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Comparing Methods of Displaying Language Feedback for Student Videos of American Sign Language

Matt Huenerfauth, Elaine Gale, Brian Penly, Mackenzie Willard and Dhananjai Hariharan

The 17th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2015)
Lisbon, Portugal, October 26-28, 2015


Deaf children benefit from early exposure to language, and higher levels of written language literacy have been measured in deaf adults who were raised in homes using American Sign Language (ASL). Prior work has established that new parents of deaf children benefit from technologies to support learning ASL. As part of a project to design a tool to automatically analyze a video of a students’ signing and provide immediate feedback about fluent and non-fluent aspects of their movements, we conducted a study to compare multiple methods of conveying feedback to ASL students, using videos of their signing. Through a Wizard-of-Oz study, we compared three types of feedback in regard to users’ subjective judgments of system quality and the degree students’ signing improved (as judged by an ASL instructor who analyzed recordings of students’ signing before and after they viewed each type of feedback). We found that displaying videos to students of their signing, augmented with feedback messages about their errors or correct ASL usage, yielded higher subjective scores and greater signing improvement. Students gave higher subjective scores to a version in which pop-up messages appeared overlaid on the student's video to indicate errors or correct ASL usage.

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