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UAHCI Tables of Contents: 07-107-207-309-109-209-311-111-211-311-413-113-213-314-114-214-314-415-115-215-315-4

UAHCI 2007: 4th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, Part III: Applications and Services

Fullname:UAHCI 2007: 4th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, Part III: Applications and Services
Note:Volume 7 of HCI International 2007
Editors:Constantine Stephanidis
Location:Beijing, China
Dates:2007-Jul-22 to 2007-Jul-27
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4556
Standard No:ISBN: 978-3-540-73282-2 (print), 978-3-540-73283-9 (online); hcibib: UAHCI07-3
Links:Online Proceedings | Publisher Book Page
  1. UAHCI 2007-07-22 Volume 3
    1. Part I: Web and Media Accessibility and Usability
    2. Part II: Universal Access to Information and Communication
    3. Part III: Learning and Entertainment
    4. Part IV: Universal Access to eServices

UAHCI 2007-07-22 Volume 3

Part I: Web and Media Accessibility and Usability

Accessibility Guidelines Management Framework BIBAFull-Text 3-10
  Myriam Arrue; Markel Vigo; Amaia Aizpurua; Julio Abascal
Due to the extensive amount of information regarding web accessibility developed in recent years, developers find difficulties for creating accessible web applications. Accessibility knowledge management tools can facilitate this task. However, existing tools do not provide enough support to all the activities of the development process. In this sense, developers have to use diverse tools focused on different stages and they are also required to search for accessibility information from different sources. The aim of this paper is to present a framework for managing accessibility guidelines. It serves as a central repository where developers can search for accessibility guidelines, define new guidelines, and share them with other developers and evaluating them automatically. Therefore, this framework facilitates developers' tasks as it gives support to several activities of different stages throughout the development process.
Accessibility Evaluation for Multimedia Content BIBAKFull-Text 11-19
  Chieko Asakawa; Takashi Itoh; Hironobu Takagi; Hisashi Miyashita
Practices supporting Web accessibility are spread out all over the world. However, the accessibility of multimedia content and rich Internet applications has been little discussed. These types of content are using a lot of visual cues and developing new techniques to make their visual interfaces richer. Therefore, it is generally believed that they are not accessible for people with visually disabilities. However, since there is neither objective data nor tools to measure the accessibility of such content, as a first step to tackle these new accessibility issues we focused on the Flash content. A survey was conducted using five metrics based on the problems faced by screen reader users. We developed a survey tool to assess their severity. Our results showed a complete lack of alternative texts from the developers in the sampled pages. Also, more than half of tested pages were hidden to screen reader users. We conclude that most of existing Flash content is not accessible and there is an emerging need to encourage the use of practices that make Flash content accessible.
Keywords: Flash accessibility; screen reader; GUI accessibility; rich Internet application; blind
Tenuta: Strategies for Providing Guidance on Usability and Accessibility BIBAFull-Text 20-27
  Nigel Bevan; Helen Petrie; Nigel Claridge
The EU Tenuta project was funded to assist EU eTEN projects improve the usability and accessibility of new e-services that are being validated on a European scale. The challenges facing Tenuta included how to initially convince projects that these were important issues, how to gain the confidence of projects that they would benefit Tenuta assistance, and how Tenuta could make an effective contribution with only a few days support available to each project. The eventual strategy was to arrange activities such as training courses where we made personal contacts with projects, which resulted in being invited to provide on-site support. We carried out usability and accessibility evaluations before visiting projects, and reported the results as part of a two to three day workshop with the project, which included assistance with redesign, and a roadmap for future activities. Projects gave very positive feedback on the benefits obtained.
Remote Navigability Testing Using Data Gathering Agents BIBAKFull-Text 28-33
  Martín González Rodríguez; Fidel Díez Díaz; Agueda Vidau
Testing for web navigability is one of the most important steps in the design of web product. However, navigability testing is an expensive technique which requires the use of many human resources. The user behavior recorded in such kind of tests is usually affected by the artificial situation created in the laboratory. In order to avoid such kind of drawbacks, we have developed ANTS (Automatic Navigability Testing System), an application able to observe and to record spontaneous user behavior in his/her own home.
Keywords: Agents; Navigability Testing; Usability Testing; Remote Testing; ANTS
Enabling Accessibility and Enhancing Web Experience: Ordering Search Results According to User Needs BIBAKFull-Text 34-44
  Alice Good; Jenny Jerrams-Smith
This paper presents the results of an exploratory study, which aimed to devise a means of improving web accessibility for users with impairments. It looks at how web pages can be rated for accessibility using specific algorithms. These algorithms analyse and select web pages according to user preferences. The study gathered user defined ratings of web page elements, for different categories of special needs' users that affect accessibility. The algorithms were then created using the results of these ratings. The paper also demonstrates the work in progress in relation to the extension of the Computer Aided Internet Navigation (CAIN) system, which aims to improve accessibility to web based information by re-ordering search results according to user needs.
Keywords: Accessibility; special needs; web navigation; algorithms
An Evaluation of Accessibility of Hierarchical Data Structures in Data Broadcasting -- Using Tactile Interface for Visually-Impaired People -- BIBAKFull-Text 45-54
  Takuya Handa; Tadahiro Sakai; Kinji Matsumura; Yasuaki Kanatsugu; Nobuyuki Hiruma; Takayuki Ito
We have been developing a barrier-free information receiving system for the purpose of communicating information in digital broadcasting to visually-impaired people. In the service of data broadcasting in digital broadcasting, many items constitute the menu screen. In this report, presentation methods and access methods using touch in combination with audio for the purpose of effective communication of menu screen structure are briefly explained. Secondly, results of evaluation experiments conducted to obtain a guideline to design hierarchical presentation structures easily accessible by visually impaired people, using the tactile interface in combination with audio presentation were discussed by focusing on the hierarchical structure of menu screens in data broadcasting.
Keywords: accessibility; hierarchical structure; data broadcasting; tactile interface; visually-impaired
Web Accessibility Compliance of Government Web Sites in Korea BIBAFull-Text 55-63
  Joonho Hyun; Doojin Choi; Sukil Kim
This paper introduces Korean web accessibility activities, such as relational laws, ordinances, policies, guidelines. It also presents analytical result of the investigation on web-contents accessibilities of the 39 Korean government agencies. The result shows that only one agency provides web contents satisfying all the minimum requirements, while 97% of the agencies does not satisfy all the minimum requirements. Unfortunately, 6 agencies do not satisfy any.
Usability Evaluation of Korean e-Government Portal BIBAFull-Text 64-72
  Seongil Lee; Joo Eun Cho
This paper reports the results of an evaluative study of the Korean e-Government portal from the usability perspectives, using a common set of performance metrics from user participation. For fourteen civil affairs service sites, 51 participants performed usability tests and post-test interviews. The results showed that even though the e-Government services are fairly attainable, it takes too many steps and long time for users to complete the given tasks. The overall success rate to complete the tasks on e-Government was 0.69 and it took more than 4 minutes and 12 page navigations on average to complete simple transactions. A strong digital divide could be observed in the use of e-Government services in that the users with different vocations and ages resulted in difference in perceived usability and actual performance. Results suggest that not only are there wide variations in the usability for the services provided, but that significant work still needs to be undertaken in order to make the services of the e-Government more usable, particularly for the older users.
Accessibility Evaluation of Korean e-Government BIBAFull-Text 73-78
  Seongil Lee; Byung Geun Kim; Jong Gon Kim
This paper aims to discover to what extent web accessibility is considered by the e-Government's of Korea. Accessibility of the e-Government of Korea was evaluated using Web diagnostic engines that check the compliance level of Web sites to the W3C guidelines. The accessibility of the e-Government was at a lower level, complying to only 10% of the priority 1 checkpoints. This means that lack of coherent government policy for web accessibility causes lack of providing standard e-Government services for the part of the population with special needs.
The Potential of Web Accessibility in China: A Hypothesis on Its Impact on the Global Web Interface BIBAKFull-Text 79-87
  Eleanor Lisney; Christina Li; Songtao Liu
This paper is based on a preliminary research conducted in 2005 into the current level of web accessibility in China. We evaluated a few websites which are meant to be information portals for the visually impaired. Results of the evaluations show none of them is compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1) [1] Level A checkpoints and most of them are inaccessible at all. Causes behind this situation may include lack of legislation from the government and lack of accessibility awareness of web designers. However, we found Chinese Web accessibility also faces more of a challenge as a result of the complications of Chinese language itself. We hope this paper could bring the attention of both Chinese government and Chinese web designers on web accessibility and also help international stakeholders to understand the facts in China.
Keywords: web accessibility; China; visually impaired; language; universal design; usability; Chinese
Restoring Semantics to BML Content for Data Broadcasting Accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 88-97
  Kinji Matsumura; Yasuaki Kanatsugu; Takuya Handa; Tadahiro Sakai
This paper proposes a method to enable visually impaired viewers to access data broadcasting content by using various accessible devices. Data broadcasting, coded in Broadcast Markup Language, has been almost inaccessible because of its usage of dynamic HTML features and lack of semantics. This method uses a template rule to transcode BML content into an accessible static description with structure and semantics. An implementation of a trial receiver system and an experiment on transcoding are described.
Keywords: Data Broadcasting; BML; Accessibility; Transcoding
Making Multimedia Internet Content Accessible and Usable BIBAFull-Text 98-107
  Hisashi Miyashita; Hironobu Takagi; Daisuke Sato; Chieko Asakawa
Although multimedia content containing streaming media is now widely used on the World Wide Web, there exist considerable difficulties for blind users to access such content, due to its dynamic changes, keyboard inoperability, and audio interference with the speech from assistive software. In particular, the third problem of audio interference is serious for blind users, since multimedia content often contains streaming media such as video and music which continuously play sounds, and thus they cannot hear the speech, which is masked by the loud media.
   In this paper, we propose a new accessible browser that can directly manipulate such multimedia content. In order to control Flash contents, our browser relies on a transcoding HTTP proxy to inject special scripts into the Flash content and then manipulates the embedded streaming media and sound objects via the injected scripts. By using our browser, users can easily turn the volume up or down, play, stop, or pause the streaming media with shortcut keys. Since the users do not need to focus on buttons or sliders for these operations, they can immediately stop or fade out the intrusive media when listening to speech from assistive software.
An Evaluation of Mobile 3D-Based Interaction with Complex Multimedia Environments BIBAFull-Text 108-115
  Ali A. Nazari Shirehjini; Jafar Movahedi
This paper describes the evaluation of an intuitive mobile environment controller. Through its 3D-based user interface, the PDA based controller provides the user with mobile access to her/his physical environment and ambient media. The goal of this usability evaluation is to test the performance and analyse the user acceptance of 3D-based interaction systems compared with traditional WIMP-based controllers. At first this paper describes the interaction model which has been evaluated. Then it explains the experiment and the approach of the evaluation. Finally we present and discuss our results.
Detection of Layout-Purpose TABLE Tags Based on Machine Learning BIBAKFull-Text 116-123
  Hidehiko Okada; Taiki Miura
To make webpages more accessible to people with disabilities, <table> tags should not be used as a means to layout document content. Therefore, to evaluate the accessibility of webpages, it should be checked whether the pages include layout-purpose <table> tags. Automated precise detection of layout-purpose <table> tags in HTML sources is still a research challenge because it requires further than simply checking whether specific tags and/or attributes of the tags are included in the sources. We propose a method for the detection that is based on machine learning. The proposed method derives a <table> tag classifier that deduces the purpose of a <table> tag: the classifier deduces whether a <table> tag is a layout-purpose one or a table-purpose one. We have developed a system that derives classification rules by ID3. The system derives a decision tree from a set of learning data (<table> tags of which the purposes are known) and classifies <table> tags in webpages under evaluation. Classification accuracy was evaluated by cross validation with 200 test data collected from the Web. Result of the evaluation revealed that 1) the tags can be roughly classified with attribute values of border, number of rows, number of tags that appear ahead of the <table> tag, and the nest of <table> tags (i.e., these attributes are more likely to appear in upper layers in decision trees), and 2) the accuracy rates are about 90% for the 200 test data.
Keywords: Web accessibility; automated checking; <table> tags; machine learning; ID3
The Usability of Accessibility Evaluation Tools BIBAKFull-Text 124-132
  Helen Petrie; Neil King; Carlos A. Velasco; Henrike Gappa; Gaby Nordbrock
A range of accessibility evaluation tools are available to support Web developers in producing accessible Web resources. It is important that these tools support web developers very well, so that the developers can concentrate on the tasks of Web development. In addition, the tools should enhance Web developers understanding of accessibility issues. This paper presents a usability evaluation of five entry level accessibility evaluations tools. A group heuristic evaluation was conducted, with 5 experts in usability and accessibility working through each tool together, but rating usability problems separately. The results showed that the usability of these tools is surprisingly poor and that they do not support web developers adequately in checking the accessibility of their web resources.
Keywords: Web accessibility; accessibility evaluation; accessibility evaluation tools; usability
Accessibility Works: Enhancing Web Accessibility in Firefox BIBAKFull-Text 133-141
  John T. Richards; Vicki L. Hanson; Jonathan P. Brezin; Calvin Swart; Susan Crayne; Mark Laff
This paper reviews several techniques we have discovered while trying to extend the Firefox browser to support people with visual, motor, reading, and cognitive disabilities. Our goal throughout has been to find ways to make on-the-fly transformations of Web content including adjustments of text and image size, text style, line and letter spacing, text foreground color, text background color, page background removal, content linearization, and reading text aloud. In this paper, we focus primarily on the changes we make to the browser's Document Object Model (DOM) to transform Web content. We review the kinds of approaches we have used to make DOM modifications sufficiently fast and error free. We highlight the problems posed by Web pages with a mix of static and dynamic content generated by client-side scripts and by Web pages that use both fixed and relative placement of page elements, pages of the sort we expect to see in increasingly in the future.
Keywords: Web accessibility; transcoding; Document Object Model
Improving Accessibility for Existing Websites Spanning Multiple Domains BIBAKFull-Text 142-149
  Takashi Sakairi; Takuya Ohko; Hidemasa Muta
There are demands for improving accessibility in existing websites by enlarging text and changing the colors. Typical solutions use technologies such as ActiveX that can only run on a specific client environment. JavaScript is supported in many Web browsers, and it can be used to add new functions for improving the accessibility of existing websites. However, Web browsers prohibit JavaScript from accessing webpages of another domain, so it is difficult to improve accessibility for related websites spanning multiple domains. This paper describes a method that solves the problem.
Keywords: Accessibility; Websites; Dynamic HTML; JavaScript; Same Origin Policy
Large Scale Web Accessibility Evaluation -- A European Perspective BIBAKFull-Text 150-159
  Mikael Snaprud; Agata Sawicka
The 2002 eEurope Action Plan advocated adoption of the WAI Content Guidelines in public EU web sites. Many of the European countries have performed web accessibility evaluations. Most of the evaluations are based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines from W3C/WAI. Still, a range of different evaluation methodologies and scoring schemes are deployed across the member states. This makes it hard to compare the web accessibility status between the different EU countries. The European Accessibility Internet Observatory aims to addresses this problem. The Observatory will produce automated, large scale web accessibility measurements based on which a range of monthly benchmarks will be produced and published online. In this way, the benchmarks should provide a useful input to the eAccessibility and eInclusion policy making.
Keywords: web accessibility; benchmarking; large scale evaluation; eInclusion; policy development
The BenToWeb XHTML 1.0 Test Suite for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 -- Last Call Working Draft BIBAKFull-Text 160-166
  Christophe Strobbe; Jan Engelen; Johannes Koch; Carlos A. Velasco; Evangelos Vlachogiannis; Daniela Ortner
This paper presents the work carried out under the umbrella of the EU-funded project BenToWeb to develop a complete XHTML 1.0 test suite for the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. Initial work covered the June 2005 working draft, which was subsequently updated to the April 2006 working draft ("last call"). At the time of writing, a thorough evaluation, involving end users, is being carried out.
Keywords: test suite; accessibility; Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG); evaluation and repair tools (ERT); HTML; XHTML; CSS; Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI); World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); Last Call Working Draft
DHTML Accessibility Checking Based on Static JavaScript Analysis BIBAKFull-Text 167-176
  Takaaki Tateishi; Hisashi Miyashita; Naoshi Tabuchi; Shin Saito; Kouichi Ono
DHTML accessibility is being standardized by W3C, which provides metadata for UI widgets commonly implemented by HTML and JavaScript. However it is difficult to check that webpages always have correct metadata according to the standards of DHTML accessibility since UI widgets can be updated by JavaScript programs. Thus we propose a technique for checking accessibility of UI widgets. In this check, we use static program analysis techniques so that we can check accessibility without executing a program. In addition, we developed a prototype system based on the proposed technique and applied it to a simple DHTML application.
Keywords: DHTML accessibility; JavaScript; Static program analysis
A Unified Web Evaluation Methodology Using WCAG BIBAKFull-Text 177-184
  Eric Velleman; Christophe Strobbe; Johannes Koch; Carlos A. Velasco; Mikael Snaprud
Checking of web accessibility can be carried out in several ways along the same international standards and depending on the scale, the quality, availability of tools and the interpretation method that is followed. The Unified Web Evaluation Methodology is developed by European expert organizations and offers test descriptions to evaluate WCAG 1.0 conformance covering level AA, a clear sampling scheme, improved aggregations supporting confidence levels, Score cards and other instruments to help communicate the results of evaluations clearer and on more levels. The aim is to establish the UWEM as the basis for web accessibility evaluation, policy support and possible certification in Europe.
Keywords: web accessibility; conformance; certification; unified web evaluation methodology; uwem
Improving Accessibility Through the Visual Structure of Web Contents BIBAKFull-Text 185-192
  Masahiro Watanabe; Daisuke Asai; Yoko Asano
Web accessibility has become one of the most popular research targets. Web accessibility means the ability to be accessed by all kinds of people or devices. One problem that some Web pages have rather poor information structures at the HTML source code level, even though the pages are well structured visually. In order to transfer the visual structure to the HTML level structure, we need to identify the graphic design features that influence human understanding. We examined whether several people interpreted a displayed structure in the same way or not. Four subjects participated in trials; they attempted to identify the headers, major items forming the structure of the top page, of the web sites of 7 local governments in Japan. 80% of the headers were selected by all subjects so most subjects shared the same understanding of what constituted a header.
Keywords: Web; accessibility; information structure; visual structure
Editing a Test Suite for Accessibility of Interactive Web Sites BIBAKFull-Text 193-201
  Gerhard Weber; Kurt Weimann
A test suite is a set of tools and data to ensure quality of a software application such as a dynamic web site. Reliability of page by page web accessibility tests is difficult to achieve as this requires defining appropriate partitions of the set of all web pages. We propose a partitioning method based on additional information about reading behaviour by users especially for measuring readability and ease of navigation. An upper limit for the path length and hence size of the partition is developed. We present a test case editor to describe user group specific testing scenarios and additional types of tests.
Keywords: evaluation; software testing; web accessibility

Part II: Universal Access to Information and Communication

Discrimination and Perception of the Acoustic Rendition of Texts by Blind People BIBAKFull-Text 205-213
  Vassilis Argyropoulos; Konstantinos Papadopoulos; Georgios Kouroupetroglou; Gerasimos Xydas; Philippos Katsoulis
This paper reports on the results from a series of psychoacoustic experiments in the field of the auditory representation of texts via synthetic speech which comprise similar acoustic patterns so called "paronyms". The errors which occur when listening to paronyms are classified as errors of phonological type. Thirty blind and thirty sighted students participated in psychoacoustic experiments. The results from the experiments depicted the types of the subjects' errors and addressed comparisons between the performances of blind and sighted students on their auditory distinctions towards the chosen scripts (paronym words and sentences with paronyms). The discussion considered the practical implications of the findings such as issues regarding education as well as the development of suitable design of acoustic rendition of texts in favor of better perception and comprehension.
Keywords: text-to-speech; synthetic speech perception; discrimination of synthetic speech; paronym words
Using Speech Recognition and Intelligent Search Tools to Enhance Information Accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 214-223
  Keith Bain; Jason Hines; Pawan Lingras; Yumei Qin
Access to spoken information presents challenges in educational, work, and public settings for many individuals. Speech Recognition technology offers a potential strategy for increasing access in various settings, including the university lecture environment. An international research team has successfully experimented with providing speech recognition generated lecture notes, available online as multimedia enhanced transcripts. Additionally, a specially designed search and indexing tool was introduced to enhance the user experience. An exploratory study was conducted to gauge student reactions, identify usage patterns, and assess ease of use.
Keywords: speech recognition; transcription; multimedia; search; retrieval; indexing
Critical Success Factors for Automatic Speech Recognition in the Classroom BIBAKFull-Text 224-233
  Steve Bennett; Jill Hewitt; Barry Mellor; Caroline Lyon
This study looked at continuous automated speech recognition (ASR) to an audience in a university lecture theatre and ran an evaluation based on a previous experiment by Ryba, McIvor, Shakir and Paez, which found that non-native speakers of English were much more favorable towards the use of ASR in class than native speakers. Our evaluation was done on a class of 29 students composed entirely of non-native speakers/ A strong indicator of the level of engagement with the technology was the linguistic ability of the user -- the weaker the student's English, the more he or she tended to look at the textual output, the greater distraction experienced through poor recognition and also the greater impatience felt with slow recognition. There also seemed to be cultural differences -- the Chinese students appeared to look at the textual output much more than Indian students. We conclude that the 2 axes around which successful classroom speech recognition occurs are those of accuracy and unobtrusiveness. The more accurate and unobtrusive the technology, the more successful will be the automatically transcribed lecture.
Keywords: Automatic Speech Recognition; multimodality; accuracy rate
Developing and Evaluating a TriAccess Reading System BIBAKFull-Text 234-241
  Ming-Chung Chen; Chien-Chuan Cko; Lih-Yuan Chen; Chun-Han Chiang
Learners with disabilities experience many difficulties when reading. This study aimed to develop a TriAccess computer system to assist learners with disabilities to read effectively. TriAccess provide physical, sensory, and cognitive supports to learners. The system also offers professionals a convenient and web-based interface on material development and system management. In addition, the study conducted a usability evaluation on the TriAccess. Thirty participants involved in the evaluation process. The results have shown that the TriAccess system is valuable not only to learners, but also to instructors, and material developers.
Keywords: reading difficulties; universal design; multiple representations
CAT Motor: An Innovative System to Detect the Behavior of Human Computer Interaction for People with Upper Limb Impairment BIBAKFull-Text 242-250
  Chien-Chuan Cko; Ming-Chung Chen; Ting-Fang Wu; Su-Ying Chen; Chih-Ching Yeh
This paper described a system which could measure cursor movement and control site motion simultaneously. In addition to evaluate a client's pointing and selecting proficiency, CAT Motor system, developed on the basis of the previous CAT system, was also used to detect the motion of his control site. This feature could provide clinical professionals more detailed information when comparing the difference of performance among devices. The CAT Motor system consisted of four basic types of mouse operating skills, including clicking, cursor moving, cursor moving and clicking, and dragging. The CAT Motor recorded the location and the response of the pointing device and captured the picture of the control site synchronally. Then, the system visualized the results of cursor moving and control site motion on the screen. The CAT Motor system not only provided the professionals with an objective mean of evaluating specific difficulties of mouse operating difficulties, but also allowed them to evaluate the effort of the motor control training. Besides, this paper had some suggestions for the research in the future.
Keywords: computer interaction; motion detection; evaluation system
The BIC Model: A Blueprint for the Communicator BIBAFull-Text 251-258
  Jan Peter de Ruiter; Nicholas J. Enfield
In this paper, we outline a cognitive architecture for communicators, called the BIC model. The model consist of three main components. First, a (B)iological component, in which the genetic or built-in capacities of the communicator are specified. Second, an (I)nteraction Engine which uses neo-Gricean mutual simulation to attribute communicative intentions to signals, and to create signals to convey communicative intentions to the I-system of other agents. The third component of the BIC model is a content addressable database of (C)onventions which is used to store form/meaning mappings that have been successfully computed by the I-system. These stored form/meaning mappings are indexed by types of communicative context, so they can be retrieved by the I-system to save computational resources. The model can be used both as a computational architecture for a communication module in an artificial agent and as a conceptual model of the human communicator.
Conveying Browsing Context Through Audio on Digital Talking Books BIBAKFull-Text 259-268
  Carlos Duarte; Luís Carriço
This paper presents the results of a study comparing the use of auditory icons, earcons and speech in an audio only interface for a digital talking book player. The different techniques were evaluated according to the identification errors made, and subjective measures of understandability, intrusiveness and pleasurability. Results suggest the use of auditory icons combined with speech whenever necessary, in detriment to the use of earcons, for applications sharing the characteristics of digital talking book players.
Keywords: Evaluation; Audio Interfaces; Auditory Icons; Earcons; Speech; Digital Talking Books
An RFID-Based Point-and-Listen Interface Providing Library Access for the Visually Impaired BIBAKFull-Text 269-278
  Daniel Fallman; Kent Lindbergh; Oskar Fjellstrom; Lars Johansson; Fredrik Nilbrink; Linda Bogren
We present the AudioIndex prototype, a light-weight mobile RFID-based point-and-listen interface that allows visually impaired to browse and search for audio books within a public library without the need for library staff guidance. AudioIndex has been specifically designed to fit well into the library environment and its routines, a fit made possible by carefully considering interaction styles and by solving a number of technical design challenges, including distribution of data, hardware platform, and RFID specifications.
Keywords: Pointing Interface; RFID; Mobile; Wireless; Visually Impaired; Speech Synthesis; Design
Performance Evaluation of Voice Interaction as a Universal Web Interface BIBAKFull-Text 279-288
  Yu-Ming Fei; Chiuhsiang Joe Lin; Min-Ting Chen; Chih-Cheng Chiang
A speech interface sometimes provides easy access to WWW information since it makes browser potentially more friendly and powerful. This study first made a comparison between a voice and a keyboard input task. It then compared the voice interface with the keyboard, mouse, and combination of keyboard and mouse with three WWW browsing tasks. The experimental results showed that the voice interface performed the input task faster than the keyboard. The voice interface reached an input accuracy of 92% after sufficient learning. In the WWW browsing tasks, the voice performed poorly in terms of completion time, compared to the keyboard, mouse, or both. Nevertheless, the voice interface can be used to complete the three assigned tasks without problems. The study showed that voice interaction can be used as a universal web interface, especially for those who are unable to use the mouse and keyboard due to disabilities.
Keywords: Speech interface; Voice interface; IBM ViaVoice; Browse WWW
Fisheye Views of Java Source Code: An Updated LOD Algorithm BIBAFull-Text 289-298
  J. Louise Finlayson; Chris Mellish; Judith Masthoff
One very important aspect of computer programming is reading source code. Whilst this is a relatively simple process for sighted programmers, for blind computer programmers this presents a significant problem. Navigating through and comprehending often thousands of lines of code can be time consuming and difficult. Current development environments have many features that aid the reading of source code for sighted users, however, most of these features are visual in nature and are not translated well into audio by general screen-reader applications. Research has suggested that the use of fisheye views could aid navigation and enhance performance in program comprehension activities for blind programmers. This paper reports the results of a study into creating a better fisheye view of Java source code, by improving the method used to determine each line's 'global importance' or 'Level of Detail' (LOD). The traditional LOD determination method uses only the indentation level of a line to calculate its overall importance. This paper describes the results of the study, and suggests some of the issues which may need to be considered in developing an improved LOD calculation for programming source code.
A Bayesian Network Approach to Semantic Labelling of Text Formatting in XML Corpora of Documents BIBAKFull-Text 299-308
  Florendia Fourli-Kartsouni; Konstantinos Slavakis; Georgios Kouroupetroglou; Sergios Theodoridis
The wide-spread applications of document digitization have lead to the use of structured digital representation methods such as the XML language. Extraction methodologies for the formatting metadata can be used on such structured documents for enhancing their accessibility, including augmented audio representation of documents. To the best of our knowledge, an effort has yet to be made to produce an automatic extraction system of semantic information of the document formatting, solely from document layout, without the use of natural language processing. In this study a corpus of XML representations of several issues of a Greek newspaper is used in order to create and evaluate a semantic classifier of text formatting, based on Bayesian Networks.
Keywords: document accessibility; document analysis; semantic labeling
Winsight: Towards Completely Automatic Backtranslation of Nemeth Code BIBAFull-Text 309-318
  Deepa Gopal; Q. Wang; Gopal Gupta; Sachin V. Chitnis; Hai-Feng Guo; Arthur I. Karshmer
We present the Winsight system, a Windows-based software system for completely automatic translation of Nemeth Braille code to The Winsight system takes hard copy Braille input containing Mathematics (written in Nemeth Braille code) and text (written in contracted Braille) via a scanner, performs image recognition and analysis of the scanned file to generate the ASCII Braille file, automatically separates Nemeth Braille coded expressions and contracted Braille text, backtranslates them to math expressions and text respectively, and produces a print output file in pdf format containing the result of backtranslation. The Winsight system comes with tools that allow users to manually intervene during each step, if they desire, to fix any errors reported by the system or seen by the user. In this paper we give an overview of the Winsight system.
Authoring Tools for Structuring Text-Based Activities BIBAKFull-Text 319-328
  Maria Grigoriadou; Grammatiki Tsaganou
In this paper we present research results and discuss recent directions concerning the structural analysis of science texts and cognitive aspects of text elements, such as causal relationships between text elements. We outline the process of structuring text material for the design of dialogue activities for science text comprehension in the educational environment of ReTuDiS (Reflective Tutorial Dialogue System). The system supports text comprehension using reflective dialogue activities, adapted to learners of different levels and its authoring tool, ReTuDiSAuth, supports users in authoring dialogue activities.
Keywords: Text structure; authoring tools; dialogue activities; cognitive categories and causal relationships
VoxBoox: A System for Automatic Generation of Interactive Talking Books BIBAFull-Text 329-338
  Aanchal Jain; Gopal Gupta
We present the VoxBoox system, a system for making digital books accessible to visually impaired individuals via audio and voice. This is accomplished by automatically translating a book published in HTML to VoiceXML, and then further enhancing this VoiceXML rendering of the book to enable listener-controlled dynamic aural navigation. The VoxBoox system has the following salient features: (i) it leverages existing infrastructure since the book that is to be made accessible need only be published digitally using HTML on the visual Web, (ii) it is based on accepted Web standards of HTML and VoiceXML and thus books can be made accessible inexpensively, and (iii) it is user-centered in that the listener (the user) has complete control over (aural) navigation of the book. In this paper, we present details of the technologies that make the VoxBoox system possible, as well as the details of the system itself. A prototype of the VoxBoox system is operational.
An On-Screen Keyboard for Users with Poor Pointer Control BIBAFull-Text 339-348
  Rick Kjeldsen
This paper describes a novel design for an on-screen keyboard that makes it easier for some users with relatively poor pointer control to type. The keyboard uses the edge of the screen to reduce the dimensionality of the pointing task required to identify a character, and uses gesture, rather than click or dwell to select it for typing. A prototype keyboard is used in a study involving people with and without physical impairments using several types of pointing devices. The results show that this approach has some significant advantages compared to a conventional two dimensional on-screen keyboard, especially with some types of pointing devices.
Multimodal Technology for Municipal Inspections: An Evaluation Framework BIBAKFull-Text 349-357
  Irina Kondratova; Jeff Rankin; Ashley Goggin
Our paper discusses research on using multimodal interaction to improve usability of mobile data entry. This can benefit users of mobile technologies such as mobile workers, construction crews, and students collecting data during field trips. The evaluation of a mobile multimodal application for construction field work was conducted in the laboratory. Designing this laboratory experiment required a detailed definition of the type of device to be used, user requirements, including interaction techniques and usage context. During this work we discovered a need to develop a generic evaluation framework to assist in the selection of mobile technology and interaction techniques for further testing. The development of such a framework for municipal inspections with a focus on field inspections is discussed. This paper presents examples of using our framework to gain a better understanding of the contextual aspects influencing the feasibility of using mobile technology in the field.
Keywords: mobile technology; multimodal interaction; speech recognition; usability
The Effects of Spatially Enriched Browsing Shortcuts on Web Browsing of Blind Users BIBAKFull-Text 358-367
  Christos Kouroupetroglou; Michail Salampasis; Athanasios Manitsaris
The Web has turned out to be an interactive and complex information seeking environment where apart from text, layout and visual cues play a significant role in its efficient use. In this paper we present a semantic web based framework for communicating this visual meta-information to blind users who miss it. Based on annotations of web pages blind users are given a set of browsing shortcuts within a web page and this way they can move easily to the desired point of the page. In addition to this mechanism we enhanced these annotations with spatial information and we provide blind users with a spatially enriched variation of the browsing shortcuts mechanism. To test its effects on web browsing of blind users we conducted an experiment with 15 users participating. The results indicate that there is no significant improvement when using the spatially enriched variation of the shortcut feature but there is a decrease in time and keystrokes when the browsing shortcuts mechanism is used alone.
Keywords: Web accessibility; Semantic Web; browsing shortcuts; spatial information
Chatting with an AAC (Augmentative/Alternative Communication Device) BIBAKFull-Text 368-370
  Scott H. Kuebler; Ronald C. Kuebler
Communicating with someone using an electronic communication device is different from routine conversation. Despite enormous technological progress, talking with a person with a disability using an electronic communicator is an acquired skill. Very few people in the general population and few professionals know how to chat with someone using an assistive device. Experience a conversation now so you will not have to avoid it when you need to talk to someone who communicates with a device. Let's overcome the fear of talking with someone who uses an AAC device to facilitate communication.
Keywords: Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC); Assistive Technology; Down's syndrome; mental retardation; electronic conversation; Picture Communication Symbols (PCS); speech therapy; ChatPC; conversational dynamics; volunteers
A Flexible On-Screen Keyboard: Dynamically Adapting for Individuals' Needs BIBAKFull-Text 371-379
  Yun Lung Lin; Ming-Chung Chen; Ya-Ping Wu; Yao-Ming Yeh; Hwa-Pey Wang
This study was to design an alternative on-screen keyboard and evaluate the efficacy of this innovative layout design for people with severe physical disability. The matrix keyboard layouts was designed based on human computer interaction. A repeated experiment was performed to compare the speed and accuracy of text entry with point-and-click input method between the matrix on-screen keyboard and the Windows XP QWERTY virtual keyboard. Data analysis revealed that the matrix on-screen keyboard provided better performance for the participant. The result also indicates that layout adaptation assessment is a valid tool to confirm proper layout size for users and that alphabetic order is better than QWERTY order for a novice user to learn a new on-screen keyboard. A usability study was undertaken to evaluation the performance of the double click instead of the point-and-click plus Shift key input method. The possible causes of the results and suggestions for further studies are discussed.
Keywords: accessibility; on-screen keyboard; scanning selection
Evaluation of RSVP and Display Types on Decoding Performance of Information Extraction Tasks BIBAKFull-Text 380-388
  Ya-Li Lin; Chun-Min Ho
The decoding performance of information extraction is important for data analysis and decision making. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of display types (TYPE) shown in web pages using different techniques of rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) on decoding performance for different information extraction tasks (TASK). Twenty-four subjects (12 males, 12 females) participated in the information extraction tasks. Two factorial designs with blocking experiment were used to collect the response time data. In Experiment 1 (TASK includes finding exact value and identifying the trend), the results showed that both the 2-way interactions of RSVP and TASK as well as TYPE and TASK would significantly affect mean response time. In Experiment 2 (TASK includes finding maximum and comparing two values), the results showed that the 3-way interaction of RSVP, TYPE, and TASK would significantly affect mean response time.
Keywords: Rapid Serial Visual Presentation; Dynamic Visual Interfaces; Graphical Perception; Quantitative Information Extraction; Decoding Performance
A Large Scale Study of English-Chinese Online Dictionary Search Behavior BIBAKFull-Text 389-398
  Yong Liu; Jianmiao Fan
This paper presents a large scale study of user search behavior on a popular online dictionary website. Our goal is to understand the current status of online dictionary, especially English-Chinese dictionary user search behavior by analyzing 10 million queries on Dict.cn website during the period form late 2006 to early 2007. We believe our findings will help traditional dictionary publishers and online dictionary providers to improve their existing products and services, and further develop innovative services to better serve the unique needs of their users.
Keywords: Online dictionary; search interface; English-Chinese dictionary
Design of Computer Integrated Safety and Health Management System BIBAKFull-Text 399-405
  Hunszu Liu
Diverse safety and health operation data collected and stored in different departments have not been fully integrated and utilized by managers due to poor design of safety and health information system. The safety and health management system can be depicted, conceptually, as an organic system with circulation of information flow which carries required data and information to specified workers and initiates appropriate responses respectively. This study is targeting to solve the problems of current safety and health management system through the integration of human information processing theory, certified safety and health management assessment guidelines and regulations, and IT techniques. The objective of this study is to propose a framework of computer integrated safety and health management system.
Keywords: Safety and health management; safety information; computer integrated management system
Sensor-Driven Adaptation of Web Document Presentation BIBAKFull-Text 406-415
  Spyros Nathanail; Vassileios Tsetsos; Stathes Hadjiefthymiades
The increasing variety of user device technologies has raised the necessity for ubiquitous content provision, which is characterized by "intelligent" content delivery to end users, irrespectively of their device. Moreover, changes in the user environment create the necessity of appropriately adapting the content and its presentation so that it can be more easily perceived. In this paper, we present a multimodal and adaptive system for Web user interfaces that deals with these challenges. Using as input a generic and abstract form of Web content, our system transforms it to a specific data format suitable for the client device. In addition, it uses contextual information, gathered from the user environment through a wireless sensor network, in order to present the served content in an optimal way under the current environmental conditions.
Keywords: adaptive user interfaces; abstract user interfaces; context-awareness; wireless sensor networks
Effectiveness of Communication Process Support for Senior Citizens with Information Machines BIBAKFull-Text 416-425
  Yosoko Nishizawa; Yoshinori Wakizaka; Takayuki Yamamoto; Harumi Hasebe
Senior citizens using IT services have two types of barriers; difficulty of machine use and lack of motivation to use service. External support is necessary to lower these two barriers by enhancing interface usability and promotion of use. In this paper, experiments that were performed to prove the effectiveness of such supports were discussed. The results of the experiment showed that promotion of communication among users was effective to lower both of the two barriers.
Keywords: senior citizen; communication; information machines; IPv6
Technology Advances and Standardization Toward Accessible Business Graphics BIBAKFull-Text 426-435
  Hironobu Takagi; Tatsuya Ishihara
Various types of graphics are exchanged in our daily business and education processes. In spite of the importance of business graphics, they are not accessible for visually impaired people, especially for the blind, and this impacts their productivity at work. Current serialization-based screen reading techniques do not provide sufficient functionality for accessing graphics. In this paper, we report the results of our survey to identify next generation accessibility features in future graphics standards, especially for the OpenDocument Format (ODF). We will first compare accessibility functions in various types of existing standards. Then we will report our survey results for three related areas, a survey of existing business graphics in presentation documents to unveil the complexity of practical graphics, a survey of research on various types of graphical taxonomies, and a survey of interface technologies for representing graphics non-visually, such as screen reading and pictorial Braille. Finally, we will propose three practical enhancements for standard graphic formats based on the survey results.
Keywords: Accessibility; graphics; presentation; visually impaired; standards; OpenDocument Format
Auditory Accessibility of Metadata in Books: A Design for All Approach BIBAKFull-Text 436-445
  Dimitrios Tsonos; Gerasimos Xydas; Georgios Kouroupetroglou
There are two issues that are challenging in the life-cycle of Digital Talking Books (DTB): the automatic labeling of text formatting meta-data in documents and the multimodal representation of the text formatting semantics. We propose an augmented design-for-all approach for both the production and the reading processes of DAISY compliant DTBs. This approach incorporates a methodology for the real-time extraction and the semantic labeling of text formatting meta-data. Furthermore, it includes a unified approach for the multimodal rendering of text formatting, structure and layout meta-data by utilizing a Document-to-Audio platform to render the acoustic modality.
Keywords: e-books; digital talking books; document accessibility; document-to-audio; auditory accessibility of text formatting; DAISY
Enhancing the Usability of Real-Time Speech Recognition Captioning Through Personalised Displays and Real-Time Multiple Speaker Editing and Annotation BIBAKFull-Text 446-452
  Mike Wald; Keith Bain
Text transcriptions of the spoken word can benefit deaf people and also anyone who needs to review what has been said (e.g. at lectures, presentations, meetings etc.) Real time captioning (i.e. creating a live verbatim transcript of what is being spoken) using phonetic keyboards can provide an accurate live transcription for deaf people but is often not available because of the cost and shortage of highly skilled and trained stenographers. This paper describes the development of a system that can provide an automatic text transcription of multiple speakers using speech recognition (SR), with the names of speakers identified in the transcription and corrections of SR errors made in real-time by a human 'editor'.
Keywords: Real time; captioning; speech recognition; editing; multiple speakers; transcription
A Study on the Straight-Line Drawing Tasks for the Non-sighted People BIBAKFull-Text 453-461
  Chih-Fu Wu; Cherng-Yee Leung; Yung-Hsiang Tu; Kuang-Chieh Hsu; Huei-Tang Lin
A new ruler employs the finger touch to be the main pointing sensor with two locators at the two ends, and a unique pen in a smooth track to draw a line. The tasks of making straight line with two difference rulers (Ruler S: ruler used at school; Ruler C: new touch ruler) between non-sighted people (blindfolds and blinds) were observed: (1) free-line; (2) constrained-line; (3) extension-line; (4) closing-line; and (5) conjoining-line. Stages of those tasks were measured: searching, positioning, plotting, and checking, with reacting time and the deviation. The Paired t-test shown Ruler S had a larger reacting time for blinds at task (4), (5). MANOVA shown the blinds had larger reacting time at task (3), while (5) on deviation; Ruler C had a larger error at start-point of task (3) and a larger length error of task (3); while Ruler S had a larger error at end-point of task (4). Conclude that some revised design of the ruler really affected the performance of the straight-line tasks, while some did not.
Keywords: Industrial design; Straight-line drawing; non-sighted people; ruler
Performance of Different Pointing Devices on Children with Cerebral Palsy BIBAKFull-Text 462-469
  Ting-Fang Wu; Ming-Chung Chen
With the popularization of graphical user interfaces (GUIs), pointing devices have become standard equipment of most computer systems. However, for people with motor impairments, accurate cursor control is often difficult or impossible to achieve. The focus of this study is to empirically compare effectiveness of three different pointing devices on children with cerebral palsy in order to select the most efficient device for each individual. Computerized Assessment Tool was developed to assess clients' cursor control performance and to provide proper recommendations of pointing devices based on the results of assessments. Performance of pointing, clicking, and dragging of using different devices was measured. The results of this study indicated that Joystick seems to be the most effective device for children with cerebral palsy to perform cursor control tasks. However, factors such as each participant's experience and preference may be related. The instrument use in this study, CAT, seems to be a convenient tool for rehabilitation therapists to assess clients' cursor control performance. Replication of this study using a larger sample size, or recruiting clients with different diagnosis and various ages should be developed.
Keywords: Pointing Devices; Children with Cerebral Palsy; Computerized Assessment Tool; Mouse; Trackball; Joystick; Cursor Control Movement

Part III: Learning and Entertainment

User Modeling for Intelligent Interfaces in e-Learning BIBAKFull-Text 473-480
  Ray Adams
The emergence of the accessible knowledge society for all underlines the need for all to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for inclusion. One way to do so is through e-learning, which itself should be accessible to all intended users. The mere provision of knowledge systems is not enough, since the need is for active and accessible learning that engages the participants effectively. This study explores the hypotheses that the solution is to be found in systems that: (i) support rather than replace the tutor, (ii) are accessible to the intended populations of users, (iii) can be adapted to the needs and individual characteristics of diverse users, (iv) are smart enough to adapt in real time to changing user needs, (v) reflect best practice in learning psychology, (vi) provide a high quality student experience, (vii) provide a high quality tutor experience and (viii) use valid student modeling. These hypotheses are evaluated through the five case studies. Accessibility and student modeling turnout to be the weakest points. All the other features are well represented in the case studies. None placed any kind of substantial emphasis upon accessibility. Only one of the case studies (case study 2; Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools) makes a substantial effort in user modeling, being based upon the generic, cognitive model ACT. Even then, the focus tends to be on the typical or average user and does not address the problems of user diversity. Clearly, accessibility and user modeling need much more work in e-learning.
Keywords: user modeling; intelligent interfaces; e-learning; tutoring systems
Ubiquitous Access to Learning Material in Engineering BIBAKFull-Text 481-490
  Andreas Auinger; Christian Stary
Advances in mobile computing allow new ways of any-time and any-where, networked and dislocated knowledge transfer. Such new ways of instant learning access are especially required in the field of engineering, due to its increasing complexity and diversification of tasks, and the resulting skill profiles of engineers. Qualification support has been achieved by providing an integrated e-/m-learning solution in the ELIE project (E- Learning In Engineering). It adapts didactically relevant content to both, the technical properties of multiple devices, and the situation of the learner. The structuring process for content is based on elicited experiences of coaches. In this way, it ensures high didactic value of learning material. Since this expert knowledge can be encoded into content directly, self-directed transfer processes can be triggered and managed effectively. The procedure for content development we propose enables coaches not only to follow the implementation of their knowledge in a transparent way, but also to reuse content, either as marked as didactic entities, redesigning them, or re-assigning didactic qualities to content. As technical enabler XML data structures have been developed for the encoding at the environment level. Both, in the web and the mobile learning setting, data are displayed sensitive to the user, the transfer situation, and the device at hand. In addition, users might link content elements to individually selected communication elements, such as entries in a discussion forum. The evaluation performed so far indicate several benefits for learners and coaches.
Keywords: mobile learning; didactics in e-learning; content management
ICT Educational Tools and Visually Impaired Students: Different Answers to Different Accessibility Needs BIBAKFull-Text 491-500
  Stefania Bocconi; Silvia Dini; Lucia Ferlino; Cristina Martinoli; Michela Ott
In order to guarantee equal opportunities to all students, the accessibility of ICT educational tools is worldwide considered a major issue. Nowadays, visually impaired students can take advantage of a large number of effective assistive technologies but, while using electronic material for learning purposes, they often encounter a number of different accessibility and usability problems. The variety of obstacles they may find on their way is quite large mainly because the term "visually impaired" encompasses a wide range of deficits, ranging from blindness to a number of other multifaceted, although less severe, visual impairments. The accessibility requirements for e-learning products established by the laws in force in the different European and non-European countries can be considered an important step onwards; further measures, nevertheless, are still needed to foster the actual "usability" of such products by sight impaired people.
Keywords: low vision; blind; accessibility; usability; educational software; e-learning
Modeling Content and Expression of Learning Objects in Multimodal Learning Management Systems BIBAKFull-Text 501-510
  Giorgio Brajnik
The paper discusses the relation between accessibility and multimodality of learning objects. I present a framework, rooted in linguistics, that supports a clear distinction between content and expression of learning objects. The framework supports different types of content elements, and different expression elements in which content can be rendered, which include different expression media, multimedia components and spatial/temporal/hyper-relationships. I show what accessibility means in such a framework, and what the consequences of accessibility are in terms of automatic transformations of expression that can occur on student platforms. I argue that accessibility of learning objects, though making them multimodal, is not a satisfactory solution from the viewpoint of learning effectiveness. I claim that content modeling needs to be a crucial step in the development of any learning object, and propose notations based on conceptual maps and UML diagrams.
Keywords: knowledge modeling; accessibility; operability of user interfaces
Entertainment and Ambient: A New OLDES' View BIBAKFull-Text 511-519
  Massimo Busuoli; T. Gallelli; M. Haluzík; V. Fabián; Daniel Novák; Olga Stepánková
This work introduces a new concept of supporting elderly at their homes. The whole framework is being developed under OLDES project: Older People's e-services at home. OLDES aims at developing a very low cost and easy to use entertainment and health care platform designed to ease the life of older people in their homes. The platform is based on a PC corresponding to Negroponte's paradigm of a € 100 device, giving the guarantee of an affordable system. OLDES provides: user entertainment services, through easy-to-access thematic channels and special interest forums supported by animators; and health care facilities based on established Internet and tele-care communication standards. As an example of OLDES platform implementation, two pilot projects are addressed: 100 clients pilot including 10 people with cardiological problems in Bologna, Italy and diabetes pilot in Prague, Czech Republic.
Keywords: Ambient intelligence; entertainment; user interface; diabetes and cardiac disease monitoring
Virtual and Mixed Reality Interfaces for e-Training: Examples of Applications in Light Aircraft Maintenance BIBAKFull-Text 520-529
  Johannes Christian; Horst Krieger; Andreas Holzinger; Reinhold Behringer
There is evidence that recent developments in Augmented Reality (AR) technology has the potential to be applied as pervasive media on multiple devices in different ways and contexts, especially with low-cost devices including Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) applications on smart phones or Pocket-PCs. In this paper we present a framework in order to combine the pervasive e-education concept with augmented reality content for e-training. We analyze current research, discuss some examples from ultralight / light sport aircraft maintenance and show how to apply this framework generically. We present a learning engine to deliver this special type of content and provide a further outlook of future research. A user-centered approach must ensure that the developments can stimulate motivation and enhance performance of the end users in different training sessions. The main benefit is, that the end users are enabled to better perceive complex, technical facts, systems and components.
Keywords: e-training; augmented reality; pervasive e-education; performance support; human computer interaction; usability engineering
A Holistic Approach to the Evaluation of E-Learning Systems BIBAKFull-Text 530-538
  Maria Francesca Costabile; Teresa Roselli; Rosa Lanzilotti; Carmelo Ardito; Veronica Rossano
This paper describes the eLSE methodology to evaluate e-learning systems. By combing a specific inspection technique with user-testing, eLSE allows inspectors, even not having a wide experience in evaluating e-learning systems, to perform accurate evaluations. The inspection technique is based on the use of evaluation patterns which precisely describe the activities to be performed during inspection. For this reason, it is called Pattern-Based (PB) inspection. An experiment has shown that novice evaluators are able to come out with good results, confirming the efficiency and the effectiveness of PB inspection.
Keywords: Usability inspection; e-learning system; controlled experiment
How Can HCI Factors Improve Accessibility of m-Learning for Persons with Special Needs? BIBAKFull-Text 539-548
  Matjaz Debevc; Mateja Verlic; Primoz Kosec; Zoran Stjepanovic
Mobile learning, or m-learning, respectively, can be stated as an upgrade of e-learning, valuable for mobile users using new mobile technology and telecommunication systems. The article presents the influence of m-learning system intended for supporting a remote engineering application. Here, we examined the usability of the application designed for people with special needs taking into account the main human-computer interaction factors. User interface for mobile systems served as a platform for examining the functionalities of a micro-controlled system. Two usability testing methods, involving some persons with special needs, were conducted in order to examine the usability of the system. The results gained are valuable for designing improved, future-oriented m-learning applications.
Keywords: m-learning; accessibility; usability; evaluation; persons with special needs
Accessible and Adaptive e-Learning Materials: Considerations for Design and Development BIBAKFull-Text 549-558
  Matjaz Debevc; Zoran Stjepanovic; Petra Povalej; Mateja Verlic; Peter Kokol
The aspect of accessibility and adaptivity is important for future of e-Learning applications. Creating e-Learning applications for everybody, including people with special needs, remains the question. The problem with development of e-Learning applications for everybody is that learner ability and weaknesses are usually neglected as important factors while developing applications. Most of nowadays applications offer lots of unclear information, unsuitable contents and non-adapted mechanisms. This paper suggests basic guidelines for successful design and structuring accessible and adaptive e-Learning applications that consider the requests and needs of people with special needs. It provides an example of design and realization of e-Learning application for receiving ECDL certificate, which includes easy adaptivity and basic accessibility factors. Experimental results of usability testing and pedagogical effectiveness have shown that material, designed following these guidelines, is appropriate and that there must be extra attention paid to learnability factor in the future.
Keywords: e-Learning; accessibility; adaptive user interfaces; usability; evaluation; people with special needs
Web 2.0 Technology: Future Interfaces for Technology Enhanced Learning? BIBAKFull-Text 559-568
  Martin Ebner; Andreas Holzinger; Hermann A. Maurer
Web 2.0 is an emerging catch phrase and the applications associated with it shocked the traditional eLearning world. However, is this really all new and can it be considered suitable for future interfaces for technology enhanced learning? In this paper, we present some experiences with LearnLand. This is an application designed and developed at Graz University of Technology and which has been running there since October 2006. It is based on the open-source software ELGG, which is a social software offering a high degree of choice, flexibility and openness and is considered as a system that places people at the hub of the activities. Our experimental research demonstrated that exactly this ease of use aspect is an absolute necessity for successful Web 2.0 learning applications. The tools of Web 2.0 have crossed Moore's chasm and reached the early majority, where they are evolving rapidly. However, the idea of social software itself, especially in learning scenarios, is not as far developed as we may imagine. It is necessary to take into account the fact that too few innovators and early adopters are actually using Web 2.0 technology to enhance existing learning behaviors. Insufficient educational concepts with Web 2.0 technologies require much future work.
Keywords: Technology Enhanced Learning; Web 2.0; e-Learning
Computer Interface for Learning and Using Virtual Instrument BIBAKFull-Text 569-577
  Yongkai Fan; Tianze Sun; Jun Lin; Xiaolong Fu; Yangyi Sui
Computer interfaces representation, design and implementation as the computer software outward window had a large impact on software learning and using, especially for virtual instrument. Several types of virtual instrument developing software are available for the virtual instrument development and parts of them have great influence in the instrument science field. However, only a limited number of inexperienced or previous untrained people are able to well utilize them. Part of the limitation stems from the difficulty in learning how to use them and part of from the demand of software developing expertise background or hardware design abilities. Therefore, user friendliness of virtual instrument software is needed for a great number of people who are without expertise background or hardware design abilities. There are a number of features in the software described in this article would server to meet the need, such as requirement-driven idea from human-computer interface implementation aspect helped step obstacles encountered by users with limited experience. An experimental interface design has been developed to use an advanced object-oriented development environment, thus allowing a great deal of flexibility in implementing changes and adding new features in order to provide a friendliness operation interface to actual users.
Keywords: Human-computer interface; Virtual instrument; Module instrument
Agents in m-Learning Systems Based on Intelligent Tutoring BIBAKFull-Text 578-587
  Vlado Glavinic; Marko Rosic; Marija Zelic
Intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) represent a particular kind of e-learning systems, which base their operation on the simulation of a human teacher in the learning and teaching process. With the advent of the mobile computing paradigm, m-learning systems, as the "portable and personal" fashion of e-learning, paved the way to the introduction of mobile intelligent tutoring. Mobile intelligent tutoring systems (MITSs) are targeted to fit into a mobile learner's daily routine without disrupting her/his other activities, but conversely enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of learning in the context of handheld terminals of restricted capabilities. As in the non-portable ITS counterparts, MITSs' tasks are taken over by agents, making them agent-based systems. In this paper we discuss the mobile intelligent tutoring paradigm, as well as the agent types to be used in the m-learning environment along with the presently affordable agent infrastructure enabling MITS implementation, and corroborate this with the description of a mobile intelligent tutoring model we are developing.
Keywords: agents; intelligent tutoring systems; m-learning; agent-based systems; mobile intelligent tutoring systems
Digital Game-Based Learning: An Agent Approach BIBAKFull-Text 588-597
  Christian Anthony L. Go; Won-Hyung Lee
Digital game-based learning has proven to be a useful and cost-effective alternative to the traditional classroom-based experience. However, current digital learning methods for young learners fail to engage audiences accustomed to interactive media. Moreover, most edutainment games do not offer players a situated learning experience, and those few that do, do not leverage the immensely popular online game market. This paper introduces a Belief Desire Intention (BDI) agent architecture for an online game Non-Player Character that encourages and stimulates situational learning in an online Role-Playing Game.
Keywords: Digital Game-Based Learning; Intelligent Agent; BDI Agent
A Haptic Based Interface to Ease Visually Impaired Pupils' Inclusion in Geometry Lessons BIBAKFull-Text 598-606
  Cédric Gouy-Pailler; Sophie Zijp-Rouzier; Sylvie Vidal; Denis Chêne
This paper describes a system based on haptics and sound, to assist in teaching plane geometry to visually impaired pupils. So far the exploration of the geometric figure was performed with an haptic device and construction commands launched with a keyboard. This way of interaction (switching from a device to another) proved to be quite inefficient. This work aims at using exclusively an haptic device to both perceive and build a figure. To do so, command gestures are introduced to construct a figure. Then two questions arise: are command gestures haptically learnable (pupil's hand being haptically guided along the gesture)? Are command gestures usable to solve a task (here a geometry exercise)? Two experiments have been carried out to answer these questions.
Keywords: haptic; learning; gesture; blind; multimodal; geometry; design for all; inclusion; co-design
Unified Design of Universally Accessible Games BIBAKFull-Text 607-616
  Dimitris Grammenos; Anthony Savidis; Constantine Stephanidis
This paper describes how the Unified Design method, originally conceived as a means for developing universally accessible user interfaces, can be adapted and applied to the development of universally accessible games. The basic steps for applying the method are presented and explained through illustrative examples. Furthermore, the key differentiations between designing turn-based strategy games and action games are highlighted and the related impact to the application of the design method is explained.
Keywords: Universally Accessible Games; interaction design methods; Design for All; polymorphism
Universal Design Within the Context of e-Learning BIBAKFull-Text 617-626
  Andrina Granic; Maja Cukusic
When designing an e-learning system it is important to consider not only technical and resource related aspects, but user characteristics along with pedagogical and contextual issues as well. This paper proposes an approach to universal design within the e-learning environment able to address issues related to learner-centred design paradigm, context of use approach, individualized approach, pedagogical framework and guideline framework. A refinement from methodological point of view enhanced with the exemplification of approach's appliance is required.
Keywords: universal design; e-learning; context of use; learner-centred design; pedagogical framework
Designing Intelligent Interfaces for e-Learning Systems: The Role of User Individual Characteristics BIBAKFull-Text 627-636
  Andrina Granic; Jelena Nakic
In order to advance personal learning experience it is crucial to overcome the one-size-fits-all approach in user interface design and increase the e-learning systems intelligent behavior. Recent research has confirmed that user individual characteristics must be taken into account to accomplish that goal. This paper identifies user features relevant for system's adaptation in general. Aiming to investigate affect of those features on users' learning outcomes in e-learning environment in particular, an empirical study along with obtained results is reported as well.
Keywords: intelligent user interfaces; adaptive user interface; e-learning; individual differences
Providing Universal Accessibility Using Connecting Ontologies: A Holistic Approach BIBAKFull-Text 637-646
  Shuaib Karim; Khalid Latif; A. Min Tjoa
Accessibility implementation efforts are generally focused towards some typical user impairments and a few interaction devices for a particular user scenario. Whereas there are numerous factors in the prevalent context which can leverage the overall accessibility to its full potential, only if those are orchestrated together. In absence of a common and unifying approach the industry has little choice in abstaining from legacy and is therefore not very successful in producing universally accessible software. Exploiting enabling technology of Semantic Web, we present an approach by developing Connecting Ontologies for these different factors. Exemplars are developed to show its correctness and practicability.
Keywords: Universal Accessibility; Diversity; Connecting Ontologies; Mapping Ontologies; Ontology Design Patterns
Immersive Digital Games: The Interfaces for Next-Generation E-Learning? BIBAKFull-Text 647-656
  Michael D. Kickmeier-Rust; Neil Peirce; Owen Conlan; Daniel Schwarz; Dominique Verpoorten; Dietrich Albert
The intrinsic motivation to play, and therefore to learn, that might be provided by digital educational games teases researchers and developers. However, existing educational games often fail in their attempt to compete with commercial games and to provide successful learning. Often some learning is added to digital games or some gameplay is added to educational applications. Successful educational games, however, require merging professional game design with sound pedagogical strategies, creating a new hybrid format. Moreover, a methodology is required that allows continuously balancing gaming and learning challenges and the learner's abilities and knowledge in order to retain an immersive gaming experience. In this article we introduce approaches to game design and didactic design, as well as a framework for adaptive interventions in educational games.
Keywords: Digital educational games; Game design; Didactic design; Adaptive intervention; Microadaptivity; Competence-based Knowledge Space Theory
Methodology and Application in a Technologically Enhanced Environment: The Case of the Writing Center at the Hellenic American Union and the Hellenic American University BIBAKFull-Text 657-666
  Vassiliki Kourbani; Yiannis Petropoulos; Dimitris Tolias
The newly established Writing Center at the Hellenic American Union and the Hellenic American University is a breakthrough in what conventional Writing Centers entail in terms of both target audience and nature. It aims to address the needs of both the Hellenic American Union and the Hellenic American University students along with the general public for the improvement of academic, professional and writing The traditional role of Writing Centers -- both in the USA and in Europe -- is to offer academic writing assistance to students and help them develop their writing skills, for specific purposes or across the curriculum. The Writing Center at the Hellenic American University shares the same fundamental aims but extends its mission to a wider scope of applications and audiences, addressing the needs not only of the Hellenic American University students but also of the general public. Its services go beyond the traditional face-to-face, "paper-pencil" approach since assistance is provided through innovative design, e-equipment, and original software that encourage collaboration and individualized monitoring, both on site and on line. Thus, the Writing Center at the Hellenic American University aspires to become a showcase of how collaborative writing -- defined in a variety of ways -- is realized in terms of the cooperation among the particular Writing Center stakeholders and the learning outcomes involved.
Keywords: Writing Center; Distance Tutoring; Tutoring; Classroom Learning
The Role of Web-Based Learning Environments in Fostering Collaboration BIBAKFull-Text 667-676
  Jasna Kuljis; Lorna Lines
Web-based learning environments are increasingly used to support lecture and seminar activities in blended learning courses and there is growing evidence to suggest a positive relationship between peer-to-peer learning activities and academic attainment. The role of web-based learning environments that are used as a learning-support tool is considered where the blended learning system goals of social interaction and personal agency within the context of web-based discussion boards are of particular interest. Using web-based learning community discussions as a case study we illustrate the role of personal agency and social interaction and how personalisation of the learning experience may be supported by the teachers. Our results are intended to inform teachers and the design of automated instructional agents, that will need to support personal agency and social interaction, to facilitate online student collaboration within the blended learning system context.
Keywords: Blended learning; collaborative learning; online discussion; discussion group development
The Virtual Paddle: An Universal Interaction for Accessible Video Games BIBAKFull-Text 677-686
  Guillaume Lepicard; Frédéric Vella; Nadine Vigouroux; Benoît Rigolleau; David Chautard; Elian Pucheu
The video games are often inaccessible to disabled motor people of the upper limbs. The specialized games are limited choice of the set of accessible games. We present a new accessible technique of interaction: the Virtual Paddle. We designed it with a user-centered method. It is composed of three steps: questionnaire, brainstorming and paper prototypes. Next, we present the experiment to choose the optimized paddle. Finally we discuss the results and our perspective.
Keywords: Accessibility; software/virtual interaction techniques; video games; User-centered design; disabled motor people
Learning by e-Learning: Breaking Down Barriers and Creating Opportunities for the Visually-Impaired BIBAKFull-Text 687-696
  Barbara Leporini; Marina Buzzi
Today e-Learning is an important educational tool with multiple benefits. However, to be suitable for a large audience the learning objects, courses, and other forms of e-Learning content should be easy to use for all students, regardless of disability. This paper describes problems often encountered by a blind person using screen reader and voice synthesizer when using e-Learning systems, and proposes guidelines for designers in order to develop more accessible systems.
Keywords: Accessibility; usability; e-Learning; blind
Designing Games to Address 'Mute English' Among Children in China BIBAKFull-Text 697-706
  Jason Li; Neema Moraveji; Jiarong Ding; Patrick O'Kelley; Suze Woolf
This paper describes findings and design implications from user research intended to support software to address the Mute English phenomenon. This term refers to the many students in China whose English speaking ability lags far behind that of their reading and listening. Software designs for games are presented as a scalable solution to the problem. Games are a unique way to elicit speech input from children in a personalized educational setting.
Keywords: Design; ethnography; speech recognition; game design; China; Mute English; language acquisition
Identification of Threat of Isolation as a Result of Work with a Computer in Free Time BIBAKFull-Text 707-715
  Teresa Musiol; Katarzyna Ujma-Wasowicz
The report aims to answer a question how we can reduce a threat of isolation created by using a computer in free time. In the first part of the report the reasons of creating a state of isolation during work with a computer in free time were presented. Then potential results of this threat in the area of optimalisation of decisions made by participants were discussed. In the application part of the report results of research concerning a state of awareness of isolation as a threat were presented. The research was carried out on a group of students, chosen at random. A sociometric tool in a form of a questionnaire was applied in the research. The construction of the questionnaire was based on weights of attribution of emotional state, which isolation is. In the summary the authors presented the ways and methods of reducing results of the threat, which is isolation in the process of working with a computer.
Keywords: isolation; computer; sociometric measure; reduction of threats; active recreation
Reaching Beyond the Invisible Barriers: Serving a Community of Users with Multiple Needs BIBAKFull-Text 716-727
  Dianna L. Newman; Gary Clure
This paper discusses a four-phase model for evaluating multi-media learning materials that emphasizes the diversity of learners and variations in instructional needs and user characteristics. The authors begin with an overview of the model, supporting evidence for its use, and key characteristics of users supported by each of the phases. They then focus on results of a current use that emphasized stage four, real-time usability, and show how they were able to document that the models under review met the needs of diverse learners and varied instructional strategies.
Keywords: Human-computer interactions; user characteristics; effect of use; collaborative learning
Some Aspects of the Development of Low-Cost Augmented Reality Learning Environments as Examples for Future Interfaces in Technology Enhanced Learning BIBAKFull-Text 728-737
  Alexander K. Nischelwitzer; Franz-Josef Lenz; Gig Searle; Andreas Holzinger
Augmented Reality (AR) applications are becoming increasingly available for everyday applications. In this paper, we concentrate on how to design and develop applications for educational purposes with the use of the ARToolkit and present an example from the area of human medicine. Since good Usability is essential, especially for non-expert end users, including both children and the elderly, we put particular emphasis on how to ensure good Usability. For both groups of end users, this technology has high potential and can be of great benefit. Within a small scale usability study amongst children, we could gain first experiences in their interaction with such applications. An essential factor is the notion of play, which could be beneficial to transport difficult learning material. On the basis of the gained insight, we provide an outlook for further work and we conclude that elderly could also benefit from this technology.
Keywords: Future Interfaces; e-Learning; Augmented Reality; Virtual Reality
Students' Attitudes Towards Novel Interfaces in E-Learning BIBAKFull-Text 738-747
  Margit Pohl; Ilona Herbst; Franz Reichl; Sylvia Wiltner
There is still very little research about students' attitudes about e-learning. Such information seems to be necessary for a successful implementation of e-learning. Current research indicates that main advantages of e-learning are its flexibility and the provision of online learning material. A major drawback, as perceived by the students, is the lack of personal relationships. We conducted two focus groups to clarify these issues (N=54). The study supported the results from the literature. In addition, we found a few controversial issues as, e.g., preference for lectures/textbooks and tight schedules vs. preference for online learning and few deadlines. Another controversial issue was electronic assessment.
Keywords: students' attitudes; learner-centered design; academic teaching; university didactics
The Impact of m-Learning in School Contexts: An "Inclusive" Perspective BIBAKFull-Text 748-755
  Francesca Pozzi
M-learning takes advantage of the use of mobile technologies (i.e. mobile phones, personal digital assistants, handheld computers) and allows students to carry out activities in a variety of settings and according to different paces. The paper discusses the main changes and challenges brought about by the use of m-technologies in school contexts with a special attention on one hand to the limitations posed, and on the other to the possibilities for enhancing students' inclusion.
Keywords: mobile; learning; impact; school; inclusion; technologies
Instructional Technology and Faculty Development: How iWRITE Challenges Course Design and Teaching Methods BIBAKFull-Text 756-765
  Margaret Procter
Use of the web-enabled software iWRITE in courses across the disciplines at several Canadian universities demonstrates that implementing instructional technology can lead faculty members to reconsider and reformulate their teaching methods. iWRITE operates in course-specific sites. It supports the integration of writing into disciplinary courses by displaying examples of past student work alongside grading criteria and instructor comments. Instructors unfamiliar with learning theory that validates the use of models may initially fear student copying or distrust the adequacy of student samples as guides, but many have rethought their assignments and strengthened other methods of instruction to take advantage of this method. In co-taught courses, selecting benchmark papers and formulating grading criteria requires examination of disciplinary values and frank discussion of standards. The effort of writing clear comments on the student samples also requires explicit formulation of disciplinary assumptions about the nature of knowledge and the relationship between writing and thinking.
Keywords: instructional technology; writing in the disciplines; faculty development
Technology-Mediated Provision of Models: Observational Learning for First Year Students BIBAKFull-Text 766-775
  J. Barbara Rose
First year students coming into university are often puzzled by the expectations of university discourse. For students in the Academic Bridging Program (ABP) directed at mature and under-prepared students this is especially manifest; these same questions are often expressed by students in traditional first year university classes. This challenge has been assisted by the use of a web-enabled software program, iWRITE which displays examples of past student work of essay assignments along with detailed comments by course instructors. The subsequent success of students in acquiring not only structures and vocabulary to help them navigate this new world of academic discourse but also a heightened sense of self-efficacy supports the concept of observational learning by the technology-mediated provision of models.
Keywords: instructional technology; observational learning; self-efficacy
English for Academic Purposes in Israel: Perceptions of E-Learning from the Perspectives of Learners and Teachers BIBAKFull-Text 776-785
  Bella Rubin; Helen Sarid
This exploratory study investigates, from the perspectives of learners and teachers, how e-learning is implemented in the domain of English for Academic Purposes (EAP), particularly in the teaching of reading and writing skills in universities and colleges in Israel. The study adapts Ben Shneiderman's [1] view that learner-centered measures should be used to evaluate educational progress. The study was conducted in a natural setting, using a grounded approach and qualitative interpretation of data. Teachers who used e-learning responded to open-ended questions about their practices. Their students responded to open-ended questions which explored their perceptions of learning outcomes in academic language courses. To elicit in-depth reflection, volunteer students and teachers were interviewed. The findings may lay the groundwork for future studies exploring how e-learning affects students' learning strategies, teacher/student relationships, the very nature of the classroom, to name but a few theoretical and pedagogical issues encountered.
Keywords: EAP; perceived learning outcomes; e-learning; blended learning
AudioStoryTeller: Enforcing Blind Children Reading Skills BIBAKFull-Text 786-795
  Jaime Sánchez; Iván Galáz
Children tend to learn language conventions through processing environment stimuli. Thus, strategies for reading comprehension are commonly used for this purpose. This paper introduces AudioStoryTeller, a tool for pocketPC to support the development of reading and writing skills in learners with visual disabilities (LWVD) through storytelling, providing diverse evaluation tools to measure those skills. We implemented usability and cognitive evaluation to the AudioStoryTeller software. In the usability evaluation, the easiness of use of the proposed hardware by LWVD was established. The goal of the cognitive evaluation was to measure the development of reading skills through interactive audio narrations using a pocketPC device. Results indicate that users were able to utilize effortless the pocketPC device. AudioStoryTeller software together with cognitive tasks, can contribute to the development of cognitive skills in LWVD. This application allows LVD to have access to unlimited scope of books not available in printed Braille.
Keywords: Learners with visual disabilities; blind children; reading skills; PDA; pocketPC; Text-To-Speech; Audio
Basic Skills Training to Disabled and Adult Learners Through an Accessible e-Learning Platform BIBAKFull-Text 796-805
  Olga C. Santos; Jesus Boticario; Alicia Fernández del Viso; Santiago Pérez de la Cámara; Carlos Rebate Sánchez; Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo
In the paper we present the first evaluation results obtained in the framework of ALPE (Accessible Learning Platform for Europe -- EC-029328) a market validation project partially funded by the European Commission through the European Community Programme "eTEN". During the first three months of the project, ALPE service is being customised to the needs of end-users in Spain, the U.K. and Greece. In addition, a small scale test of the service has already been performed by a group of visually and hearing impaired and adult learners coordinated by SIDAR Foundation. In this paper we describe i) ALPE service, including the platform and the courses offered, ii) the validation process and iii) the results from the initial end-user evaluation.
Keywords: Disabled students; Accessibility and evaluation; Basic skills market validation; educational standards; Learning platforms; Open courses
Interface of Online Mini-Go-Game with Pen Input Guide for the Blind BIBAKFull-Text 806-812
  Michio Shimizu; Masahiko Sugimoto; Kazunori Itoh
In this paper, an interface of a Mini-Go-game (Go game with a 9x9 board) on a network for the blind is studied. If the Mini-Go-game on the Internet for the blind can be realized as a web application using PC or a cellular phone, it is easy to obtain an opponent without going out. Therefore, we introduce a pen input guide which correspond to a 9x9 board, and propose a co-operative system of a Mini-Go-game with sound feedback.
Keywords: Mini-Go-game; visually impaired; pen input guide; sound feedback; co-operative system; virtual sound screen
Enhancing Universal Access -- EEG Based Learnability Assessment BIBAKFull-Text 813-822
  Christian Stickel; Josef Fink; Andreas Holzinger
This paper presents initial research on a new learnability assessment methodology. We propose the use of electroencephalography (EEG) to further improve usability testing. We discovered whether and to what extend there is a correlation between brainwave patterns and the learnability of the software used. Our central hypothesis is that learnability can be assessed by analyzing the rise and fall of specific frequency bands in electroencephalographic recordings. In order to collect empirical evidence for our hypothesis, we conducted an experiment with N=32 participants. We developed a test environment comprising a low-cost EEG system and developed software for analysis and testing. Based on our findings, we consider our EEG-based learnability test applicable, either as a pre-test -- in order to determine whether further testing is necessary -- or as an augmenting method during standard usability testing. The users' emotions, registered on the EEG, can be applied as a baseline for detecting possible usability difficulties and employed in the development of a biological rapid-usability method for accessibility assessment.
Keywords: Learnability; Biological usability testing; EEG; evaluation method
Learning Through Exploration, Autonomy, Collaboration, and Simulation: The 'all-in-one' Virtual School of the Hellas Alive!© Online, Language-Learning Platform BIBAKFull-Text 823-832
  Dimitris Tolias; George Exadaktylos
The Hellenic American Union (HAU), in Greece, in collaboration with the Academy of Electronic Media at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in the USA, has developed Hellas Alive!©, an online language and culture learning platform for teaching Greek as a Foreign Language with emphasis on interactivity for language learning, cultural awareness, and communication. The platform comprises the Virtual School component, the Virtual City component and the cultural Playspaces component. Language learning takes place in the Virtual School which supports autonomous exploration, simulation, representation and collaboration, with rich multimedia content and synchronous and asynchronous learning tools. Its interface includes an expandable playlist that provides users with all the tools necessary for effective language learning. Such tools include unlimited options to read text, to listen to audio, to watch video or to see images, to record, to submit audio and text, to perform 23 different types of exercises with instant automated error feedback, to chat with other users, and to share material with other users. The platform also includes a variety of interfaces with additional information on language and vocabulary. Users can activate them every time they encounter the corresponding grammatical item or word.
Keywords: Modern Greek; language learning; exploration; autonomy; collaboration; simulation; online
Co-learn: Collaborative Learning Engine a Vision for Pervasive Collaboration in E-Learning BIBAKFull-Text 833-842
  Vaibhav Tyagi; Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed
The quest for knowledge has been an intricate part of the human psyche and, more often than not, we learn by sharing our experiences and combining our efforts. Collaboration is an important part of the learning experience, and when combined with the technological boom of present times, can be a platform for the future of continuous education. In this paper, we present our vision of a collaborative learning engine, which allows the users to collaborate in real time using their mobile devices, such as smart phones and/or PDAs. Our proposed collaborative learning engine will allow handheld devices to communicate among each other and share text, files, audio and video from different sources. In our initial design and development, we have addressed up to eight devices for streaming video and audio content, however other channels of collaboration can be extended for more users.
Keywords: Co-Learn; Collaborated; Collaborative; Pervasive; Learning; Life Long Learning; Mobile Collaboration
Effects of Group Composition in Collaborative Learning of EFL Writing BIBAKFull-Text 843-849
  Siew-Rong Wu
This study was conducted to compare two types of group composition and their effects on collaborative learning of EFL writing in PBL lessons. Participants in the experiments were 60 students taking the researcher's basic writing classes in the fall semester, from September 2003 to January 2004. Outcomes of bimonthly automatic online writing assessments using My Access showed that group composition did affect writing learning outcomes. Small groups of learners with even distribution of levels of writing proficiency did outperform the groups with randomly mixed learners of varied levels of English writing proficiency. This finding indicated that when less capable learners collaborated with more capable learners in small group learning activities, the learning outcomes could be greatly enhanced. This implies that when taking the PBL approach in learning to write, groups composed of learners with evenly distributed levels of writing proficiency may achieve much better learning outcomes than randomly formed groups.
Keywords: group composition; automatic online writing assessment; Zone of Proximal Development; collaborative learning; PBL; ill-structured problems; knowledge facilitator

Part IV: Universal Access to eServices

E- Health System for Coagulation Function Management by Elderly People BIBAKFull-Text 853-859
  Noemi Biterman; Eyal Lerner; Haim Bitterman
E- Health is a developing area of major social, medical and economic importance especially for the elderly population and citizens of remote areas. Our objectives were to identify visualization methods for a patient-oriented system of collection, storage, and retrieval of coagulation function data, The research group included 25 elderly (72.2±5.5 years) and 25 young participants (30.4±4.9 years). The participants completed tasks based on different visualization models for data entry and follow-up of clinical information, in three experimental websites equipped with hidden tracking programs. We followed functional parameters (time, acuity), subjective parameters (preference, satisfaction) and physiological parameters (pulse, skin temperature, sweating, respiratory rate, and muscle tension). Time for task completion was significantly longer in elderly compared to younger participants in all experimental websites, without significant differences in accuracy. Yet, in specific tasks the elderly performed better than young participants. Specific suggestions for data entry and data visualization are presented.
Keywords: E-care; interactive healthcare services; data visualization; patient-oriented systems; telemedicine; design methods
Feed the Dragon Wisely: Designing for Childhood Awareness as a Means of Lifelong Obesity Prevention BIBAKFull-Text 860-868
  Shunying Blevis; Jeffrey Bardzell; Nancy Wroblewski
Obesity is becoming a global epidemic. Obesity education, especially childhood obesity education, has become an issue for the public health community agenda in a lot of countries. In this paper we will report on an interactive educational toy we designed and prototyped for obesity education. We propose design refinements and marketing strategies to make the toy available to educate children more widely and effectively.
Keywords: Obesity education; Childhood obesity; Interactive educational toy; Tangible interface
2D Numeric-Based Voice-Driven Browser for the Visual Impairments BIBAKFull-Text 869-873
  Chi Nung Chu; Yu Ting Huang; Yao-Ming Yeh
As the aging populations are increasing, there is a need to support non-visual interaction for them in surfing the World Wide Web. This paper discusses the efficacy for the design of Voice-Driven Browser, a voice-controlled, HTML document reader/browser for the WWW. Voice-Driven Browser comprises three significant components: voice recognition, voice generation and hypertext navigation. The purpose of the integrated voice-driven browser with 2D screen reader design is to provide aging people with convenience and efficiency that will bring the WWW to those with impaired vision problems.
Keywords: 2D Numeric-Based Voice-Driven Browser; Visual Impairments
Case Study of Applying Wireless Technologies into Healthcare Industry in China and UK BIBAKFull-Text 874-882
  Guixia Kang; Li Zhang; Shanghong Li; Ping Zhang; Said Boussakta
In recent years, there have been growing interest and activities of introducing wireless technologies into healthcare industry. Successful development and deployment of wireless e-Health (WEHealth) systems is geographically dependent in respect of national regulations, regional economic development, and available medial infrastructures and resources, etc. In this paper, the applications of wireless technologies into healthcare industry are investigated in China and UK respectively. Based on the case study of wireless healthcare in China and UK, this paper will analyze the impact of above mentioned factors on the integration of wireless technologies and healthcare applications, and propose possible solutions based on the analysis.
Keywords: e-Health; wireless; healthcare; homecare
Attitude Toward Wireless Applications in Healthcare Industry in China BIBAKFull-Text 883-892
  Guixia Kang; Yue Ouyang; Da Liu; Huaqing Wang; Ping Zhang
A validated questionnaire evaluating the attitude of Chinese people toward wireless applications in healthcare industry was administered to around 1,000 people from Oct. 2006 to Jan. 2007. Investigated subjects include people with different occupations and in different age levels. Investigated content covers preferred service types of wireless applications in healthcare, people's concerns towards the wireless services, etc. Investigated methods include interviewing and dispatching questionnaires. The objective of the survey is to assess people's acceptability and requirement toward wireless applications in healthcare industry, called Wireless e-Health or "WEHealth" for short. Result reveals that people's attitude toward WEHealth in China is positive basically; An overall analysis of questionnaires reveals some interesting results and some problems we should be pay more attention to in the future industrialization process of WEHealth systems and services.
Keywords: Questionnaire; wireless; healthcare
Users and Trust: The New Threats, the New Possibilities BIBAKFull-Text 893-902
  Kristiina Karvonen
In this paper, we describe the current threats and possibilities in the online environment from a user's perspective on basis of literary analysis and a set of user studies concentrating on online trust formation and expression. The work includes a review on the current level of understanding about online trust, what kind of research has been done and what the basic ingredients of trust might be in the future. By comparing the new results with results gained in 1999, we can see how the situation has been changing. The analysis is based on research conducted on trust between 1999 and 2007, utilising user studies, ethnography, cultural studies, aesthetics, and basic usability engineering as methods. We also include some discussion on the appropriateness of various methods available for studying online trust, and propose directions for new trust research as a field inside human-computer interaction.
Keywords: Security; human factors; trust; qualitative; user study; cross-cultural; identity; risk; perception
Ontology-Based User Preference Modeling for Enhancing Interoperability in Personalized Services BIBAKFull-Text 903-912
  Ju-Yeon Kim; Jong Woo Kim; Chang Soo Kim
Personalized services that provide users with adaptive information filtered from heterogeneous and numerous information makes human-computer interaction efficient. Although personalized services have been researched in the various, heterogeneous information and users have raised the problem of defining a generic user model that would be used as a basis for recommending personalized information. Moreover, it is difficult to share the users' information. In this paper, we propose ontology-based user preference model as one of the solution to resolve the problems. In our model, user preference is described in User Preference Description Language (UPDL) with various domain ontologies. UPDL is a simple and OWL-based description language that allows users to describe their preference over domain ontologies. It provides not only rich expressiveness, reusability and flexibility but also the novel personalized services that can access and utilize not only user preferences in the own service but also in other services.
Keywords: Personalized Services; Interoperability; Ontology; User Preference Modeling; Domain Ontologies
A Non-visual Approach to Improving Collaboration Between Blind and Sighted Internet Users BIBAKFull-Text 913-922
  Ravi Kuber; Wai Yu; Graham McAllister
Assistive technologies have widened access to the Web, by providing a non-visual representation of page content for blind individuals. However, restrictions imposed by screen readers and Braille output devices have led to the development of mental representations of a web page, which differ considerably from the visual layout. As a result, both blind and sighted users find it difficult to perform joint web-based tasks. In this paper, we have applied a structured participatory-based approach to develop haptic sensations to assist the collaborative process. Preliminary results are reported and on-going development is discussed. It is anticipated that findings from the study will inform a haptic framework, which will assist developers when designing an accessible collaborative interface, using the benefits which the sense of touch can offer.
Keywords: Blind; collaboration; haptic; Web accessibility
Idea Movement of Aging Citizens: Lessons-Learnt from Innovation Workshops BIBAKFull-Text 923-931
  Jaana Leikas
The demographic revolution, rapid aging in Europe has raised the creation of innovation market as one of the most important elements in the European strategy. During 2006 VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland carried out a campaign called the Idea Movement of Aging Citizens, where mobile service ideas were collected from aging citizens for open use. The ground for the campaign was the fact that the aging persons are the best experts of their own needs and should thus have more say in the development of new mobile services. Around 4300 ideas were collected in 13 innovation workshops in Finland. About 750 aging citizens participated in these workshops. This paper presents experiences and lessons-learnt of using innovation workshops as a method for activating aging people to work as idea generators for mobile services.
Keywords: User-driven innovation; aging citizens; mobile technology
Accessing e-Government Services: Design Requirements for the Older User BIBAKFull-Text 932-940
  Lorna Lines; Oluchi Ikechi; Kate S. Hone
Access to e-Government services, such as welfare, housing and financial assistance is typically achieved through accessing, completing and submitting paper-based forms. Current UK e-Government strategies indicate that such service access forms will be made available online. With the aging population considered as a primary user of these services this paper promotes the need to establish older adults' online form design requirements. Building on previous research [see 8], the current investigation validates and extends previous online form design requirements for an aging user group. The paper opens with an overview of current UK e-Government initiatives and promotes the investigation of older adults' online form design requirements, not only to assist this vulnerable user group with independent living but also to support social inclusion.
Keywords: Older adults; online forms; e-Government
An Accessible Platform for Conference Administration and Management BIBAKFull-Text 941-950
  George Margetis; Stavroula Ntoa; Maria Bouhli; Constantine Stephanidis
Nowadays online conference management systems are an essential tool for the organization of a conference. However, most such systems do not provide support for accessibility by disabled users. This paper discusses the design and development of a platform supporting the development of accessible conference management systems, focusing on accessibility integration through the use of an iterative approach. Accessibility issues as they ere raised during the evaluation procedure are also discussed.
Keywords: Accessibility; model-based web application development; conference management
Service Science: Applications of Observation to Real World Business BIBAKFull-Text 951-960
  Haruhito Matsunami
Original methodology of service science, that combines three methods (obtaining service data using ergonomics methods, analyzing service data using statistical methods, improving service using information technology) was constructed. Service science approach was implemented for interactions with customers such as daily life observation, shopping behavior observation, and talk analysis, and for employee's nonroutine tasks, such as gas pipe construction work observation. The service science methodology improves customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction by improving productivity and safety of the work.
Keywords: service science; observation; customer satisfaction; human behavior
VoiceBlog for Blind and Weak-Eyed People BIBAKFull-Text 961-969
  Yoshie Soutome Sagata; Masahiro Watanabe; Yoko Asano
We introduce VoiceBlog, a blog reading browser based on the concept of universal design. Existing screen reading software used by blind people for PC access fails to support rapid understanding of the original blog structure and contents. VoiceBlog has a cascading user interface, hierarchically structured, and can well parse strictly-structured Web content such as blogs. It uses an audio user interface rule, which simplifies the comprehension of contents and menus (arrangement of contents based on construction, simplification, and navigation) to allow blind and weak-eyed people to comfortably access blogs. Blind people can use the keyboard to access all functions. The arrangement and design of icons, colors and correspondence to hi-contrast functions can be customized for the weak-eyed and color blind. Four blind and four weak-eyed people participated in trials of VoiceBlog. The results showed that it allows the blind to access blog contents easily because keyboard manipulations are similar to usual reading browsers and screen readers. The shapes and color of the icons are easy to recognize for weak-eyed people.
Keywords: Universal design; blind people; blog reading browser; blog; hierarchic structure; cascading user interface
Inflection of In-Situ Ergonomics in Service Engineering BIBAKFull-Text 970-978
  Atsushi Shinya
"In-Situ Ergonomics" which extended the direct observation method was discussed. It is the method of using a sensor for data collection. By observing all the situations in which a user works for a long period of time, this method can be used in order to improve service. As an example, the use situation of the electric pot with a communication function was analyzed. Various users' use situation over one electric pot was clarified. And the improvement proposal of service was shown.
Keywords: In-Situ Ergonomics; direct observation method; sensors; datamining
Distributive Medical Management System BIBAKFull-Text 979-989
  Barbara Sorensen; Judith Riess; Eric Allely
Medical readiness has become a critical concern world wide. Threats across diverse operation environments, coupled with critical voids in both medical management and medical skills has made the development of new training and management tools and operational assessment methods for first-responders a high priority across global communities. That first response role incorporates a broad array of individuals providing field-based emergency medical services. As recently observed during and after the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina disaster in the United States, critical technological tools and training resources were not available to ensure that the involved first responders had pertinent information available to them to properly do their jobs. The deficiencies must be rectified in order to insure rapid response to natural and man made disasters. Tools that distribute knowledge to aid a range of first responders in evaluating a medical situation, guide them in the uniform collection and reporting of critical information and provide telemedicine clinical reach back to medical experts are essential components of today's medical preparedness. The Distributive Medical Curricula Architecture (DMCA) is designed to provide access to "just-in-time" training and streamline assessment and management of remote medical situations across military and civilian environments nationally and internationally.
Keywords: First responder; medical skills training; training management; remote treatment
Basic Consideration for Various Interfaces from Viewpoint of Service BIBAKFull-Text 990-996
  A. Toshiki Yamaoka; Mayuko Yoshida
Service business was classified into three categories. A design framework of user interface, especially screen design for the three categories of service was constructed roughly from viewpoint of theory of regulatory focus, transactional analysis (TA) and psychological impression. According to the three categories, three examples of screen design were designed roughly.
Keywords: Service; screen design; user interface; theory of regulatory focus; transactional analysis (TA); psychological impression
Specialized Design of Web Search Engine for the Blind People BIBAKFull-Text 997-1005
  Yi-Fan Yang; Sheue-Ling Hwang
In this research, Google Website was taken as a Web prototype to get modified. Specialized Search Engine for the Blind (SSEB) was constructed with an accessible interface and some improved functions (i.e., searching assistance functions, user-centered functions, and specialized design for the blind). An experiment was conducted to verify the effect of SSEB. From experimental results, it's significant that users attained better performance in SSEB than in Google. Users also showed higher satisfaction with SSEB. This research proves that the consideration for designing an accessible website for the blind users is very important. It is expected that the users group of SSEB can be expanded to all visual-impaired people in the future. So that all people can keep pace with the changing World Wide Web, and make good use of all the Internet resources without disabilities and limitations.
Keywords: Web search engine; Blind; Web searching; Web accessibility; Google
The Augmented Patient Chart: Seamless Integration of Physical and Digital Artifacts for Hospital Work BIBAKFull-Text 1006-1015
  Myrna S. Zamarripa; Víctor M. González; Jesús Favela
Even with the introduction of computer technology, paper-based artifacts remain ubiquitous in hospital settings. The need to manually transfer and update information from the physical to the digital realm is a common practice among hospital staff, which, although usually well managed, at times becomes a source for errors and inconsistencies. This paper presents an augmented patient chart system that preserves the use of paper and allows capturing information directly to the system through the use of a digital pen. An evaluation of the system with 22 volunteers indicates a significant reduction in the number of errors while reading information, a significant increment on the accuracy while annotating data, as well as a trend towards less time spent while annotating data on the digital paper. Based on our results, we argue that the design preserves the advantages associated with paper while increasing the availability of information and its trustworthiness.
Keywords: Ubiquitous computing; Hospital work; Physical artifacts; Digital paper