• Computer engineers from the University of Oviedo incorporate voice recognition to access virtual campuses

    November 20, 2013

    The systems enables acces to e-learning platforms from mobile phones simply by talking

    International students using a movile device

    Researchers from the University of Oviedo have developed a system that incorporates a new access channel to the traditional e-learning platforms: your voice. Accessing a virtual campus via a mobile phone without needing to use a keyboard or improving accessibility for visually-impaired people to this type of platforms are some of the direct applications of the system designed by the PULSO research team (Pervasive and Ubiquitous Learning and Semantics Oviedo), led by Juan Ramón Pérez Pérez y Puerto Paule Ruiz, professors from the Department of Computer Science.

    Currently, none of the main platforms of online learning incorporates the possibility of accessing it via a voice command. The prototype developed at the School of Computer Science Engineering will allow students to acces their profiles with a mobile phone at any time and using their voices to check their grades, the schedule of events or their pending tasks.

    The new development, that facilitates the online learning of visually-impaired people, has been awarded the prize for best work presented during the prestigious ITiCSE 2013 international meeting

    "The student gains in accessibility because they do not have to be on a computer to access and use the virtual campus, and that allows them to take advantage of their free time and commute", explains professor Juan Ramón Pérez. The thesis by professor Víctor Álvarez, co-directed by Puerto Paule and Marcus Matthäus Specht (Open University of Nederland en Holanda), was the starting point of the idea of incorporating voice commands as an access channel to virtual learning environments.

    The work developed by the PULSO team was awarded last summer with the prize for best talk presented at the 2013 ITiCSE (Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education), which took place at the University of Kent, in the United Kingdom. ITiCSE is one of the congresses of international reference in the field of e-learning. This research is framed within the nationa project titled "Improving Performance and Robustness of Dynamic Languages to develop Efficient, Scalable and Reliable Software", directed by professor Francisco Ortín Soler, from the Department of Computer Science.

    Monitoring learning

    In order to go a step further, the Asturian engineers have based their project on a cross-curricular approach that allows them to "monitor the behavioral pattern of each student in the learning process that they follow in the virtual campus", explains Juan Ramón Pérez. Thus, the computer science engineers are collaborating with professors Carlos Núñez and Rebeca Cerezo, from the area of Evolutionary and Educational Psychology of the University of Oviedo, to develop a series of markers that allow the students to be aware of their own learning process in the system, offering them real-time feedback so that they can modify their learning patterns.

    Authors of the talk

    • María Puerto Paule Ruiz
    • Víctor Manuel Álvarez García
    • Juan Ramón Pérez Pérez


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