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“Showing off” your mobile device : Adult literacy learning in the classroom and beyond

NRC Institute for Information Technology; National Research Council Canada
Conference publication
MobileHCI 2011, Stockholm, Sweden, August 30-September 2, 2011
Proceedings of MobileHCI 2011
Pages :
NPArC #:
Mobile computing; interface design; educational interfaces; mobile learning; assistive technology; H5.2 user interfaces; Voice I/O; natural language; user-centered design; evaluation/methodology; k3.1 computer uses in education: computer-assisted instruction; human factors; languages
Human-Computer Interaction; Interaction personne-machine
ALEX: Mobile Adult Literacy Support Application for EXperiential Learning; ALEX: Application pour le soutien de l'alphabétisation des adultes par apprentissage expérientiel
People-Centred Technologies; Technologies axées sur les gens
For a very large number of adults, tasks such as reading, understanding, and using everyday items are a challenge. Although many community-based organizations offer resources and support for adults with limited literacy skills, current programs have difficulty reaching and retaining those that would benefit most. In this paper we present the findings of an exploratory study aimed at investigating how a technological solution that addresses these challenges is received and adopted by adult learners. For this, we have developed a mobile application to support literacy programs and to assist low-literacy adults in today's informationcentric society. ALEX© (Adult Literacy support application for EXperiential learning) is a mobile language assistant that is designed to be used both in the classroom and in daily life in order to help low-literacy adults become increasingly literate and independent. Through a long-term study with adult learners we show that such a solution complements literacy programs by increasing users' motivation and interest in learning, and raising their confidence levels both in their education pursuits and in facing the challenges of their daily lives.
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