Educational game to stimulate phonological awareness in elementary school children

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Sebastián ToledoCatalina Astudillo-RodriguezPriscila VerdugoSantiago CedilloJackelín Verdugo

Abstract: Phonological awareness (PA) is the ability to analyse, segment, and manipulate language structure consciously. Its development at an early age is crucial for acquiring skills in reading and writing. For the mentioned and considering that we belong to a digitised society where technology constitutes a tremendous educational resource and a source of interest for children, the proposal arises to support learning through the inclusion of digital applications that facilitate differentiated instruction and integrate playful ways and motivate. In this context, educational games have become a modern and precise tool to solve these needs. This work aims to develop a serious game to support literacy learning by stimulating phonological awareness in elementary school children. For this purpose, a methodology based on the SCRUM Framework and User-Centered Design (UCD) principles was applied, emphasising users’ active involvement in developing the game. The method comprised a four-phase process, including scope definition and analysis in the first two phases; translation of user requirements into contextual and prototype design, and subsequent software development in the third phase; and finally, an empirical study was conducted to evaluate the usability of the prototype in the final phase. As a result, a serious game was obtained that allows the creation of linguistic exercises from a series of activities designed by the therapist in the context of a playground to promote playful learning in a familiar environment for the children. The usability study revealed a score of 74.44 based on the System Usability Scale (SUS), indicating that the system was well-received and considered highly usable by the participants. In conclusion, involving therapists in an iterative UCD process brings benefits such as confidence in using digital tools for phonological awareness skills training and identifying needs that require alternative mechanisms of interaction, encouraging children to participate in learning.

Keywords: Phonological awareness, User, Centered Design, Serious game, Language rehabilitation, Literacy learning

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003146

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