Literacy is transformative as it can increase earning potential, decrease inequality, improve health outcomes and break the cycle of poverty. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), at least 1 in 3 adults cannot read. Youth literacy rate in SSA, 72%, is the lowest of any region and there are many millions of children and youths that do not attend school. Youth engagement in reading and learning can be improved through the gamification of literacy and by using Information and Communication Technologies, namely mobile phones, which can take an important role in tracking literacy and in motivating people to learn how to read and write.
Several techniques for assessing literacy can be used: the traditional oral reading fluency tests, the Test of Written Spelling, lexile measurements, the early grade reading assessment, among others. Machine learning techniques can simultaneously be used to identify user literacy level specific behaviours during the literacy assessment. These behaviours can be identified, and analysed, helping to define user profiles and automatically adapt smartphone applications’ interfaces for each user.
This project aims to develop an innovative smartphone application to monitor community literacy in African countries by autonomously assessing user’s literacy level through standardized but engaging tests, tracking user’s literacy progress over the time, correlating user literacy level with user behaviour and interaction in the mobile app, and modifying app interface and usability according to the literacy level of the user.
The solution was built for English, but it is flexible to allow easy integration of other languages. It is important that the solution developed is tailored for African users, and has an optimized human-computer interface. The main users of this app will be Sub-Saharan African citizens, especially children in Ghana. The possibility of adaptation of user interfaces according to user’s literacy can also be useful in other ICT4D solutions.
For any additional information regarding this project, please contact us using the inquiries form.