IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - January 2021 - 23

specific learning difficulty is associated with problems of
accuracy and speed in reading. The aspect of reading speed
is often overlooked in the early grades and particularly in
languages with opaque orthographies, such as English and
French. In addition, vocabulary knowledge plays a crucial
role in learning to read opaque languages, but technologybased vocabulary interventions have been truly neglected.
The objective of this research was to propose an intelligent game-based training program focused on the aspect of
reading speed in the English language for young dyslexics.
The design of the games was based on the self-efficacy and
self-determination theories, and the training design was
based on the principles of automaticity acquisition. Four
minigames were designed that focus mainly on fostering
automaticity of reading at the lexical level explicitly and the
sublexical level implicitly as well as offering a basis for
expanding vocabulary knowledge. An optimization model
was developed and integrated into the games to allow for
optimized content that maximizes the educational value
while considering the individual abilities of each learner.
Two usability studies were conducted to validate the
approach. The data collected from playing the games
showed that the optimization model produced the expected content for the games. The content with the highest
value and the lowest difficulty was preferred more frequently, and the next lower frequency and higher difficulty
levels were selected less often. However, neither letter
number nor word frequency was a perfect predictor of
word reading difficulty. Hence, it is recommended to use a
combination of lexical information for weighting the difficulty of words in the optimization model. The results of
the SUS and SIMS are promising. The overall score of the
usability test was 75% in the first study and 80% for the second design iteration of the games.
In future research, it is planned to use experimental
data from the tests with students. These data will be used
by the intelligent module of the games to determine the
parameters of the optimization model with better accuracy. Additional games as well as customization options can
be included in the games to enhance the feeling of autonomy for the users. Including emotion recognition in the
interaction to tailor the games according to the user's emotional response or his/her facial expressions will also be
considered. This will allow for taking into account the feelings of frustration or boredom during the gameplay.

Metiérs--ParisTech. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in
computer science at the END-ICAP laboratory of the University of Versailles, Versailles, France. His research interests
include gamification and serious games as well as psychological, educational, and assistive technology.
Samir Garbaya (samir.garbaya@ensam.eu) earned his
engineering M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in virtual reality from
the University of Birmingham. He is an associate professor
at Arts et Metiérs-ParisTech, Paris, France, and a researcher at the END-ICAP laboratory of the University of Versailles, Versailles, France. His research activities span a
large spectrum of research topics, including human-computer interaction, virtual reality, multisensory interaction
with a focus on haptics and spatialized audio feedbacks,
intelligent interactive systems, and sensorimotor and cognitive rehabilitation with the gamification concept.
Theodore Lim (t.lim@hw.ac.uk) earned his M.Sc. degree
in mechanical engineering with computer-aided engineering
in 1997 and his Ph.D. degree in 2000, both from Heriot-Watt
University (HWU), Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K. He undertook
a research associate position in 2000, working in the area of
optical computing with the Department of Physics. In September 2007, he became a lecturer in the Department of
Mechanical Engineering at HWU. He has published several
articles on feature recognition, optimizing tool selection,
haptics, and optical computing.
Pierre Blazevic (pierre.blazevic@uvsq.fr) earned his
Ph.D. degree in robotics from the University Pierre and Marie
Curie in 1991. He is a professor at the University of Versailles,
Versailles, France, and a researcher at the END-ICAP laboratory. His research interests include locomotion and control of
mobile robots, gait analysis, and the design of assistive devices.
References
[1] R. K. Wagner et al., " The prevalence of dyslexia: A new approach to its estimation, " J. Learn. Disabil., vol. 53, no. 5, pp. 354-365, May 2020. doi: 10.1177/
0022219420920377.
[2] E. Lithari, " Fractured academic identities: Dyslexia, secondary education, selfesteem and school experiences, " Int. J. Incl. Educ., vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 280-296, Mar.
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[3] F. R. Vellutino, J. M. Fletcher, M. J. Snowling, and D. M. Scanlon, " Specific reading disability (dyslexia): What have we learned in the past four decades? " J. Child
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Acknowledgments
We acknowledge the financial support of Hands-Free Computing Ltd. as well as the European Union through the
Beaconing project (Horizon 2020 grant 687676).

[5] J. Ecalle and A. Magnan, L'apprentissage de la lecture et ses difficultés, 2e éd.
Paris: Dunod, 2015.
[6] M. Qian and K. R. Clark, " Game-based learning and 21st century skills: A review of
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chb.2016.05.023.

About the Authors
Hossein Jamshidifarsani (hossein.jamshidifarsani@uvsq
.fr) earned his B.S. and M.Sc. degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Tehran and a Master II degree in
knowledge integration in mechanical production from Arts et
	

[7] M. Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life. New York: Basic Books, 1997.
[8] H. Lyytinen, " Helping dyslexic children with GraphoGame digital game-based
training tool (an interview), " Psychol. Sci. Educ., vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 84-86, 2018. doi:
10.17759/pse.2018230308.

Ja nu a r y 2021

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https://www.doi.org/10.1002/9780470757833.ch22

IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - January 2021

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