StoryScape : fun technology for supporting learning, language and social engagement through story craft
Author(s)Eckhardt, Micah Rye
Story Scape : fun technology for supporting learning, language and social engagement through story craft
Fun technology for supporting learning, language and social engagement through story craft
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences.
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects approximately 1-in-68 persons and 1-in-42 boys. Challenges related to communication form a core characteristic of the ASD condition. Literature suggests the single most important prognostic indicator for young children diagnosed with ASD is communication ability. Yet, engaging children diagnosed with ASD in communication centered activities is one of the cardinal challenges presented by the condition and contributes to poor outcome. This work explores the development, implementation and testing of StoryScape, a platform for engaging children diagnosed with ASD in communication centered activities. Through extensive work with the ASD community, I have sought to develop a more holistic learning technology around communication. The StoryScape platform connects web, mobile, and physical technologies through interactive stories, enabling fun and engaging learning through story creation and other activities. While the main focus of this work is related to children diagnosed with ASD, I also present a number of exploratory studies conducted with neurotypical children. In total, six exploratory studies, three with children diagnosed with ASD and three with neurotypical children, are presented. These studies demonstrate the many uses of StoryScape, and were critical for eliciting feedback on usability and design features during its iterative development. In addition, I present the results from a seven-week study of story co-creation, conducted as a whole-class activity with students diagnosed with ASD. Results show a statistically significant increase in vocal expressions during use of StoryScape. Students also demonstrate a strong preference for the StoryScape activity compared to other activities. Teachers reported being surprised by the high level of student engagement and cooperation with each other, and they reported that students looked forward to using StoryScape daily. While teachers reported meaningful communication improvements during use of StoryScape for all of their students, one student was described by his teacher as "a totally different student when using StoryScape."
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2015.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 127-133).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences.