1 Master in ICT and Learning & Center of Rehabilitation after brain injury (DENMARK)
2 Master in ICT and Learning / Aalborg University (DENMARK)
3 Master in ICT and Learning / VISP (DENMARK)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 4778-4785
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2146
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
ICT-mediated learning processes for people suffering from aphasia after an acquired brain injury is a relatively uncovered area of research. Helmer-Nielsen et al. (2014) reports about projects that study the effect on ICT-mediated speech therapist intervention in relation to word–finding. Konnerup (2015) shows effects on language rehabilitation, identity rebuilding and increased quality of life through virtual communication and learning environments.

The present study seeks to develop methods and tools for intensive intervention of people suffering from aphasia, with the purpose to increase their possibilities to live an independent and active life. In the project we design a digital environment of communication and learning for people with aphasia, who require special learning processes for rebuilding language after a brain injury.

The project takes a user-centred design approach and uses a combination of an expert and a participatory design-mindset, with 5 aphasia patients and 17 speech therapists as active co-creators of the design (Sanders, 2008). First step in the design process was to gain insight into user practice with an existing web site by using web analytics (Jansen, 2009) and a heuristic expert evaluation (Nielsen & Mack, 2004). Findings from the two studies provided the basis for qualitative, collaborative studies in the form of focus groups (Halkier, 2010) and creative workshops (Holman, Devane, Cady & Associates, 2007). The theoretical framework used to develop the research design consisted of a combination of learning theory, theories on the brain function, and human-computer interaction.

The user study showed needs for collaborative learning processes with communication and social interaction in focus, tools to support multimodality expressions, and customized teaching materials and feedback. In addition, the study revealed needs for compatibility with several platforms, compensating aids, and a minimalistic interface.

Based on these findings a virtual, interactive environment was designed building on the following principles: a minimalistic interface, easy and secure navigation, social interaction, communication, Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) processes, multimodality, learning in joint communities. Prospectively, an interactive design process is needed to be able to accommodate the needs that may arise due to technological development, new knowledge about user needs, and the processes of change in social practice.

The main findings of the project is the clear picture of users needs for learning in joint communities and the availability to multimodality expressions.

[1] Halkier, B. (2010). Focus groups as social enactments: Integrating interaction and content in the analysis of focus group data, “Qualitative Research”, 10, 71-89.
[2] Helmer-Nielsen, N, Tinggaard Henriksen, M, Karlshøj, K & Haaber Hansen, L. (2014). Den internationale afasirehabiliteringskonference i Haag 2014. Dansk audiologopædi (3).
[3] Jansen, B. (2009). Understanding User - Web Interactions via web Analytics. Morgan & Claypool.
[4] Nielsen, J & Mack, R.L. (1994). Usability inspection methods. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
[5] Sanders, E.B. & Stappers, P.J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. CoDesign, 4 (1). 5-18.
[6] Konnerup, U. (2015).Renegoration of self after a brain injury using immersive virtual environments: A Contribution to Technology-mediated speech Therapy. Aalborg universitetsforlag.
ICT-mediated learning, aphasia, CSCL, multimodality, social interaction, human-computer interaction, learning in joint communities.