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Article

Investigating Issues and Needs of Dyslexic Students at University: Proof of Concept of an Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality-Based Supporting Platform and Preliminary Results

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Department of Economics, Engineering, Society and Business Organization (DEIM), University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
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Department of Computer Science, University of Pisa, 56100 Pisa, Italy
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Department of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Pharmacology, University of Córdoba, 14001 Córdoba, Spain
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Department of Chemistry, Physics and Applied Thermodynamic, University of Córdoba, 14001 Córdoba, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: João M. F. Rodrigues, Pedro J. S. Cardoso and Marta Chinnici
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4624; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104624
Received: 20 April 2021 / Revised: 13 May 2021 / Accepted: 14 May 2021 / Published: 19 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence Applications and Innovation)
Specific learning disorders affect a significant portion of the population. A total of 80% of its instances are dyslexia, which causes significant difficulties in learning skills related to reading, memorizing and the exposition of concepts. Whereas great efforts have been made to diagnose dyslexia and to mitigate its effects at primary and secondary school, little has been done at the university level. This has resulted in a sensibly high rate of abandonment or even of failures to enroll. The VRAIlexia project was created to face this problem by creating and popularizing an innovative method of teaching that is inclusive for dyslexic students. The core of the project is BESPECIAL, a software platform based on artificial intelligence and virtual reality that is capable of understanding the main issues experienced by dyslexic students and to provide them with ad hoc digital support methodologies in order to ease the difficulties they face in their academic studies. The aim of this paper is to present the conceptual design of BESPECIAL, highlighting the role of each module that composes it and the potential of the whole platform to fulfil the aims of VRAIlexia. Preliminary results obtained from a sample of about 700 dyslexic students are also reported, which clearly show the main issues and needs that dyslexic students experience and these will be used as guidelines for the final implementation of BESPECIAL. View Full-Text
Keywords: specific learning disorders; dyslexia; artificial intelligence; virtual reality; adaptive learning; inclusive teaching specific learning disorders; dyslexia; artificial intelligence; virtual reality; adaptive learning; inclusive teaching
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zingoni, A.; Taborri, J.; Panetti, V.; Bonechi, S.; Aparicio-Martínez, P.; Pinzi, S.; Calabrò, G. Investigating Issues and Needs of Dyslexic Students at University: Proof of Concept of an Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality-Based Supporting Platform and Preliminary Results. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 4624. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104624

AMA Style

Zingoni A, Taborri J, Panetti V, Bonechi S, Aparicio-Martínez P, Pinzi S, Calabrò G. Investigating Issues and Needs of Dyslexic Students at University: Proof of Concept of an Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality-Based Supporting Platform and Preliminary Results. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(10):4624. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104624

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zingoni, Andrea, Juri Taborri, Valentina Panetti, Simone Bonechi, Pilar Aparicio-Martínez, Sara Pinzi, and Giuseppe Calabrò. 2021. "Investigating Issues and Needs of Dyslexic Students at University: Proof of Concept of an Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality-Based Supporting Platform and Preliminary Results" Applied Sciences 11, no. 10: 4624. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104624

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