Current state of work: In the school year 2019/2020, our training program was successfully implemented at two elementary schools in Lower Saxony. After a dynamic start at the schools, the flexibility of the method during the Corona-related partial school closures allowed for an uncomplicated switch to home training.
First evaluations show the positive support of the orthography skills of children with very strong spelling problems as well as the high acceptance and positive evaluation of the manageability of the program.
Currently, the program is being used at two elementary school in Lübeck.
Within the framework of the study, we distinguish between children who have worked consistently with our program (training group) and children who have hardly come into contact with our tablet training due to the Corona-related change (control group).
Total training group:
- n = 23
- 16x 20 minutes training sessions in their individual trainings areas
Control group total:
- n = 36
- Completed less than one training session on average
With regard to spelling development, there is a significant increase across all participating children. In addition, the interference statistical analysis shows a significant increase in the training group (children with severe spelling difficulties determined on the basis of the baseline score at the beginning of the study of percentile rank ≤16 in the German spelling test Deret 2+ or 3+, Stock / Schneider, 2008) compared to the control group from the pretest to the posttest, i.e., the children in the training group with very severe spelling difficulties (n = 14) improved significantly more in their spelling performance than the control group children (n = 27).
In the final questionnaire, the children, parents, and teachers gave very positive ratings to the ability to integrate the training method into everyday life, its comprehensibility, and the possibility of working independently with the tablet.
- ≥ 80% of the ratings were „good“ or „very good“ in each case
Comprehensibility / Independent work:
- ≥ 90% of the evaluations with “good” or “very good” in each case
We are currently engaged in extended analysis of the data collected.
HOT-T: Handwritten orthography training on the tablet
Fig. 1: Major aspects of our „HOT-T“-program
The bidirectional exchange with our database allows individualized adaptive learning, which can also be realized across tablets. The training is intended for all pupils with difficulties in reading and writing.
The handwritten spelling training on the tablet allows direct feedback on the correctness of written words. This method is intended to counteract the consolidation of error-causing memory representations and to achieve an increase in error sensitivity.
An adaptive, motivating learning environment ensures continuous practice adapted to the individual skill level. Words categorized by spelling peculiarities are dictated in sentence context with visual support.
In addition to individualized spelling support, the establishment of a data pool for long-term observation of error profiles in the course of learning and further development of research on spelling development are planned with wider dissemination.
The progress of the overall project so far:
In the first two project phases up to the end of 2016, the influence of reduced word misspelling on the spelling and reading performance of words by children with dyslexia of primary school age and the increase in their error sensitivity was investigated. The first expansions of the program was completed by mid-2018. The overall project consisted of two sub-projects (A&B).
The main focus of project A was the investigation of the training-dependent development of neural bases of error sensitivity in the processing of spelling errors using event-related brain potentials. This project was realized under the direction of Prof. Dr. Thomas F. Münte at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Clinic for Neurology Lübeck.
The aim of subproject B was to develop a tablet-computer-based spelling program with handwritten input options. This project was led by Prof. Alfred O. Effenberg at the Leibniz University Hanover, Institute of Sports Science. The tabled-computer-based training method was tested for applicability and effectiveness. For this purpose, 21 children from the second to the beginning of the fifth grade with reading and spelling disorders practiced four times a week for 20 minutes each at home with the tablet-computer for four weeks.
A comprehensive program expansion served as preparation for using our tablet-based learning method in the 2019/2020 school year at the first elementary schools in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein in order to test the application of the method in school practice in more detail.
The overall project is funded by the federal ministry of education and research and is assigned to the research initiative “Developmental Disorders of School Skills“ in the context of the BMBF (“Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung” – Federal Ministry of Education and Research) framework program for the promotion of empirical educational research.
For further information please contact the project team member Dr. Nicole Mühlpforte.
Dr. Nicole Mühlpforte
Project Management – Subproject B:
Leibniz Universität Hannover
Institut für Sportwissenschaft
Prof. Dr. Alfred O. Effenberg
Prof. Dr. med. Thomas F. Münte
Project team member – subproject B:
Dr. Nicole Mühlpforte (Hannover)
Dr.-Ing. Tong-Hun Hwang (Hannover)
Project management – Subproject A:
Klinik für Neurologie
Prof. Dr. med. Thomas F. Münte
Project team member – Subproject A:
Dr. Marcus Heldmann
Leibniz Universität Hannover:
Computational Health Informatics
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gabi v. Voigt
Dr. Daniel Lückehe
Leibniz Universität Hannover:
Institut für Informationsverarbeitung
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bodo Rosenhahn (Hannover)
Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Dyslexia, Multi-Sensory Integration, Embodied Education