Digital learning for smartphone language applications: The use of feedback in an app for Norwegians who want to learn Spanish
MetadataShow full item record
- Institutt for design 
There is an increased interest in digital learning and how technology creates new possibility of combining and presenting different learning techniques. Feedback is a learning technique in traditional learning usually received by submitting a draft or getting a grade. However, digital learning creates space for students receiving feedback to learn along the way while working towards another primary goal. By learning a second language, such as Spanish in Norway, students are not exposed to the language in their everyday life and it is therefore conceivable that they need more help in terms of feedback for guidance. As a learning platform, smartphones give the opportunity for ubiquitous learning, such that you are able to learn anywhere and anytime, and which allows smartphones to be a good platform for language learning. The interaction designer’s role is to design for a good user experience when learning and interacting through using a user-centered development process. This study examines language applications; digital learning with a focus on feedback and students needs and wishes for learning Spanish. A survey, interviews and usability testing are used to investigate the users’ needs, wishes for learning, motivation and test interaction with an app prototype made based on theory and data presented in the thesis. State Of The Art shows that as Spanish is one of the world’s most spoken languages (1), it is well represented on the application market with apps such as Duolingo (2), SpeakTribe (3) and Busuu(4). However, what we see is that there is a big variation in the quality of apps, especially when the learner wants to learn from Norwegian to Spanish. Although research available provides guidelines and techniques on how to use mobiles as learning tools, for example by using mobile apps for fitting learning into students’ lives outside of classes and providing digital quizzes (5-7), what can be see is that many existing apps have not exploited the mobile platform nor taken into account basic design principles, such as Nielsen’s usability heuristics (8), to design for a good user experience. Presented as the conclusion is a prototype of a language learning application showing how interaction with feedback can be used in digital learning, and developed by a user-centered design process including State Of the Art and user involvement throughout the development.