Concept Mapping for Virtual Rehabilitation and Training of the Blind
Concept mapping is a technique that allows for the strengthening of the learning process, based on graphic representations of the learner’s mental schemes. However, due to its graphic nature, it cannot be utilized by learners with visual disabilities. In response to this limitation we implemented a study that involves the design of AudiodMC, an audio-based, virtual environment for concept mapping designed for use by blind users and aimed at virtual training and rehabilitation. We analyzed the stages involved in the design of AudiodMC from a user-centered design perspective, considering user involvement and usability testing. These include an observation stage to learn how blind learners construct conceptual maps using concrete materials, a design stage to design of a software tool that aids blind users in creating concept maps, and a cognitive evaluation stage using AudiodMC. We also present the results of a study implemented in order to determine the impact of the use of this software on the development of essential skills for concept mapping (association, classification, categorization, sorting and summarizing). The results point to a high level of user acceptance, having identified key sound characteristics that help blind learners to learn concept codification and selection skills. The use of AudiodMC also allowed for the effective development of the skills under review in our research, thus facilitating meaningful learning.
DOI: DOI: 10.1109/TNSRE.2009.2032186
Quote ItemIEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NEURAL SYSTEMS AND REHABILITATION ENGINEERING, VOL. 18, NO. 2, APRIL 2010