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Design and development of a game based eye training program for children with low vision

Dönmez, Mehmet
This study explores the design principles of eye movement-based computer game applications as training material for children with low vision to enhance their vision skills. It aims to provide children with interactive materials to improve their vision. For the study, design-based research was employed in four phases, namely analysis, development, evaluation and testing, and documentation and reflection. In the analysis phase, a focus group meeting and interviews were conducted with experts from the field of low vision. Besides, interviews were conducted with special education teachers and an ophthalmologist to understand the current eye training applications for children with low vision. In the design phase, interviews were conducted with expert academicians from the field of low vision and instructional technology to gather expert opinion and to prepare storyboards for the eye training games. After that, two prototypes were developed by including formative evaluation supported with interviews with special education teachers, and interviews and focus group meeting with expert academicians. After these steps, the final product of the game-based eye training program for children with low vision was finalized, and design principles for developing eye gaze games were gathered. In the evaluation and testing phase, the eye training program was tested with children with low vision, and the data were collected from their parents, ophthalmologists, and expert academicians as summative evaluation. In the documentation and reflection phase, the design principles were finalized for developing eye training programs for children with low vision. This study revealed that eye-tracking technology can be used by people with low vision. The findings revealed design principles for designing and developing a game-based eye training program for children with low vision. By following these design principles, there is a need for developing more games with a variety of visual objects to help children with low vision to enhance their visual acuity and visual field through scanning and focusing on objects and controlling of eye movements as scanning and tracking by considering color discrimination, contrast sensitivity, and light sensitivity.