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Assistive Technology Software Review

EDUC25738 Educational & Assistive Technology

Hayley Nicklin, Sara Donovan,

Yanni Karvelas, Connor
Cinnamond, Sang Hun Lee
November 22, 2016

I understand Sheridan policies on academic offences, and have reviewed

statements pertaining to plagiarism for this course.
This is to certify that I have reviewed the work I am submitting here (and/or
uploading to the Assignment Dropbox) and have taken care to ensure that
it is my own work / words.
I have not used 5 or more consecutive words from another source, without
quotes and un-cited; I understand mosaic plagiarism and have not reworded sentences from other sources. I have not represented the ideas of
others as my own. Where relevant, I have included a bibliography of all
sources used in preparing this work.

Signed: _____________________________________________________

Submit in hard copy and upload to SLATE Dropbox. The Comments section is
there so that you can (and must) explain your ratings in more detail ~ as you
type, this section will expand. Remember that this submission is offered as proof
that you have thoroughly explored the software.

Software Description
Software Title

Word Q

Age / grade level

According to the website, users include children in

primary school all the way up to college students,
and people in the workplace

Publisher /
Distributor / Cost /
Platforms and OS

GoQ Software, Available on Windows and Mac, Costs

can be quoted through the website, free trials are

Intended purpose / outcomes

(Be clear about this if necessary visit the companys website to see what
they claim the purpose and value of the software is; AVOID PLAGIARISM. Be
sure to refer to function / tasks that it enables.)
WordQ is used as a word predictor, spelling and grammar check, and text-tospeech tool, which works simultaneously as your write.
General Description and main features / sections
When youve downloaded WordQ, a small box pops up in the corner of your
screen. There are four buttons available: Options, Words, Speech, and Read.
These buttons allow you the options to set up the word prediction box, textto-speech function, and settings.

5 = excellent, 4 = good, 3 = OK, 2 = weak, 1 = unacceptable
Installation instructions (answer each

5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Are they clear &/or the install is easy/ automatic

Explanatory Comments:
Installation instructions are easy to find and understand. It asks questions
based on your computer and the reason for use so you know youre
downloading the right one for your needs.

Ease of initial use (answer each question)

5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Easy to understand what to do; intuitive?

Explanatory Comments:
When first downloaded, WordQ walks you through easy step-by-step
instructions to help choose a language, vocabulary level, and voice.

Is there a tutorial on the CD? A tutorial online?

Explanatory Comments: There are many tutorial videos online which explain
various aspects of the program.

Easy to navigate / exit / user friendly

Explanatory Comments: The tool is small and does not have many buttons
making it easy to navigate and understand.

Are there sample files or activities?

Explanatory Comments: No.

Design (answer each question)

5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Sound & Interface quality? 5

UI ~ user interface? 5
Attractive, appealing? 5

Explanatory Comments: Sound quality is clear and offers many different

voices and styles including singing and robots. The program itself is small
and out of the way, does not interfere with other programs open and is

Software Features (this is THE MAIN / MOST IMPORTANT part

of the assignment)
Explain and discuss each component of the software, each drop down
menu; add more rows to this template as needed.
Feature: Name it and Explain it (in
your own words; be very careful to not
copy and paste from websites or

Journey & Outcomes: What are your

observations, reflections when you tried to
use the feature; what do you now know
that you did not know before; how can you
see this being used in educational settings.

New user-You can make many

different accounts for this

We found creating a new user fairly

easy to do. Those with lower cognitive
functioning may find it difficult. We
recommend the teacher or EA help set
up the program for the student.

Reading Assistance-When you

want to read something just

We found this to be one of the best

features we have come across. Some

highlight the phrase/words and

press the read button and it
will read it back to you

of liked being able to hear the

information instead of taking the time
to read it out, while Yanni brought up
the fact that he would use this to have
the program read him the sentence so
he could hear the spelling mistakes
instead of see them. Perfect for
students who struggle with reading.
Pros- Provides independence
- Teaches to hear users mistakes
Cons- the student must be at a
cognitive level to hear and process the

Choosing words-When typing a

word you cant spell, options of
possible words will come up,
this is a production software.

The small box that pops up and gives

the student options, is literally like
having someone hold up a dictionary
and word list for you as you type. This
tool allows for the student to have so
much more independence and save so
much time, in comparison to
constantly ask for help or use a
Pros- This again poses as a way to
teach the student while helping
Cons- the student must be at a
cognitive level where they understand
the correct word to choose

Number selection-When the

prediction words are show you
can use the numbers
1,2,3,4,5 to quickly pick the
word you want to use

We found this to be totally influenced

by personal preference

Homonyms- some words are

sound similar like night and
knight, in the prediction box if
you look at the word you are
trying to spell it will have a
gray triangle that would use
the word in a sentences to
make sure you are using the
right word. For example, in the
night I sleep or I saw a picture
of a knight, then you can pick

I was unaware of the this program

would go into so much detail to add
something like this feature to make
sure one uses the right there. As to
many it comes naturally, so I didnt
think about it needed to be an option.

the right one

Adding words/abbreviationsYou can go and add words like

names (Yanni) or abbreviations
like OPP to have it write out
Ontario provincial police

This was one of the features we found

so easy, that the student themselves
would be able to do this themselves,
again allowing for student

Options-You can go into this

feature and change the
following where the prediction
box stays, how many words are
predicted, adding words, hot
keys and more

This, would be a great feature for an

EA, to help the student with to create
the ultimate tool for the student.

Evaluative Considerations
Effectiveness (answer each question)

5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Does it do / deliver what it promises?

Explanatory Comments: The program does what it says it does.

Engagement (answer each question)

5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Would intended users like to use it?

Explanatory Comments: Yes because it is compact and compatible with other

programs. Its straightforward and easy to use. It helps boost self-esteem.

Preferences / personalization (answer each


5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Can individual preferences or performance be saved? Yes

Can individual student performance records (if relevant) be kept? N/A

Explanatory Comments: Preferences are saved under users. You can create
several users on the account setting are saved by each.

Levels (answer each question)

5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Can the difficulty level be changed? Yes

Are there noticeable differences in the difficulty levels? Yes
Does the level change automatically or is it manually adjusted? Manually

Explanatory Comments: You can choose different levels based on age or

grade level. The Starter level is for up to grade 3 and has a vocabulary of
5000 words. Intermediate level is meant for grades 2-8 and has a vocabulary
of 10,000. The Advanced level is for grade 7 and up with a vocabulary of
15,000. Each level has a, 80,000 word dictionary.

Support & Responsiveness (answer each


5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Are tips &/or demos offered after errors? Is the response to error
effective? Yes
Does it work as an independent activity &/or a teacher mediated
activity? At first to help set the program up the teacher needs to be with
the student, but after that they can use WordQ intently.

Explanatory Comments: Response to error is very effective as you hear it

immediately when the word is written. This activity starts as teacher
mediated but students use this independently when they become
comfortable with the program.

Summative Comments:
What is your overall impression? Mention pluses and minuses
ProsAllows for independence from being constantly supported by an adult
Teaches, while assisting. Either by students seeing and hearing their mistakes or simply
by ensuring correctness as they work.
Easy to use, would require basic start up assistance but then a student would be able to
use totally independently
Works on multiple tools and OSs
Not just for documents, runs online and in apps
The read aloud system is one of the best weve ever heard, with multiple voices.
Super quick to install
The student/user has to be cognitively capable of a lot of what the software has going on.
Would you recommend this to teachers or parents?

I would definitely recommend this to teachers/parents as from personal

experiences being someone who teachers this program to other students
and is an avid user of it, Its hard to get students we work with to use AT.
Its hard to understand some programs and it makes the student look
different from others when deep down they just want to be at par with

their peers, to not been seen as different, to just fit in and having a huge
headset on their head isnt really the James bond of blending in! This is
why Word Q is perfect, it is extremely easy to understand/use after an
educator helps the student set up the program, in the case of not
ostracizing and possibly cutting off their life line to using their assistive
technology because of bullying Word Q is considerably smaller then
Kurzweil 3000 or Dragon causing the student to feel more comfortable
using it. Therefore, with its reading, prediction and speaking feature it is
the whole package for students that need it and dont want to be different.