MASELTOV researches and develops innovative information technologies to facilitate bidirectional integration via local community building and to empower cultural diversity.
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Testing the MApp to improve English language learning and cultural understanding

January – February 2015: Milton Keynes (UK) field trial

In January-February 2015 the MASELTOV project team in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University (OU) ran a 3 week field trial of the prototype MASELTOV App (MApp) in Milton Keynes (UK) that focused on how the MApp supports immigrants to improve their English language learning and to develop their understanding of the UK’s cultural context. The tools evaluated during the trial included language learning, the forum, the game and a tool to measure progress. 17 Spanish speaking participants with a low level of English, who have immigrated to the EU and are now living in Milton Keynes, took part in the trial. An initial workshop, delivered in Spanish, was held so that participants could familiarise themselves with an Android smartphone and the MApp functionality, and to build a community of learners before using the MApp in their everyday lives.

Data were gathered via several research methods including pre-trial and weekly questionnaires, logs showing what apps were used (and where and when), forum posts and post-trial interviews with the participants and the facilitator.

Early analysis has been conducted and interview findings illustrate that participants valued the language lessons and feedback demonstrates the benefits of language learning via the MApp, for example: “It is practical, you don’t have to find a place, you can just take the phone out…it’s permanently there”, “I like the tests where you could see if you learnt it or not so if I had made mistakes I could see my errors and go back and read it again” and “if I want to find a job or …need to open a bank account…really useful for people recently arrived”. Using the forum to interact with others was key in helping to create a sense of community and providing a platform where the participants could share their thoughts and experiences, for example: “If you have a question…you can share it with the other members, chat or write questions you don’t understand”. Weekly usage of the MApp tools is available, and together with the other rich data sources will allow the team to show where and when interactions happened.

For further information about the trial, please contact Jan Jones, MASELTOV Project Manager at the OU (jan.jones@open.ac.uk) or Agnes Kukulska-Hulme (Principal Investigator and Academic Lead, agnes.kukulska-hulme@open.ac.uk). The Open University’s MASELTOV Project blog can be found Here
Further information about this and other projects at the Institute of Educational Technology can be found Here.


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Conference on Mobile Application for Immigrants – MASELTOV 2015

16-17 March 2015: London, UK

MASELTOV 2015 conference at The Open University in London, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, Chairs: Stefano Kluzer, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Lucas Paletta.





Mobile phones, especially those which provide internet access, have become for many years essential tools in the hands of migrants to address the changing needs they face in different phases of the migration process itself. Besides being important to keep in touch with the countries of origin and with family members and friends elsewhere in the world, they are also used in the countries of destination as tools to manage work, for socialization purposes, for leisure, to search for information on life in the new environment and so on. The MASELTOV 2015 international conference on mobile applications for the empowerment and social inclusion of immigrants will provide different views of this new phenomenon, based on the results of recent investigations and new initiatives they have undertaken in Europe and North America with a focus on the use of smartphones. With the aim to stimulate the sharing of experiences and ideas, presentations illustrate specific cases of new services, which exploit digital opportunities to facilitate the life of immigrants. The presentations will shift the attention to important EU project and projects in digital-based social innovation as well as to original approaches that help people who have communication problems with a low-tech, clever and effective solution.

The project MASELTOV will present in a specific session the potential of using smartphones to assist newly arrived immigrants in Europe -moving around, learning the language, connecting with potential sources of support etc.- by developing and testing an integrated application (the MASELTOV App – MApp), which provides a rich set of functionality. Various MASELTOV partners will report about the technical results achieved and the reaction of users in the field trials in the second session of the conference.

See also Here.


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Workshop on Attention in Cognitive Systems – ISACS 2014

1 December 2014: Bielefeld, Germany









MASELTOV partner JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Austria, and CITEC (Cognitive Interaction Technology, Center of Excellence, Bielefeld University) organized together the 7th International Symposium on Attention in Cognitive Systems.

Various invited talks demonstrated attention as an important concept in the context of information selection, decision planning and affective communication systems. In the demonstration session, CITEC presented avatar and robot based interfaces that are capable to respond to variations in personality and culture specific social cueing. MASELTOV presented developments in human factors based evaluation of mobile interfaces in the frame of cultural diversity.

See presentations (PDF) Here or ISACS 2014 poster.


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Call for Papers – IDGEI 2015

29 March 2015: Atlanta, GA, USA

3rd International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion IDGEI 2015, satellite of International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2015.

Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion possess the potential to change our society in a most positive way by preparing selected groups in a playful and fun way for their everyday life’s social and special situations. Exemplary domains span as far as from children with Autism Spectrum Condition to young adults preparing for their first job interviews or migrants familiarizing with their new environment. The current generation of such games thereby increasingly demands for computational intelligence algorithms to help analyze players’ behavior and monitor their motivation and interest to adapt game progress. The development of such games usually thus requires expertise from the general gaming domain, but in particular also from a game’s target domain, besides technological savoir-faire to provide intelligent analysis and reaction solutions.






IDGEI 2015 aims at bridging across these communities and disciplines by inviting respective researchers and experts to discuss their latest perspectives and findings in the field of Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.

See also Here or download the Call for Papers as pdf.


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9th Plenary Meeting

8-9 September 2014: Prague, Czech Republic










The Ninth plenary meeting was organized in Prague (8-9 September, 2014) by the partner Czech Technical University (CTU). 19 people from 13 organizations attended the event and prepared together the final field trials for the evaluation of the MASELTOV mobile service.


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8th Plenary Meeting

26-28 May 2014: Madrid, Spain









The Eigth plenary meeting was organized in Madrid (26-28 May, 2014) by the partner Fundeso Desarollo (FUN). 19 people from 13 organizations attended the event and planned together the key activities for the final project period, such as, the iterations of the field trials, the full integration of the MASELTOV suite of mobile services and joint scientific publications.


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IDGEI 2014 Workshop

24 February 2014: Haifa, Israel









JOANNEUM RESEARCH organized the 2nd International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion, Haifa, Israel, 24 February, 2014, associated with International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2014.

See also Here.


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7th Plenary Meeting

19-21 February 2014: Vienna, Austria










The Seventh plenary meeting was organized in Vienna (19-21 February, 2014) by the partner Austrian Institute of Technology (ATE). 24 persons from 13 organizations attended the event and prepared together the second year project review meeting.

In addition members of the MASELTOV Advisory Board (MAB) were invited to get a closer insight to the status of the project and to give valuable feedback about the most appropriate development directions from the potential user point.


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Research Workshop – Migrating in times of mobility: flexible and rigid structures in digital Europe

07-08 November, 2013: Barcelona, Spain










The international research workshop “Migrating in times of mobility: flexible and rigid structures in digital Europe”, held in Barcelona, 7th and 8th November 2013, gathered a diverse and engaged group of experts, academics, activists, members of public institutions and NGOs.
The workshop focused particularly on the flow of people migrating from Spain to Britain, and the challenges and opportunities this phenomenon implies for the people on the move but also for the social sciences and the implementation of public policies. In this context, and as part of the FP7 project MASELTOV, the researchers of the Migration and Network Society program presented preliminary results of their fieldwork in London during July and September 2013. This fieldwork focused on Spanish-speaking young adults recently arrived in the British capital, analysing their motivations, needs and mobilization of resources in contemporary digital contexts.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 288587 MASELTOV, a project on mobile phones and immigrants in Europe.

See also the Workshop announcement as pdf.


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Usability studies autumn 2013

The usability study took place in London, UK at the Migrants Resource Centre (MRC) on the 25th and the 26th of September 2013, as well as in Graz, Austria, at DANAIDA (DAN) on the 1st of October 2013







Within a user-based usability evaluation study the user interface concepts of selected MASELTOV services were tested. The aim was to detect usability issues by observing the participants’ interaction with the services. The nineteen participants were mainly immigrants with an Arabic, Latin-American or Turkish background. Immigrants from Arabic speaking countries (Sudan, Eritrea, Bahrain) had good English skills, Participants from Latin American countries (Urugay, Colombia, Ecuador) had partly good English skills, partly they spoke only Spanish. Turkish participants spoke only Turkish. For the planned field trials which aim to evaluate functional prototypes in a real world setting, participants matching the defined criteria will be approached to learn more in which situations they use the services and if they are really helpful for these immigrants.
The concept of playful learning realized in the Serious Game application was also very much appreciated. Among the evaluated service prototypes the Serious Game application was evaluated with participants from Arabic speaking countries. Usability problems and recommendations were elaborated to minimize major issues in the final user interfaces.
The purpose of the Geo-Social Radar service is to connect an immigrant who needs assistance, with a volunteer nearby by allowing user-to-user communications in several ways (video, call, chat, messaging, etc.). The application will search and display potential volunteers nearby the user according to different search criteria. The participation of locals will be on a voluntary basis and every participant will be able to allow or deny his/her localization. The idea of the Geo-Social Radar was of high interest. Especially the more educated participants (i.e. Arabic, Latin American) mentioned their concerns regarding their privacy potentially being abused by others.
The objective of Text Lens service is real-time text detection, recognition and annotation using the mobile phone camera. By this means, the user has the possibility to translate unknown text immediately by taking a photo. Furthermore, users can browse the history of captured texts and translations as well as make use of the text-to-speech functionality. The mock-up of the Text Lens service was especially treasured since the simple UI concept was understood immediately and no severe usability issues occurred.
Based on the presented recommendations the user interface concepts were further improved in form of functional prototypes.


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