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Digital Pen Research

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the research about?

This research aims to analyse university students’ handwriting skills using digital pens. The interview session will provide you with a chance to discuss any specific difficulties related to reading and writing skills whilst answering some simple questions. There is also a chance to discuss strategies that could be used to support your learning.

Why have you been chosen?

This research aims to collect samples of handwriting from university students, in order to further knowledge about the assessment of handwriting skills.

What will happen during the handwriting sessions?

The researcher will ask you to write the alphabet, draw some shapes and write some words in one to one or group situation, using a digital pen. The digital pen is a not a special pen, so you can write as usual. The digital pen has a tiny camera that records the position and time and writing pressure of handwriting when used on special paper.

How long will it take?

The whole process will take about 30 minutes.

Are there any benefits in taking part?

We will give you feedback about your handwriting if you feel it would be helpful we can also suggest free and easy to use technology strategies. There is the bonus of a £5 Amazon token plus a chance to win a £50 Amazon token.

Are there any risks involved?

You may feel tired after 20 minutes of handwriting but the tasks are broken up as in normal lessons. If you need a break, it will be allowed to stop at any time. No student will be made to carry out the tasks if they do not want to.

There is also the chance to help with further research and gain another Amazon token. you may be asked to take part in a short interview

What will happen during the interview sessions?

The researcher has four questionnaires that will not take long to go through as she will read out, so you can provide the answers. The questions are all related to reading and writing skills and the study strategy you use for your learning. If you are willing to allow a recorder to be used the researcher will not need to make so many notes and will be able to concentrate on your answers.

How long will it take?

The whole interview will take about 30 minutes.

Are there any benefits in taking part?

We will give you feedback about your handwriting and if you feel it would be helpful we can also suggest free and easy to use technology strategies. There is the bonus of a £5 Amazon token plus a chance to win a £50 Amazon token.

Are there any risks involved?

As a researcher, I am required to let you know if there are any risks involved with the interview session. If at any time any questions I ask make you feel uncomfortable, you can always say you would rather not answer them but I can assure you they will only about your reading and writing skills and strategies you have developed for your learning.

Will your participation be confidential?

We will save your interview information linked with the pen ID number of the handwriting session. We can feedback any information you would like but only if you want this to happen. It will be necessary for you to give us your pen ID number if you wish to receive this feedback. The interview information and any papers will be stored in a locked cabinet. After we complete the study, we will keep your personal information and handwriting data anonymous (e.g. the date of birth is changed to age of the session done). Totally anonymous data may be used for further studies about handwriting comparing writing speed with the hesitations that may take place under different conditions such as free writing and copying.

What happens if I change my mind?

You can withdraw from this project at any time.

Where can I get more information?

If you have any questions, please contact the person as below.

Dr. Rumi Hirabayashi, ECS, University of Southampton (mobile 07446439331, e-mail rh2a11@ecs.soton.ac.uk)