New project to make online learning more accessible

Yun Huang
Yun Huang, Associate Professor and Interim BSIS and BSIS+DS Program Director

While traditional closed captions represent the spoken part of a video, important content may not be expressed, to the detriment of audiences who depend on captions to understand the material being presented. With the increasing reliance on videos in online learning, this becomes even more problematic. A new collaborative project being led by Assistant Professor Yun Huang will focus on explanatory captions, which give insight into a video's visual and audio content as well as the spoken word. Her project, "Advancing STEM Online Learning by Augmenting Accessibility with Explanatory Captions and AI," has received a three-year $526,006 grant (totaling $849,994 with two collaborators at Gallaudet University and University at Notre Dame) from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

"Explanatory captions have the potential to play a new role in STEM learning," said Huang. "This project will work to devise effective Q/A mechanisms and interaction designs, such as chatbots, that enable students and instructors to generate explanatory captions for STEM videos in a collaborative manner."

The proposed technologies will make videos more accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) community and non-native English speakers. Evaluation sites will include Gallaudet University, the world's only liberal arts university dedicated exclusively to educating DHH learners, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which has the largest international student population among U.S. public universities.

Huang's research areas include social computing, human-computer interaction, mobile computing, and crowdsourcing. She received her PhD in information and computer science from the University of California, Irvine.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Winning exhibit features recipes from across the globe

MSLIS students Yung-hui Chou, Alice Tierney-Fife, and Elizabeth Workman are the winners of this year’s Graduate Student Exhibit Contest, sponsored by the University of Illinois Library. Their exhibit, "Culture and Cuisine in Diaspora: A Hidden Library Collection," displays items from seven campus libraries and highlights research and recreational material centered on traditional recipes from across the globe. The exhibit is on display in the library's Marshall Gallery through the end of April and also available online.

Trainor receives the Karen Wold Level the Learning Field Award

Senior Lecturer Kevin Trainor has been selected by the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) to receive the 2024 Karen Wold Level the Learning Field Award. This award honors exemplary members of faculty and staff for advocating and/or implementing instructional strategies, technologies, and disability-related accommodations that afford students with disabilities equal access to academic resources and curricula. 

Kevin Trainor

Seo coauthors chapter on data science and accessibility

Assistant Professor JooYoung Seo and Mine Dogucu, professor of statistics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California Irvine, have coauthored a chapter in the new book Teaching Accessible Computing. The goal of the book, which is edited by Alannah Oleson, Amy J. Ko and Richard Ladner, is to help educators feel confident in introducing topics related to disability and accessible computing and integrating accessibility into their courses.

JooYoung Seo

iSchool instructors ranked as excellent

Fifty-five iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Fall 2023. The rankings are released every semester, and results are based on the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. 

iSchool Building

ConnectED: Tech for All podcast launched by Community Data Clinic

The Community Data Clinic (CDC), a mixed methods data studies and interdisciplinary community research lab led by Associate Professor Anita Say Chan, has released the first episode of its new podcast, ConnectED: Tech for All. Community partners on the podcast include the Housing Authority of Champaign County, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Project Success of Vermilion County, and Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office.

Community Data Clinic podcast logo