Design of a mobile support and content authoring tool to support deaf adults training in computer literacy skills

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This dissertation investigates the challenges that Deaf adults encounter at the task of learning computer literacy skills. Deaf adults who communicate using South African Sign Language (SASL) come from poor socio-economic backgrounds are not familiar with the written form of English. They rely on interpreters and Deaf teachers to translate written text into SASL for them to learn computer literacy skill. We present our theme of support, in which Deaf people learn via an intermediary, a teacher or facilitator, in intermediated supported learning. We propose a shift from intermediated supported learning to multimedia supported learning which is most appropriate for the context. Using Community-based co-design we implement two systems: an authoring tool to support lesson content creation by the teacher and a mobile prototype that uses sign language videos to provide computer literacy instruction. We evaluate the two systems to evaluate if they support multimedia-supported learning. The authoring tool allowed the facilitator to create tailored lessons for the Deaf learners using pre-recorded SASL videos and images. The Deaf learners demonstrated ability to do self-paced learning while using the mobile system, better suited to Deaf learners with basic exposure to computer literacy skills.