Introduction

A-Learn

A-Learn

A-learn

The idea of Al-Learn is to transform the learning of vocabulary through mobile augmented reality. The advantage of using mobile augmented reality is its ubiquity i.e., learning anything supported through an app, anytime, anywhere.

Dr. Dena Al Thani

Dr. Dena Al Thani

Assistant Professor

Supported Innovations:  

A-Learn

The use of mobile augmented reality is expected to dominate the market by 2022 in comparison to virtual reality. A-Learn allows children to learn letters and vocabulary through augmented reality 3D objects.

The 3D models, influenced by Tawasol symbols, are specially designed for children with autism by a team of experts in special education, language and speech therapy, and human-computer interaction. To the best of our knowledge, the A-Learn would be the first of its kind for the research community as well as the children with ASD in Qatar, their caregivers, and teachers. This would allow them to become an independent individual and live a better life. The app would support English and Arabic languages.

Each child with ASD is different; it is possible that if one technology-based solution works for one child, it may not work for another child. Therefore, the researchers have started to use different technologies in the interventions for children with ASD to identify the best possible technologies that suites an individual with ASD. Furthermore, the buying cost of each technology may vary drastically; thus evidence-based research on the use of technology can be useful for the parents, caregivers, school, centre among others to make a decision based on their need and availability of the budget to buy the required quantity of the technology.

Mada Innovation Program and A-Learn:

Mada Innovation program supported the development of the A Learn Application via funding and subject matter expertise. MIP provided exclusive access to the Tawasol 3d symbols database for A-Learn development.  Tawasol Symbols is a bilingual Arabic / English symbol dictionary of frequently used words in spoken and written communication (in Arabic) represented by images and pictograms. It is the freely available symbol. Symbols are verbal or visual representations of concepts and ideas. Aided Augmented and Alternative Communication (AAC) methods use visual symbols in the form of graphics such as a picture or object as a tool in Alearn. When choosing a symbol system, the iconicity of the symbols needs to be considered. Iconicity is the amount that a visual symbol relates to its referent. In other words, it’s how much the symbol resembles the intended message in the A-learn application. Iteratively develop and evaluate a mix-reality online interactive learning platform.

Research method:

  • A mixed-methods approach was used with the teaching staff working at centers for ASD in Doha, Qatar, providing to gather the needs of children with ASD.
    • Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the teaching staff
    • Use cases were developed based on the requirements gathered from the teaching staff
  • Use cases were modified based on the comments of the teaching staff.
  • The initial version of the prototype.
  • Updated version based on feedback from the teaching staff working at two centres for ASD.

Aided Augmented and Alternative Communication (AAC) methods use visual symbols in the form of graphics such as a picture or object as a tool in A-learn. When choosing a symbol system, the iconicity of the symbols needs to be considered. Iconicity is the amount that a visual symbol relates to its referent. In other words, it’s how much the symbol resembles the intended message in the A-learn application. Iteratively develop and evaluate a mix-reality online interactive learning platform.

A-Learn on AppStore:
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A-Learn on Play Store:
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