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01-06-2015 | Issue 2/2015

Journal of Computers in Education 2/2015

A preliminary study on instructional design of Chinese input method for blind students

Journal:
Journal of Computers in Education > Issue 2/2015
Authors:
Jan-Li Wang, Teng-Hua Weng, Sheue-Ling Hwang, Cin-Wei Huang, Shwu-Ching Young

Abstract

Although the screen reader affords the blind to manipulate and input Chinese characters into a computer, a major problem still exists because the blind have difficulties in selecting the right character among those candidates having the same pronunciation but with different meanings. In consequence, the frequent typos shown on entering texts have hindered the readers from understanding their writing, which in turn affects their performance in school and workplace. Thus, this study aims to help blind children improve their typing accuracy from when they start learning Chinese in the elementary school. For this purpose, we first investigated a suitable Chinese typing method for the visually impaired, and then designed and constructed a self-learning instruction for blind students with assistive technology to learn an effective Chinese input method. This study was conducted in three phases: I. Examining a suitable Chinese typing method for the visually impaired in Taiwan; II. Designing and implementing instructional materials based on the results from phase I; and III. Evaluating the effectiveness of the course materials. Two out of the six participants completed the course training, and a six-month follow-up was conducted. It was found that the accuracy rates of Chinese character input for the two subjects were greatly enhanced in this preliminary study. The inspiring and promising results indicate that there is a need to further apply this input method to more visually impaired children in our future study. We hope more blind children can benefit from this input method and courseware through our long-term efforts.

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