Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Effects of Speech-to-Text Recognition Application on Learning Performance in Synchronous Cyber Classrooms

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Effects of Speech-to-Text Recognition Application on Learning Performance in Synchronous Cyber Classrooms

Article excerpt

Introduction

A number of studies have reported the benefits of online synchronous teaching and learning for online courses, although some challenges and limitations still require resolution (Chen, Ko, Kinshuk & Lin, 2005; Hastie, Hung, Chen & Kinshuk, 2010; Wang, Chen & Levy, 2010). One of the most common concerns reported is the presence of poor audio quality due to restricted bandwidth availability and traffic congestion for last mile of Internet access (Chen et al., 2005; Hastie et al., 2010; Wang et al., 2010). According to Chen and Wang (2008) and Kanevsky et al. (2006), students who suffer from bandwidth problems during online synchronous lectures can benefit from reading text streams, which may be synchronously typed on a keyboard or transcribed by Speech-to-Text Recognition (STR) technology. Moreover, Chen and Wang (2008) and Wald (2010) emphasized the pedagogical usefulness of text displayed simultaneously for students during a synchronous lecture, as it facilitates better learning. However, previous research tended to focus on issues related to STR application development and its rate of recognition accuracy improvement, rather than on how it can be applied for improving learning performance (Kanevsky et al., 2006; Wald & Bain, 2008; Way, Kheir & Bevilacqua, 2008). Furthermore, most studies only applied STR in a traditional face-to-face teaching setting but not in an online synchronous teaching and learning environment (Ryba, Mclvor, Shakir & Paez, 2006; SRS, 2011; Wald, 2010).

This study argues that teaching and learning activities in an online synchronous cyber classroom can be better facilitated by using STR technology. For example, students can follow a teacher's lecture more easily by reading the STR-generated texts, if the quality of audio degrades during communications; therefore, STR-generated texts can minimize audio communication difficulties and reduce any chance of missing important information. In the interim, STR-generated texts can help students attain a better understanding of a lecture's meaning, allow for simultaneous note-taking during the lecture, and help students to complete homework after the lecture.

An experiment was conducted with the aim to apply STR for improving learning performance in an online synchronous cyber classroom environment as well as in a situation wherein an individual student completed homework. Students' perceptions and behavioral intentions toward using STR and the effectiveness of applying STR on learning performance in a synchronous cyber classroom were also investigated. This study addressed three primary research questions. First, what are the students' perceptions and behavioral intentions regarding the use of the STR technology in a synchronous learning environment? Second, do the students who use STR-generated texts perform better at accomplishing homework tasks and in post-test evaluations than the students who do not use STR technology? Third, based on interviews, are STR-generated texts beneficial to students?

The remainder of the paper is organized as follows: literature regarding synchronous teaching and learning with STR are reviewed. The theories or models, which are used to analyze the usefulness of the designed STR mechanisms, are discussed. The description of the study's designed method follows. The results and pedagogical implications of the study are then presented. Finally, a few concluding remarks are given.

Literature Review

Online Synchronous Teaching and Learning

A number of studies have demonstrated the benefits of online synchronous teaching and learning for online courses (Chen et al., 2005; Hastie et al., 2010; Wang et al., 2010). For example, Hastie et al. (2010) argued that online synchronous teaching and learning allows teachers and students to establish their communications link, create a social presence, and negotiate learning content. They then embark on the 'real' synchronous interactive component of the lesson and the teacher gives the students 'live' feedback and evaluation. …

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