Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Walsh


This research presents the work involved in developing a speech-enabled e-Learning prototype for use in literacy tutoring. As the main objective was to develop an interface for literacy learning, initial research concentrated on establishing a framework for literacy e-Leaming through the use of speech technology. Requirements for best practice e-Learning and the relevance of learning theories to an e-Learning application were also investigated. The technologies to facilitate this, such as text to speech technologies and mark-up languages, were addressed during the implementation of speech-enabled prototypes. Both server-side and client-side prototypes were implemented to investigate speech technology. Testing found the server-side version impractical due to high bandwidth requirements. Moving the speech functionality components to the client made the prototype more scalable, flexible and efficient. Internet architectures were also investigated by the implementation of Active Server Pages (ASP) and extensible Mark-up Language (XML) client-side versions. A comparative study found the XML version to be more efficient. Third-party developers used the final prototype and research findings to develop Literacy Tools, a complete literacy e-Learning application. The evaluation phase was conducted by performing a Website Analysis and Measurement Inventory (WAMMl) analysis on Literacy Tools with literacy learners and the help of tutors. The results of the analysis were also documented as part of this research.

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