TAYouKi: A Sketch-Based Tutoring System for Young Kids
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Intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) have proven to be effective tools for aiding in the instruction of new skills for young kids; however, interaction methods that employ traditional input devices such as the keyboard and mouse may present barriers to children who have yet learned how to write. Existing applications which utilize pen-input devices better mimic the physical act of writing, but few provide useful feedback to the users. This thesis presents a system specifically designed to serve as a useful tool in teaching children how to draw basic shapes, and helping them develop basic drawing and writing skills. The system uses a combination of sketch recognition techniques to interpret the handwritten strokes from sketches of the children, and then provides intelligent feedback based on what they draw. Our approach provides a virtual coach to assist teachers teaching the critical skills of drawing and handwriting. We do so by guiding children through a set of exercises of increasing complexity according to their progress, and at the same time keeping track of students' performance and engagement, giving them differentiated instruction and feedback. Our system would be like a virtual Teaching Assistant for Young Kids, hence we call it TAYouKi. We collected over five hundred hand-drawn shapes from grownups that had a clear understanding of what a particular geometric shape should look like. We used this data to test the recognition of our system. Following, we conducted a series of case studies with children in age group three to six to test the interactivity efficacy of the system. The studies served to gain important insights regarding the research challenges in different domains. Results suggest that our approach is appealable and engaging to children and can help in more effectively teach them how to draw and write.
Vides Ceron, Francisco (2012). TAYouKi: A Sketch-Based Tutoring System for Young Kids. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from