Enable the use of voice to control playback of learning content and to interact with the OU via smart devices.
This is somewhat of a simple strand of research in comparison to other parts of the Smart Tech project, yet there are potential huge benefits that the use of voice to control playback and delivery of learning content, in addition to the ability to use voice to navigate through University learning systems and for getting tuition support and feedback, could provide.
Voice control has become a standard form of interaction in many households. It is common to control the volume of a TV, to ask Alexa to play a song or podcast on a speaker when cooking in the kitchen, or even to play a trivia game with the family using vocal commands to Google Assistant. The general reluctance of people to talk to a device has somewhat decreased given the proliferation of devices that rely upon such controls. This change in attitude to interacting with devices and content is something that could also provide benefits for students as part of their studies.
The possibilities range from the obvious, such as ensuring voice control works in our own VLE and apps so that students can control playback of audio visual materials, to the slightly more ambitious, such as using Google Assistant to facilitate a 'smart study session' where the student puts the smart speaker into a 'study mode' that then prepares it to seek materials and information from academic sources, responding to vocal prompts from the student to find information on a certain theme or subject matter, so that they can continue studying or writing up their TMA, for example.
Potential benefits include:
Work on this strand is scheduled to begin in May. Stay tuned here for regular updates.
The Smart Tech project was born out of the need to understand more fully the potential benefits of smart device usage on student success and to assess whether there are changes that we can make to the production and delivery of learning materials to assist in this aim.Discover more about the project