Can working with a
robot enhance learning
in children with
intellectual disabilities?
Joseph Hedgecock1, Penny Standen1,
C...
Why Robots?






Robots shown to be effective in teaching
both typically developing and intellectually
disabled childr...
The NAO Humanoid Robot
Produced by Aldebaran
robotics
 Aesthetic appeal
 Programmable


◦ New behaviours
◦ “Out the box...
Aims


To investigate the views of teaching staff
regarding the use of a robot
◦ What type of pupils they think might ben...
Methods - Interviews
8 Members of teaching staff recruited
Semi-structured interviews conducted with all 8 participants
Au...
Results - interviews




Numerous themes found, both deductive
(i.e. expected prior to interviews) and
inductive (i.e. d...
Teacher factors


Motivation of the gatekeepers to work
with the robot
◦ Perceived benefit
◦ Personal interest



The im...
Pupil Factors


“Our students aren’t like other students”
◦ Need to “tailor make” sessions
◦ Similarities



“The thing ...
Robot Factors


The importance of “Productive learning”
◦ Threats to “Productive learning”








Empowerment
The ...
Pilot Study methods






Used information from the interviews to
guide the design
Learning goals tailored to each pu...
Pilot Study methods


Teachers asked to complete “Engagement
Profile Scale” twice
◦ In class (standard lesson, without th...
Pupil 1 – Age 12
Aims:
 To learn the meaning of symbols through
interaction with the robot
 To recognise there must be a...
Pupil 2 – Age 10
Aims:
 To identify numerals up to ten, and
choose the correct one using a switch
Pupil 3 – Age 11
Aims:
 To encourage vocalisation by repeating
what the robot says (using her own voice
to increase engag...
Pupil 4 – Age 17
Aims:
 To correctly steer the robot from a start point to
an end point using a Smartphone’s
acceleromete...
Pupil 5 – Age 9
Aims:
 To deliberately trigger the robot to
perform a desired behaviour
 To refrain from attempting to r...
Results


A significant (p=0.04) increase in
engagement when working with the robot
Results


No significant changes in engagement,
teacher assistance or goal achievement
over the 5 sessions
◦ Engagement s...
Results
Engagement profile scale correlates
closely to engagement measured by video
analysis
30

100
90

70

20

60
15

50...
Limitations





Lack of a closely matched control
Small size
Short duration
Limitations of video analysis measures
Conclusions





Robot shown to increase engagement and
therefore learning
This engagement was sustained
throughout th...
Future directions




Further studies (longer, more participants)
Refine methods
Assess use in other situations (Adult
...
Can Working with a Robot Enhance Learning in Children with Intellectual Disabilities
Can Working with a Robot Enhance Learning in Children with Intellectual Disabilities
Can Working with a Robot Enhance Learning in Children with Intellectual Disabilities
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Can Working with a Robot Enhance Learning in Children with Intellectual Disabilities

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Can Working with a Robot Enhance Learning in Children with Intellectual Disabilities

  1. 1. Can working with a robot enhance learning in children with intellectual disabilities? Joseph Hedgecock1, Penny Standen1, Charlotte Beer1, David Brown2, David Stewart3 1.University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK 2.Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK 3.Oak Field School and Sports College, Wigman Road, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2. Why Robots?    Robots shown to be effective in teaching both typically developing and intellectually disabled children Increases motivation and engagement – important factors in learning BUT ◦ Small number of studies ◦ Focus mostly on autism, little research on PMLD/severe LD ◦ Wide variation in capabilities of “Robots”
  3. 3. The NAO Humanoid Robot Produced by Aldebaran robotics  Aesthetic appeal  Programmable  ◦ New behaviours ◦ “Out the box”      Sitting and standing Walking Dancing Playing sound files Capable of autonomous behaviour sequences
  4. 4. Aims  To investigate the views of teaching staff regarding the use of a robot ◦ What type of pupils they think might benefit from working with the robot ◦ Which learning goals they would target ◦ Which methods they would use to achieve them  To carry out a series of case studies to identify potential teaching strategies and possible outcome measures for a future evaluation.
  5. 5. Methods - Interviews 8 Members of teaching staff recruited Semi-structured interviews conducted with all 8 participants Audio-recordings of interviews transcribed verbatim Transcripts read and re-read Manual coding of transcripts Repeated reading and refinement of transcripts and codes Final codebook produced, containing both inductive and deductive themes All transcripts coded according to codebook Independent researcher calculated inter-rater reliability (71.4%)
  6. 6. Results - interviews   Numerous themes found, both deductive (i.e. expected prior to interviews) and inductive (i.e. derived from the interviews) Broadly able to be divided into 3 categories, although some overlap: ◦ “Teacher factors” ◦ “Pupil factors” ◦ “Robot factors”
  7. 7. Teacher factors  Motivation of the gatekeepers to work with the robot ◦ Perceived benefit ◦ Personal interest  The importance of training gatekeepers ◦ Practicalities of using the robot ◦ Effective teaching methods ◦ Delivery of training  How individual gatekeepers’ attitudes and skills may influence the use of the robot ◦ Time commitment ◦ Perseverance
  8. 8. Pupil Factors  “Our students aren’t like other students” ◦ Need to “tailor make” sessions ◦ Similarities  “The thing is they always surprise you”
  9. 9. Robot Factors  The importance of “Productive learning” ◦ Threats to “Productive learning”       Empowerment The importance of accessibility Motivating and engaging students “It’s like a little person” Concerns about damage Concerns about the cost
  10. 10. Pilot Study methods      Used information from the interviews to guide the design Learning goals tailored to each pupil Robot controlled using “Wizard of Oz” technique 5 pupils, 5 sessions, 3 weeks Video recorded and analysed using Obswin for 3 factors ◦ Engagement ◦ Assistance from teacher ◦ Goal achievement
  11. 11. Pilot Study methods  Teachers asked to complete “Engagement Profile Scale” twice ◦ In class (standard lesson, without the robot) ◦ Looking at video of session 5 (with the robot)    This is an assessment tool developed by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) Rates 7 domains of engagement on a scale of 0-4, giving a total out of 28 Specific to the activity
  12. 12. Pupil 1 – Age 12 Aims:  To learn the meaning of symbols through interaction with the robot  To recognise there must be an order to some actions (e.g. Must stand up before walking)  To put together sequences of up to 4 actions
  13. 13. Pupil 2 – Age 10 Aims:  To identify numerals up to ten, and choose the correct one using a switch
  14. 14. Pupil 3 – Age 11 Aims:  To encourage vocalisation by repeating what the robot says (using her own voice to increase engagement)
  15. 15. Pupil 4 – Age 17 Aims:  To correctly steer the robot from a start point to an end point using a Smartphone’s accelerometer as a steering wheel.  To correctly answer questions about the direction travelled
  16. 16. Pupil 5 – Age 9 Aims:  To deliberately trigger the robot to perform a desired behaviour  To refrain from attempting to retrigger the behaviour until the previous behaviour has finished completely.
  17. 17. Results  A significant (p=0.04) increase in engagement when working with the robot
  18. 18. Results  No significant changes in engagement, teacher assistance or goal achievement over the 5 sessions ◦ Engagement sustained ◦ Changes in difficulty?
  19. 19. Results Engagement profile scale correlates closely to engagement measured by video analysis 30 100 90 70 20 60 15 50 40 30 20 10 0 % engagement (session 5) Engagement Scale Score (Session 5) Pupil 10 5 0 Engagement scale score 25 80 Percentage engagement 
  20. 20. Limitations     Lack of a closely matched control Small size Short duration Limitations of video analysis measures
  21. 21. Conclusions     Robot shown to increase engagement and therefore learning This engagement was sustained throughout the study Pupils able to have control using a wide range of input devices Use of robots in education of children with intellectual disabilities has enormous potential for the future
  22. 22. Future directions    Further studies (longer, more participants) Refine methods Assess use in other situations (Adult learners, medical education)

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