Saturday, August 1, 2015

How YOU elocute is how I elocute: Collaborative haptic motor skill (and pronunciation) learning

For a glimpse into the future of instruction, have a look at Chellali, Dumas and Milleville-Pennel (2010) "A Haptic Communication Paradigm For Collaborative Motor Skills Learning." Their WYFIWIF (What you feel is what I feel) model illustrates nicely just what haptic technology is, in essence using a computer-mediated interface to guide movement, using basically pressure translated through some kind of device such as a glove. In the study, subjects were guided to better performance on a focused manual task, moving a needle, by a haptic-assisted instructor. Not surprisingly, the control group, the visual or verbally-guided only group, did not perform as well. 

Another example of haptic communication, as defined in WYFIWIF, might be an instructor first leading a learner through a gesture pattern with haptic technology and then continuing to provide haptic guidance as the learner attempts to practice and master the pattern. The researchers note that in a virtual environment, as in haptics-assisted surgery or training, " . . . haptic communication is combined (more and more with complementary) visual and verbal communication in order to help an expert to transfer his knowledge to a novice operator."

Although the haptic application to our pronunciation work does not involve haptics technology, but rather hands touching on target or stressed sounds--following the visual and spoken guidance of an instructor or peer--the parallel is striking. It is the collaborative haptic-embodied task (instructor and learner engaged in a tightly linked, synchronous, communicative, embodied "dance") that greatly enables and facilitates learning. 

In the conclusion of the study, there is a truly striking recommendation for further research: the impact on haptic communication of the "verbal communications between the instructor and the leaner." We have  over a decade of experience--and a few dozen blogposts--with that! Now "needle-less" to say,  if we can just get our hands in some of those gloves . . .

Full citation:
Amine Chellali, C ́edric Dumas, Isabelle Milleville-Pennel. WYFIWIF: A Haptic Communication Paradigm For Collaborative Motor Skills Learning. IADIS. Web Virtual Reality and Three-Dimensional Worlds 2010, Jul 2010, Freiburg, Germany. IADIS, pp.301-308, 2010.

1 comment:

Bill Acton said...

I have been looking for a "collaborative" framework to situate the haptic pronunciation work in for some time now. There are any number of ways to approach the nature of the dialogue that happens in the classroom when, based on earlier training in the haptic pronunciation patterns, what we call Pedagogical Movement Patterns (PMPs), an instructor guides a student to modify some sound or word "elocution" haptically, anchoring the gesture along all that accompanies it. We have referred to it in several ways over the years. "Dance" still feels right, nonetheless!

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