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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

High Resolution 3D Animations as a Supplement for the Teaching of American Sign Language
by Zare, Arwa Ziad, M.S., University of California, Davis, 2011, 68; 1512506
Abstract (Summary)

Hearing loss affects millions of Americans of all ages and many affected individuals communicate with others by using sign languages. There is a variety of sign systems used. American Sign Language (ASL) is one of the most common sign languages used in North America. In classrooms, it is usually taught by using several supplements—books for class work, homework, and culture awareness, as well as videos—but with no exposure to high-resolution 3D animations of human figures. The use of high-resolution 3D animations as a supplement in teaching the signs, instead of books and two-dimensional and three-dimensional still images, can be a beneficial and effective method for students and has several advantages over traditional teaching supplements.

By using 3D animation videos, the user will have full control over the video. He/she can view the animated signs as many times as necessary. The animations also can be customized so the observer can view the signing/model from all angles or from the best angle to see the signing perfectly. Moreover, the signing can be customized to different characters (male, female, child, elderly, etc.). Also the clothing of the character, surrounding environment, and lighting effects can be customized and different to present less than ideal circumstances to the students. In addition, special editing such as captions, close-ups, picture-in-picture, and phantom movements can be added to the animations to make it easier for the students to understand how to form the signs and assess their performance.

This thesis presents the materials and methods used to create the high-resolution 3D animations of human figures for American Sign Language, and the results of testing the usefulness of these animations on a small sample of ASL professionals and students.

From the results of testing the animations, which show that 77% of the animated sign words were interpreted correctly among the sample, it is expected that these animations can be a useful supplement to books and still images for ASL learners.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Odor, Albert
Commitee: Yellowlees, Peter
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Health Informatics (formerly Medical Informatics)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Information Technology, Teacher education, Educational technology
Keywords: American sign language, Animations, Asl, Asl teaching supplements, High resolution 3d animations, Three-d animations
Publication Number: 1512506
ISBN: 978-1-267-40135-9
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