Modelling Spoken Multimodal Instructional Systems

Modelling Spoken Multimodal Instructional Systems

Niels Ole Bernsen (NISLab, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark) and Laila Dybkjær (NISLab, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-503-2.ch304


The use of speech and spoken dialogue is a relatively recent addition to instructional systems. As, almost invariably, human instructors and students talk during teaching and training, spoken dialogue would seem to be an important factor in systems that emulate aspects of human instruction. In this chapter, we describe the origins and state of the art of spoken multimodal instruction. We then discuss strengths and weaknesses of the speech modality, key roles of spoken dialogue in multimodal instruction, functional issues in current spoken teaching and training systems, commercial prospects, and some main challenges ahead.
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Instructional Systems

By an (interactive) instructional system, an application whose main purpose is to teach or train the user or help the user solve a particular problem is understood. Although often combined in practical applications, these goals are somewhat different. A teaching system primarily teaches understanding of some subject-matter, such as the periodic system, basics of genetics, astronomy, planet geography, phases in the history of humanity, and so forth. A training system primarily trains practical skills, such as language skills, how to operate some artefact, play golf, or fly a commercial airliner. Teaching and training systems are aimed at long-term learning effects in the learner. By contrast, problem-solving support systems, such as one helping to install IP telephony on a laptop, rarely incorporate ambitions of producing long-term learning effects. If they help solve the problem at hand, they fulfil their purpose.

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