A Multimedia Instruction to Enhance the Social Skills of the Young Learner with Autism

Walsh, L. and Barry, M. (2008) A Multimedia Instruction to Enhance the Social Skills of the Young Learner with Autism. In: ALT-C 2008, 9-11 Sep 2008, Leeds, UK..

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Abstract

This study researches the social development of young learners with autism in order to develop a multimedia-based social instructional program. The main feature incorporated within the software is the implementation of social routines as an eLearning virtual environment. Social stories teach social skills to children with autism. They prepare the child’s understanding for upcoming events by highlighting key points of the event. Social stories are a successful educational tool currently used via videotape and paper-based means. This body of work is an original approach involving the creation of routines/stories through a computer animation. This project focuses on researching social development of learners with autism in order to develop a multimedia-based instructional software program. A fully functional multimedia based prototype is currently being developed which will provide an educational environment to assist in the social development of the young learner with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The software will adopt and seek to improve upon the framework of standards set out by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. The software design is strictly “human – centred” in that the learners with autism in local schools are included in the design process. During requirements analysis phase of the usability lifecycle children with autism in the four to nine year range are observed using educational software in their school environment. Any problems, trends or preferences in software usability are recorded. All collaborations and fieldwork will be completed on a local level with a possibility of expanding the multimedia technology to a global internet-based audience. Through a combination of the pedagogical requirements of the learners and assessments made through observations, a user profile is created which provides a framework for the design of the educational technology. A user-centred design approach is implemented throughout this software development. Young learners and their tutors are included throughout the design process. Teachers are employed as collaborators on the project, to obtain their insight into the usability and effectiveness of educational software on learning. Initial collaborations with teachers have involved benchmarking of software currently available. Design advice has been merged with standard HCI principles in the building of initial storyboards, to provide for the learner with special needs. This account provides a synopsis of the current body of work and future implementations in the design of the multimedia instructional software. The user-profile is being explored in order to create an educational framework for the learner with special needs. Further phases will assess usability guidelines and principles such as the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) in order to cater for the accessibility needs of the learner.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Departments or Groups: eLearning Technology Group
Divisions: School of Science > Department of Computing, Maths and Physics
Depositing User: Leanne Walsh
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2008 14:43
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2016 10:25
URI: http://repository.wit.ie/id/eprint/1029

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