Karachi, Pakistan – December 6, 2005 – ESRA Literacy Software wins the Merit Award in the ‘Education & Training’ category at the P@SHA ICT Awards 2005. This Award was presented in acknowledgement of developing one of the most innovative ICT solutions for the delivery of education and training for Urdu, in Pakistan.
The ESRA Urdu Literacy Software has been designed for men and women from rural and semi-urban populations between the age of 14 to 40 years.
The ESRA Urdu Literacy Software is divided into 3 main components:
- Vocabulary, Two and Four Letter words
- Vowels, Secondary Vowels, Arabs (Semi-Vowels), Three Letter Words, Alif Sounds, Diphthong and Nasalized Vowels
- Test & Evaluation
All content has been developed by a group of domain experts appointed by ESRA under the supervision of our development team. A three-day workshop was initiated with domain experts prior to the design and development. This workshop was concluded by Prof. Dr. M. Zafar Iqbal (Vice-Chancellor of Allama Iqbal Open University and an expert in ICT in Pakistan).
From the opening screen, a teacher appears to help direct the users’ experience within the program. The user may enter the program as a student or a teacher. A feature of the student login is to allow a user to take a test and then save the results in a database. An effective feature of the teacher login is to track the results of student activities. Once a user has selected the appropriate login, they are presented with a menu screen that outlines each of the sections. It is at this point that a user may select one of the several learning areas.
After selecting a topic, a user is directed through a tutorial that explains the form and meaning of a topic. The software also allows a user to demonstrate their understanding of the topic through an interactive exercise attached with every topic/lesson. The information has been presented both visually and aurally using clear voice and written visual communication and an uncluttered layout. At any point, a user may return to a prior screen or the main menu.
‘Test & Evaluation’ is a key component of the software. It allows a teacher to evaluate a student’s understanding of the topic/lesson before moving to the next lesson. Every lesson has an interactive exercise where users are asked questions in a fun way. Users are always given positive feedback in a soft voice, irrespective of wrong answers. The software allows multiple tries even in the ‘Test and Evaluation’ mode.
The ESRA Urdu Literacy Software combines pictures, voiceovers, background music, video, animation and interactive exercises to enable users to speak, read and write basic Urdu in just six learning months. The software design is based on typical rural setting depicting local culture and traditions. Exercises have been designed using the scenarios and elements from the daily life and the surroundings of the end-user.
The ESRA Urdu Literacy Software integrates research-driven Urdu literacy content in to a user-friendly interface, graphic-rich design, and interactivity to effectively maintain student interest and reinforce learning at the same time.