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IES Contract

Title: MyASL Quizmaker
Center: NCSER Year: 2011
Principal Investigator: Vinopol, Corrine Awardee: Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, Inc.
Program: Small Business Innovation Research in Special Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2.5 years Award Amount: $1,050,000
Type: Fast Track Award Number: EDIES11C0032

Phase I Amount: $149,989
Phase I Period: 6 months

Phase II Amount: $899,951
Phase II Period: 2 years

Product Video Demonstration:

Purpose: American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual and gestural language that is distinct from English, has its own grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and no text representation. Despite the differences between the languages, students who use ASL are typically assessed with protocols for English-speaking students, as few exist specifically for students who use ASL. Not surprisingly, prior research shows that tests administered in English to ASL students often do not provide an accurate measure of progress. This project will develop a reliable testing mechanism to evaluate deaf individuals who communicate with ASL in the areas of vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension.

Project Activities: After content is selected, mockups will be scripted to be visually appealing and easy to navigate by ASL students. Next, programming language will be authored to enable users to interact with the software, and videos will be produced to support implementation. Each of the components will be iteratively tested with students and teachers until complete. To assess implementation feasibility, the usability of the technology, and the validity of the product to provide accurate assessments, the final version of the assessments will be used in 10 classrooms over a 1-month period. Teachers will complete surveys to assess the ease of use and integration of the product within existing practices.

Product: The myASL Quizmaker will provide web-based assessments for deaf or hard of hearing students who use ASL. This product will provide automatic ASL graphic and video translations for students, enable teachers to create customized tests, exams, and quizzes that are automatically scored, and provide teacher reports with grades and corrected quizzes. The English-to-ASL translation capabilities of this new assistive technology will be populated with an existing lexicon of 13,000 English words, phrases, and idioms, and the corresponding 5,500 signs. This project will also develop 300 new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) words to be added to this lexicon.