VDEI engaged The University of Melbourne to conduct an independent evaluation of the impact of the real-time captioning pilot on deaf students’ learning, inclusion and engagement in classroom activities and curriculum.
Some of the preliminary findings include the following:
‘The vast majority of students reported that their confidence and motivation to learn, and their academic work had improved as a consequence of their involvement with captioning’.
‘Reported increases in student’s access to an comprehension of curriculum material’.
‘There are some early indications that real-time captioning may have a (positive) impact on inclusion. Parents thought captions were beneficial in their child’s inclusion and participation.’
All stakeholders reported that the transcripts were a useful learning aid. ‘Teachers without exception explained the benefits and said they wished it (captioning) could continue.’
Evaluation of the captioning pilot has concluded and the report will be finalised in the next two weeks. With the new captioning pilot due in 2013, it is hoped that the evaluation of the new project will use the framework developed in the evaluation of the first captioning pilot and build on the information that has already been gathered.
This type of technology - and engagement with it from a teaching and learning perspective - has the prospect of bringing benefit to many students – not only deaf students. The relevance of application to students with autism and auditory processing challenges could be explored in future.