Online Learning with a Human Touch

Daniel Willingham, author, professor and director of graduate studies in psychology at the University of Virginia, recently blogged about two experiments that tested the relationship between computer-based learning and human interaction.

The first experiment was with 88 college students and a PowerPoint presentation. They created three versions of the presentation – one with a human voiceover, one with an avatar that synchronized its lips to the voiceover, and one with a fully-animated avatar. Students who watched the presentation with the fully-animated avatar were better able to apply the content to new situations after the presentation. The second experiment was with the same group of students and involved two different presentations – one with a human voice and one with an avatar voice. Like the previous experiment, the more human-like presentation had a greater effect on students’ learning. These two experiments show that human interaction is important to the learning process.

PresenceLearning understands how important human interaction is to the speech and language therapy process. Using a live, interactive system, PresenceLearning speech and language pathologists (SLPs) use webcams to connect live with their students during sessions. Students can see the SLP’s facial expressions, gestures and mouth positions, thus ensuring that the students are getting the most from their therapy sessions.

PresenceLearning provides online speech therapy to help students achieve better, faster outcomes on a wide range of speech-language goals. Using PresenceLearning allows access to high-qualified SLPs, regardless of location. To find out more about high-quality speech therapy services delivered live via the web, visit: / or call 415.512.9000.