Title: Discussion-facilitator: towards enabling students with hearing disabilities to participate in classroom discussions

Authors: Mohammad A. Alzubaidi; Mwaffaq Otoom

Addresses: Computer Engineering Department, Yarmouk University, Irbid 21163, Jordan ' Computer Engineering Department, Yarmouk University, Irbid 21163, Jordan

Abstract: Class participation plays a vital role in the learning process during classroom instruction. Deaf students often have difficulty participating in class discussions. Several studies have shown that deaf people are better able to interpret speech when they can view the lip movements of a speaker. This paper proposes an assistive device, called the Discussion-Facilitator, which aims to enable deaf students to better participate in classroom discussions. This is done by combining the speech-recognised text of the lecture with a live video stream that is zoomed-in on the lecturer's face. The student is also able to write a text response and play it on loud speakers. Nine deaf students conducted a usability test. The results show that viewing lip movements combined with the speech-recognised text of the lecturer contributed to the understanding of the lecturer's speech, and that our prototype makes the engagement of deaf students in classroom discussion more effective.

Keywords: assistive technology; class participation and discussion; deaf/hard of hearing; image processing and computer vision; lip reading.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2018.088337

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2018 Vol.10 No.1/2, pp.73 - 90

Received: 23 Sep 2016
Accepted: 22 Mar 2017

Published online: 22 Oct 2017 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article