- The web-based application Heli-D supports students in their studies
- Riddles on health topics to inspire young people to read and learn through play
- Students 12 to 13 years of age are interested in topics such as immune systems, cancer, injuries or antibiotic resistance
At the beginning of their education students often find it challenging when reading and understanding a text simultaneously, since they are mostly occupied with reading. Reading comprehension doesn’t develope further until they are in higher grades.
The Heli-D ( (Health Literacy & Diversity) research project aims to promote health literacy in students while training meaningful reading and understanding using artificial intelligence (AI). The project was implemented by Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz in cooperation with MedUni Graz and Know-Center.
AI enhances reading comprehension and determines level of ability
The application’s training program includes five modules covering different health topics such as injuries. In the course of the training, students solve different tasks and puzzles. Texts in four different levels of difficulty are available for each module. Those differ, e.g., in word count and linguistic complexity. Prior to students starting the training program, a test is used to determine how well they perform in reading and understanding texts
Youth interested in immune systems and cancer
The application’s content was determined by Karl Franzens University of Graz during workshops with students from Styria and mapped out by clinical psychologists, pedagogues and medical students subsequently. Surprisingly, students 12 to 13 years of age were mostly enthusiastic about topics such as immune systems, cancer, injuries or antibiotic resistance. Overall 800 secondary level I students (2nd and 3rd grade of ‚AHS‘ and ‚NMS‘) tested the application in practice. The researchers evaluated the anonymized data collected throughout the process with regard to various aspects: Were the tasks too difficult or too easy? Should the student be assigned to a higher level?
Smart e-learning environment
“With the Heli-D research project our research teams developed an adaptive algorithm, which divides students into different performance levels and can adapt based on learning progress throughout the training program,” Stefanie Lindstaedt, Managing Direcotr of Know-Center states, and explains further: “The created e-learning environment enables students to be introduced to a certain topic playfully. Although the training sessions adapt individually to the learning individiuals, it still leads to a social group learning effect, which in turn, increases the students’ ability to work within a team. Overall, the results showed that students performed well across all levels when they invested more time in solving the tasks.”
The application represents a good addition for schools in order to raise students’ awareness of health issues through play. After the project’s completion, Karl Franzens University of Graz plans to make the application available to all schools throughout Austria.
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