CAP: Building Partnerships for Education and Speech Research

PIs: Chad Dorsey, Cynthia D’Angelo
Concord Consortium
Award Details

A new age of technology is dawning on the field of speech recognition and analysis. This has begun to become publicly visible through the increasing availability of impressive tools such as Siri and Google Translate, but these consumer-ready tools only scratch the surface of the potential that research-quality speech engineering applications unlock. However, these capabilities remain practically unrecognized by the education research community. This one-year Capacity-Building Project (CAP) will build partnerships among top researchers and develop expertise from both education and speech engineering backgrounds through a series of workshops to bring together four leading spoken language technology and education research groups.

This project will unite the extensive education research and educational technology backgrounds at the Concord Consortium and SRI International’s Center for Technology in Learning and bring them together with two of the strongest groups in spoken language technology research, the Speech Technology and Research Laboratory at SRI International and the Center for Robust Speech Systems at the University of Texas at Dallas. This will provide the foundations for educational research areas as diverse as collaboration, argumentation, discourse analysis, teacher questioning, emotion, and engagement. Spoken language technologies will provide efficiencies, insight, and entire new methodologies for approaching these research areas, and they will do so while students and teachers assume more natural modes – those of the naturalistic language-based interactions that have formed the basis of educational interchange for millennia. This project will gather and summarize applicable knowledge about the current state of these fields and generate central papers and momentum suitable for bringing together and helping launch a new interdisciplinary field of study, spoken language technology for education. The work of this CAP proposal will generate the initial necessary connections and create the first definitions required to move toward proposals, actions, and research.

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