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

Hedgecock, Joseph; Standen, Penny J.; Beer, Charlotte; Brown, David

Authors

Joseph Hedgecock

Penny J. Standen p.standen@nottingham.ac.uk

Charlotte Beer

David Brown



Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to identify ways teachers might employ a robot to achieve learning objectives with pupils with intellectual disabilities and 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.

Findings
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 limitations/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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2014
Journal Journal of Assistive Technologies
Print ISSN 1754-9450
Electronic ISSN 2042-8723
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 3
Pages 111-123
APA6 Citation Hedgecock, J., Standen, P. J., & Beer, C. (2014). Evaluating the role of a humanoid robot to support learning in children with profound and multiple disabilities. Journal of Assistive Technologies, 8(3), (111-123). doi:10.1108/JAT-02-2014-0006. ISSN 1754-9450
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/JAT-02-2014-0006
Keywords Education, Learning objectives, Case studies, Engagement, Robots, Intellectual disabilities
Publisher URL http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JAT-02-2014-0006
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf


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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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