Evaluating the role of a humanoid robot to support learning in children with profound and multiple disabilities

Hedgecock, J., Standen, P.J., Beer, C., Brown, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-1677-7485 and Stewart, D.S., 2014. Evaluating the role of a humanoid robot to support learning in children with profound and multiple disabilities. Journal of Assistive Technologies, 8 (3), pp. 111-123. ISSN 1754-9450


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Purpose: To identify i) ways teachers might employ a robot to achieve learning objectives with pupils with intellectual disabilities and ii) potential outcome measures. Design/methodology/approach: A series of five case studies where teacher-pupil dyads were observed during five planned video recorded sessions with a humanoid robot. Engagement was rated in a classroom setting and during the last session with the robot. Video recordings were analysed for duration of engagement, teacher assistance and number of goals achieved. Results: Teachers identified a wide range of learning objectives ranging from an appreciation of cause and effect to improving the pupil’s sense of direction. The robot’s role could be to reward behaviour, provide cues or provide an active element to learning. Rated engagement was significantly higher with the robot than in the classroom. Research implications: A robot with a range of functions that allowed it to be engaging and motivating for the wide range of pupils in special education would be expensive and require teachers to learn how to use it. The findings identify ways to provide evidence that this expenditure of time and money is worthwhile. Originality/value: There is almost no research teachers can refer to on using robots to support learning in children with intellectual disabilities. This paper is therefore of value for researchers who wish to investigate using robots to educate children with intellectual disabilities, as it can provide vital information to aid study design.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Assistive Technologies
Creators: Hedgecock, J., Standen, P.J., Beer, C., Brown, D. and Stewart, D.S.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 2014
Volume: 8
Number: 3
ISSN: 1754-9450
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 28 Oct 2015 10:34
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:56
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/25967

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