Research & Scholarly Achievement
at Gallaudet University

Project D3: Interactive learning environment for optimizing technology use

ID: 2641
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2014
End Date: September 2019


For a person with hearing loss, technological developments continue to expand the sensory management options available through hearing devices. The diversity and sophistication of these new hearing enhancement options bring about an ever-increasing need for guidance and support in becoming a knowledgeable and effective user of a hearing device. There is also a growing realization that more realistic conditions during training may lead to greater transfer of acquired skills. Similarly, the importance of realistic expectations in setting aural rehabilitation goals, both on the part of the hearing device user and the clinician/audiologist, is universally acknowledged. The goal of this project is to develop a prototype training/counseling program to simulate in some relevant ways a variety of real-life listening situations so that a person can experience both the benefits and limitations of their new hearing device, and develop more realistic auditory rehabilitation goals and expectations. To accomplish this, the training program will utilize an interactive learning environment based on self-directed exploration of the relationship between (i) acoustic factors that affect hearing/sound processing, and (ii) technological solutions and communication strategies that are aimed at improving sound detection, speech comprehension, and the overall listening experience. The proposed training program is aimed at providing an alternative to the prevailing intensive learning paradigm and is believed to address several of its shortcomings. Realistic simulations of real-life listening situations will allow direct, structured experience that neither auditory training nor informational counseling provide.

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Barac-Cikoja, D., Cole, K., Frick, A., & Pizappi, N. (2016). Using self-directed exploration to optimize hearing aid use in a noisy environment. Presented at the International Hearing Aid Research Conference (IHCON). Tahoe City, CA.


Barac-Cikoja, D., & Cole, K. (2018). Interactive learning environment for optimizing technology use. Research at Gallaudet. Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

Barac-Cikoja, D., Cole, K., Kottlowski, A., Collis, A., & Uguccioni, K. (2018, August). Sound advice: An interactive learning environment for optimizing use of hearing assistive. Poster session presented at the International Hearing Aid Conference (IHCON), Lake Tahoe, CA.

Barac-Cikoja, D., Cole, K., Kottlowski, A., Collis, A., & Uguccioni, K. (2018, February). Interactive learning environment for use in auditory rehabilitation. Presented at the 41st Annual MidWinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, San Diego, CA. 

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