IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - January 2021 - 16

educational value. These intelligent characteristics are
The analysis of the data collected from the two
essential for any in-home interventional programs.
usability tests of the system reported in this article proIn this article, a reading intervention program was
vided valuable information for the improvement of the
designed to target young dyslexic children who have to
gamified content, the interaction design, the length of
learn orthographically opaque languages (in this case,
playing sessions, and the situational motivation scale.
English). To promote automaticity in decoding, the trainThe optimization model integrated into the games selecting principles of automatic skill acquisition were taken
ed the content with the highest value (marked by the freinto account. An intelligent component was created to taiquency level of words) and the lowest difficulty (marked
lor the educational content of the tasks to the capabilities
by the word length) most often, and the neighboring conof each learner as well as maximizing the educational
tent was selected less. However, the data from error
value of each training session. In addition, other adaptive
rates committed by the users showed that for an accufeatures, such as adaptive speed and adaptive rewards,
rate prediction of word difficulty, a combination of lexiwere integrated into the system. Furthermore, the gamifical information is necessary as neither word length nor
cation principles as well as motivaword frequency could achieve
tional theories of self-efficacy and
that alone. Overall findings, along
self-determination were used to
with the feedback from the users,
design a playful and game-based
validate the game design as well
Dyslexia is the most
environment for the reading tasks.
as the optimization model inteprevalent form of
grated inside the games.
Related Works and
learning difficulties,
Problem Statement
Technology-Based
with researchers
There are some studies in the literRemediation of Dyslexia
ature that tried to gamify interdiffering on its
Dyslexia is the most prevalent
ventions in reading instruction.
form of learning difficulties, with
prevalence, ranging
GraphoGame (a lso know n a s
researchers differing on its prevafrom 5 to 20%.
Ekapeli or Literate) [8] is a gamified
lence, ranging from 5 to 20% [1]. It
phonics system for teaching the
can have serious negative impacts
relationships between speech
on a person's self-esteem and acasounds and their written counterdemic aspirations [2]. Some studies
parts. A Balanced Reading Approach for Children Always
have pointed out that for treating dyslexia, the instruction
Designed to Achieve Best Results for All is a web-based
duration should be between 80 and 100 h, while healthy
peers need 30 to 60 h [3], [4]. This extra amount of needed
gamified tool focusing on teaching phonics, and its effecinstruction is often not provided in schools.
tiveness has been subject to a meta-analysis [9]. van de Ven
Ubiquitous technologies can potentially mitigate this
et al. [10] have tested a multicomponent mobile game called
lack of sufficient instruction at school. Technology-based
Lett. Prince (Letterprins). Messer and Nash [11] evaluated a
approaches offer several advantages to traditional instrucgamified computer system called Trainertext that is based
tion. They can personalize the instruction for each individual
on visual mnemonics to teach and train grapheme--
as well as be accessed at any time and in any location. Therephoneme relations. A multicomponent reading game called
fore, individual training time can be increased and the
Meister Cody-Namagi has been recently evaluated [12]. It
instructor's time can be freed up for engaging in other tasks
covers phonological awareness and phoneme-grapheme
[5]. Furthermore, by applying the gamification concept,
mapping as well as word reading skills. Another study evalinstruction can become more engaging and increase the
uated the effectiveness of an augmented reality game
adherence of the students to the intervention program [6].
focusing on reading comprehension [13].
However, despite the aforementioned advantages, constructA recent review [14] analyzed technology-based reading
ing such approaches requires a multidisciplinary effort and
interventions and identified several issues with current
deep knowledge of the targeted instructional topic and game
practices. A few of these issues related to this study
design theories as well as learning and training theories [6].
include the following.
Technology-based in-home remedial programs can
1)	 Working on the automaticity aspect of reading is generoffer all of the advantages mentioned previously, but only
ally neglected in elementary schools, and it is even more
if they are well designed. A crucial aspect of these proneglected in earlier grades and for languages with opaque
grams is their ability to adapt the learning material to the
orthography.
capabilities of the users. If the materials are too difficult,
2)	 Fluency approaches were, on average, shorter, which does
the user will get frustrated or anxious, and if the learning
not correspond to the extensive practice time required
materials are too easy, the user will feel bored [7]. In addifor acquiring it. In addition, fluency interventions were
tion to the adaptive difficulty level, the program should
not gamified. Gamification can allow users to practice
also be able to provide the content with maximum
for longer durations, which is vital for fostering fluency.
16	

IEEE SYSTEMS, MAN, & CYBERNETICS MAGAZINE Janu ar y 2021



IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - January 2021

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