Usability and Feasibility of an English Vocabulary Program Using an Intelligent Tutoring System

Usability and Feasibility of an English Vocabulary Program Using an Intelligent Tutoring System

First Author: Doris Luft Baker -- Dept. of Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Jillian Conry; Paul Polanco; Stephanie Al Otaiba
Keywords: Vocabulary, Early childhood age 3-8, Biliteracy, Teacher perceptions, Second Language
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose
This poster will present results of the usability and feasibility of an English language vocabulary program (ELVA) designed to improve the vocabulary knowledge and language proficiency of second-grade, Spanish-speaking English-language learners (ELLs) in the United States. Usability will be examined based on Seffah et al.’s (2006) standards such as learnability, efficiency in use, retention of concepts over time, and user satisfaction. Feasibility will be examined following studies described by Bowen et al. (2009) such as acceptability, demand, implementation, practicality, and integration.
ELVA uses an intelligent tutoring system in which an avatar tutor provides prompts and feedback to students on a variety of vocabulary activities connected to abstract words grounded in passages related to science and social studies topics. The program is intended to be used for 20-30 minutes per day for approximately 24 weeks.

Method
Participants include 10 teachers and 60 second-grade Hispanic ELLs with varying levels of English language proficiency from 10 classrooms in 5 schools.
Measures. Teachers. Monthly surveys, interviews, general classroom observations. Students. Monthly surveys, observations of interactions with the intelligent tutor, program logs of responses, assessments of oral reading fluency and comprehension.

Results
Preliminary observations revealed that students were engaged, liked ELVA, and were eager to using the program. In addition, preliminary analyses of student responses suggest that students improved in three areas of vocabulary development after one week of participation: accuracy of responses, linguistic quality, and target vocabulary use. Conclusions regarding the acceptability, demand, implementation, practicality, and integration of ELVA will be presented and discussed.