Seminar: Adaptive Technologies to Support Language Learning by Carrie Demmans Epp

Carrie Demmans Epp from the TAGLab at University of Toronto will give a seminar entitled “Adaptive Technologies to Support Language Learning” as part of the UOIT Computer Science seminar series.  Ms. Epp shares research interests with members of the vialab, including technology for language learning, as exemplified in our projects TandemTable and our collaboration with Quillsoft on the iWordQ series of applications.  The details of the seminar are below.  The talk will be webcast live and archived.

When: Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 @ 3:30pm

Where: UA 4170

Who: Carrie Demmans Epp, University of Toronto

Title: Adaptive Technologies to Support Language Learning

Abstract: Technology use is deeply rooted within language learning. From the early use of language labs and more recent use of multi-media, we have seen the wide use of technology by language learners. This talk will present two adaptive language-learning tools and discuss their deployment in various cultural and educational contexts. The first tool is a computer-based pronunciation tutor for Russian (ProTutor) and the second is a mobile-based English communication support and study tool (VocabNomad). Both systems employed representations of the user’s knowledge (learner models) to drive their adaptive content recommendation and personalized feedback.

These adaptive features helped to motivate learners, enabled their self-regulation, and supported learning activities and outcomes. Their use by high school and university students also demonstrated the need for them to be accompanied by appropriate pedagogical practices when used as support tools in formal learning environments.

Biography: Carrie Demmans Epp is a doctoral candidate in human-computer interaction at the University of Toronto. She completed her BSc (Computer Science and Russian) and MSc (Artificial Intelligence in Education) at the University of Saskatchewan. She has recently finished visiting researcher terms with the Open Learner Models at Birmingham group (UK) and the Graduate School of Language, Communication, and Culture at Kwansei Gakuin University (Japan). She was a recipient of the 2013 Weston Fellowship and is a current Walter C. Sumner Memorial Fellow.

Carrie’s work focuses on the development and use of adaptive educational technology and the mechanisms that are used to provide feedback to learners within these environments. Her work bridges populations and has included university students, underprivileged children, students in special education settings, and language learners.