1. Judy Vesel
  2. Principal Investigator
  3. Signing Glossaries for Science Exhibits
  4. https://signsci.terc.edu/glossary/index.html
  5. TERC
  1. Tara Robillard
  2. Lead Researcher
  3. Signing Glossaries for Science Exhibits
  4. https://signsci.terc.edu/glossary/index.html
  5. TERC
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Judy Vesel

    Judy Vesel

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 05:43 p.m.

    Welcome to our video of the Signing Glossaries for Science Exhibits project! We hope watching it is both useful and informative. Please join the Discussion and let us know what you noticed, found interesting or valuable, enjoyed or learned.


    Judy Vesel, Principal Investigator; Tara Robillard, Lead Researcher; The Signing Math & Science Team

  • May 13, 2019 | 08:49 a.m.

    Hello! Nice video and great project! I am interested in why the glossaries appear to have signing avatars, rather than videos of someone signing. Any particular reason for that choice? My team is also working with signing avatars, so I am always interested to discuss. Thank you!

  • Icon for: Judy Vesel

    Judy Vesel

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 04:11 p.m.

    Hello Lorna!  Thank for your interest in our project, and for viewing our video. Thank you also for inquiring about the use of signing avatars in our work.  The use of signing avatars in the signing glossaries for science exhibits are the result of all of the signed terms being drawn from one or more of the signing dictionaries for grades K-12+, developed previously by TERC and Vcom3D (https://signsci.terc.edu/video/index.html).  Recently, we have created “video versions” of each signed term and definition so that they can be accessed on any platform without a plug-in.   This represents a new and unique application of the existing technology that allows the glossary apps to be downloaded to iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Android devices. It also allows navigation to be simplified and speed to be increased. As technology has advanced, the authenticity of the signing, facial expression, and clarity has improved dramatically making the avatars as “human-like” as possible.  Our research throughout the years, and now with this project, has revealed that although there are some users that would prefer a human signer, children and their families find the avatar characters to be engaging and fun, and they appreciate the features that can be incorporated into the interface that might not be possible with video of a human signer. 

     

  • Icon for: Elysa Corin

    Elysa Corin

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 10:13 a.m.

    The signing glossaries for science exhibits that you are developing are very exciting tools!  I am wondering how museums, zoos, etc. and their staff could better support the visitors using these tools?  As use of these tools expand, do you envision staff training being an important component for successful scaling?  Thanks! 

     

  • Icon for: Judy Vesel

    Judy Vesel

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 04:12 p.m.

    Thank you Elysa – It is wonderful to hear that you think these are exciting tools.  We agree that it is essential that we work with informal science venue staff to be sure that their effectiveness and dissemination is maximized.  By reaching out to our colleagues in the informal science field at conferences and PI meetings and discussing this issue, we have learned that what is needed is a “toolkit” that is especially designed to help informal STEM settings become familiar with the Signing Glossary Apps and that suggests flexible strategies for posting them at their sites, for implementation by staff, and in visitor use. We hope to first identify what resources need to be included in a toolkit to effectively enable informal STEM settings to integrate and make effective use of the Signing Apps by conducting interviews and focus groups with staff at the various informal STEM settings.  Then, we hope to develop and test the toolkit and incorporate lessons learned from initial implementation of the toolkit that will need to be taken into account during subsequent dissemination.

     

  • Icon for: Margaret Glass

    Margaret Glass

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 12:38 p.m.

    Your video includes some great examples about how tools like the glossaries can improve the museum experience for all visitors – not just those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Like Elysa, I am curious about how staff at museums or zoos get introduced to the glossaries, and how they can help to disseminate their use.

    Thanks!

    Margaret

  • Icon for: Judy Vesel

    Judy Vesel

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 04:15 p.m.

    Thank you Margaret. We agree that it is important to note that the glossaries can certainly provide access for ALL!  For example, our research revealed many instances where hearing family members (both parents and siblings) were able to use the Apps to learn more about what they were seeing and use the information to enhance their discussions.  Overall, their experience was improved and they felt that they had improved access to the exhibits.  As I mentioned in my response to Elysa above, we have been thinking about how we might ensure that we provide adequate resources for informal STEM settings to learn about how they might integrate and disseminate the signing glossaries.  We have learned that what is needed is a “toolkit” that is especially designed to help informal STEM settings become familiar with the Signing Glossary Apps and that suggests flexible strategies for posting them at their sites, for implementation by staff, and in visitor use. We hope to first identify what resources need to be included in a toolkit to effectively enable informal STEM settings to integrate and make effective use of the Signing Apps by conducting interviews and focus groups with staff at the various informal STEM settings.  Then, we hope to develop and test the toolkit and incorporate lessons learned from initial implementation of the toolkit that will need to be taken into account during subsequent dissemination.

  • Icon for: Margaret Glass

    Margaret Glass

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 12:23 p.m.

    Thanks! I look forward to following the evolution and distribution of the toolkit!

    Margaret

  • Icon for: William Spitzer

    William Spitzer

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 02:48 p.m.

    This project does an outstanding job of identifying a clear learning challenge, and then responding to it by designing a focused tool that incorporates user needs and feedback. The team did a great job of incorporating many types of museums*, so this tool is likely to have wide application, and it doesn't require much if anything on the part of the museum to make it work.

    I was curious about what you have found most effective in making visitors and potential visitors aware that the signing dictionaries exist?

    Also, you mentioned the "three principles of universal design" in your abstract, could you say more about them and how you applied them?

    Thanks,
    Billy

    *Full disclosure -- New England Aquarium was involved in providing ocean-related terms and testing out the signing dictionary on-site.

  • Icon for: Judy Vesel

    Judy Vesel

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 04:16 p.m.

    Thank you for your thoughtful feedback and questions Billy!  We really appreciate the participation of the New England Aquarium in our testing and research for this project.  We’re glad you asked about the ways that we might effectively make visitors aware of the signing glossaries, as this was one of our research questions for the project.  Visitors (parents and children), testing venue staff, and staff from institutions across the country made a number of suggestions including: adding information and a link to the glossary download on venue websites, and making potential visitors aware of the tool by publicizing it in their marketing and outreach materials such as maps/info cards, emails, newsletters and on social media.  The team has created a press release and has been working with the TERC marketing team to use it to disseminate the glossaries. Additionally, the CAISE website has links to the glossaries and we hope to present the glossaries at the 2019 ASTC annual meeting.

    We also learned that it would be helpful to provide a “toolkit” that is especially designed to help informal STEM settings become familiar with the Signing Glossary Apps-specifically to provide flexible strategies for posting them/making them available at their sites, and information about implementation by staff, and in visitor use. We are currently pursuing funding to support development, testing and dissemination of the toolkit.  [See response to Elysa Corins’ question for more information about the toolkit]. 

    The “three principles of universal design” that we mention in our abstract are: 1) multiple means of representing information; 2) multiple means for the expression of knowledge; and 3) multiple means of engagement in learning. These principles are implemented in the instructional design of the glossaries as follows: Representation of terms and definitions as static images, text, human narration, and signing gives the learner various ways of acquiring knowledge (Principle 1). Allowing students to select American Sign Language (ASL) translations, illustrations, or voiced text to help them explain their thinking provides the learner with alternatives for demonstrating what they know (Principle 2). Offering students opportunities to work in ways that make sense and are interesting to them—such as viewing signed content from a group of Avatars of different ages, ethnicities, and genders, and being able to pause, and replay the signed terms and definitions as many times as they would like—taps into their interests, offers challenges, and increases motivation (Principle 3).

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Margaret Glass
  • Icon for: William Spitzer

    William Spitzer

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 10:57 a.m.

    Judy, thanks so much for providing all the additional details, this is really helpful! And, I am so glad that you are using CAISE and ASTC to promote this work, I think you could also reach out to AZA (www.aza.org) to reach the zoo and aquarium field more broadly.

  • Icon for: Judy Vesel

    Judy Vesel

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:12 a.m.

    Thanks for the tip. I'll contact AZA. Do you have any suggestions about what to include in a toolkit to help museum folks integrate the Signing Glossaries into their offerings for visitors and staff to use? We are thinking of providing it as a PDF. Is this a usable format? If not, what format do you think would work best?

     

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    John Vesel

    May 14, 2019 | 10:09 a.m.

    Excellent presentation for STEM students that probably do not have the access when attempting to process the materials available to others. The avatars minimize the ambiguity in signing that is possible from human signers, many of whom do not have the appropriate science background. An excellent use of the current technology.

  • Icon for: Maura Curran

    Maura Curran

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 03:55 p.m.

    This is a great way to help increase access to science by a wider population!

  • Icon for: Tara Robillard

    Tara Robillard

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 02:55 p.m.

    Thank you Maura!  It has been exciting to see the increase in access especially with regard to understanding science terminology, and increased communication and discussion among family members during visits.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.