A Mobile Game for Encouraging Active Listening among Deaf and Hard of Hearing People : Comparing the usage between mobile and desktop game

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för datalogi och datorsystemteknik; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för datalogi och datorsystemteknik

Abstract:

Context. Daily active listening is important for the deaf and hard of hearing people (DHH) of their hearing rehabilitation, but the related hearing activities are usually not enough for them due to kinds of reasons. Although some traditional desktop computer-assisted tools were created for encouraging active listening, the usage rate is not high. Nowadays, mobile smart devices become more and more widely used and easily accessible all around the world. Game applications on these devices are good tools for training related activities. However, in the market, there are limited games designed for the DHH, especially aiming for engaging them in active listening. Therefore, such a game on mobile platform is the inspiration for increasing their everyday active listening.

Objective. In this study, an audio-based mobile game application called the Music Puzzle was to create on Android operating system, for encouraging the DHH in their active listening. With aim of making the game have good usability and engaging for real use, we were to evaluate the game and conduct experiments on its usage, to see if it could be more used than another traditional hearing game on desktop platform and bring greater amount active listening for the DHH.

Methods. In this study, overall, methods of literature review, game development, preliminary and evaluation experiments, as well as tracking study were used. In the development phase, interaction design theories and techniques was applied for assisting the design work. Android and Pure Data were employed for the software implementation work. In the evaluation phase, System Usability Scale (SUS) and Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) questionnaire were used for respectively testing the game usability and engagement. Then a four-week tracking study was conducted to acquire the usage data of the mobile game among the target group. Afterwards, the data was collected and compared with the usage data of the desktop game using statistical method of paired sample t-test.

Results. From the preliminary experiments results, most of the participants reported their enjoyment with playing Music Puzzle and willingness to use it. Subsequent experiment gave good results on the game usability and engagement. The final tracking study shows that most participants activated and played Music Puzzle during the given time period. Compared with the desktop game, the DHH spent significantly greater amount of time on playing the mobile game.

Conclusion. The study indicates that the Music Puzzle has good usability and it is engaging. Compared with the desktop game, The Music Puzzle mobile game is a more effective tool for encouraging and increasing the amount of active listening time among the DHH people in their everyday life. 

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