It`s July and many have started their summer vacation. For the DSL+-project this summer will be the last two months before the intervention starts in September. Before then half of the material is to be finalized and programed as an App. This means that there is a lot of activity going on in the research project group during the summer months.
The material for the DSL+ app has been piloted again this spring. Norwegian readers can read about the first piloting last year focusing on motivation here. The piloting this spring had a broader aim. Amongst other things we wanted to test the functionality of the tasks and the task structure. This means both task content and the more operational aspects of solving the tasks - e.g. does the audio instructions work as intended, is the organization of visual items on the screen functional, to which extent is the tasks intuitive, is the transition between stages in the program flowing etc. Two children with Down syndrome and their teachers tested the material. After the trial period interviews were carried out with the teachers. Both teachers have a long-term experience working with children with Down syndrome. The two periods of piloting this spring gave us a lot of useful information for final adjustments of the material. It was also a great experience seeing the children enjoying working with the DSL+-material! Norwegian readers can read more about the two last piloting periods here:
The production of the DSL+ app is done in collaboration with UniMedia, which is a lab at the Faculty of Educational Sciences. The collaboration includes in addition to the programming of the app itself also recordings of both audio and video. There is a lot of material going into this app. Amongst other things there will be recordings made of all the instructions, several sentences, over 300 single words and articulation videos of a selection of the words. This work is demanding in many ways. Oral speech rate, articulation, stress on syllables is some of the factors that have been emphasized when choosing the items of the audio recordings. In addition we have also emphasis variation in speakers; male and female, adults and children, as well as different Norwegian dialects will be present. For the articulation videos we also have to make sure that the placement of e.g. the tongue and use of the lips is correct and that the mimics are clear and at the same time look natural. In addition, the videos are complicated to make since the close up captures every spot, pore and wrinkle in the skin. It`s inevitable not to be self-aware in this situation. Although these things are natural, it is also important to minimize factors that might take focus from the articulation of the word.
Even though it`s demanding, this work is also a lot of fun. Being here and doing the recordings in a real studio means that we are finally IN PRODUCTION! And that’s really exiting after years of preparations.
|Siri from UniMedia is preparing Håkon for recordings - Some coverage is necessary when doing these veeeeeeeery close up articulation videos.|