Basic Software Identifying Learning Weaknesses

Start Date: 01/07/2003
End Date: 31/12/2004
Funding: O.P. "Competitiveness"
Project Leader: Protopapas Athanasios

Vlema is a PC program which automatically and with accuracy identifies students who probably have learning problems/disabilities.

Vlema is the result of many years research and it’s the only software that is supported by rigorous testing and statistical analysis.

Vlema is addressed to students of the third and fourth grade of Primary School. In this critical age the identification of learning difficulties is credible and there is still plenty of time for effective response interventions.

Vlema has 4 exercise-games. Each student does the exercises on their own without the need for supervision. The software provides the necessary visual and acoustic instructions and checks whether these are properly followed by students. Vlema is simple in installation and use. It does not require special knowledge or special familiarity with PC’s.

Results are automatically evaluated by a main (central) PC. Each student sends out the exercise workings via the internet, easily and conveniently. The student’s personal data are not transferred to any other PC but remain solely on the one in which they did the exercises. Vlema reliably and credibly helps the specialists in their diagnostic evaluation of each student. It does not by itself provide a diagnosis or a detailed evaluation of student’s abilities or performance. However, it identifies students who probably have learning problems and recommends them to be evaluated by a specialist professional or by K.D.A.Y (Diagnostic, Evaluation, Support Centers) or other relevant institution.

The tests of software are taking place in the picturesque environment of “sea garden” (thalassokipos). Photeinoula presents alphabet letters which have to be memorized in the correct order in order to measure the short memory.

The difficulty gradually increases with the use of more letters. Mr Plokamidis presents text cards to measure reading speed and the comprehension. It has ten texts of increasing difficulty and, for each text, a quadrant of an image of similar content. Kitrinis speaks false words which has to be written correctly for evaluating phonological memory and spelling.

False words become more difficult with increasing length and phonological complexity.

Mrs Plokamidou presents four words of which the only correct one to match the image that is displayed must be chosen. It evaluates spelling, phonological, morphological and historical.