they demonstrate text comprehension difficulties, related to inference-making skills, despite proficiency in word decoding and other low-level cognitive skills.Though there are several pencil-and-paper reading interventions for improving inference-making skills on text, and specifically addressed to poor comprehenders, the design and development of adaptive learning systems for this purpose are lagging behind. A few adaptive learning systems consider specific inference-making interventions that are pivotal in text comprehension, but such systems are designed for high-school children or university-level students, and with textbooks as reading material. The use of more intelligent adaptive learning systems to custom-tailor such interventions in an adaptive fashion to (hearing and deaf) poor comprehenders has tremendous potential. TERENCE embodies that potential.TERENCE aims at offering innovative usability and evaluation guidelines, refining the current cognitive and pedagogical models concerning story comprehension and inference making, and delivering a showcase intelligent adaptive learning system. The system's smart games, developed and classified according to the refined models, will ask children to draw inferences about temporal events of stories, in Italian and in English. Moreover, the system will allow teachers to choose and custom-tailor the types of stories and games according to the needs of their learners.The guidelines, the models and the system will be the result of an orchestrated cross-disciplinary effort of European experts in diverse and complementary fields (art and design, computer science, engineering, linguistics, evidence-based medicine, psychology), and with the constant involvement of the end-users (deaf and hearing poor comprehenders, their educators) from schools in Brighton (UK), and in the Veneto area (Italy).
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