The SALSA project has officially finished, though our analysis of data continues and we’re starting to write up our findings, as well as exploring ways to take the work forward (get in contact if our work sounds interesting!).
Our trial ran sucessfully and we have to thank all the participants, the tutors, and the organisations who hosted beacons for their help in making it a great success. 14 of our orginal participants took part in the field trials, agreeing to an interview beforehand, keeping a diary during their exploration of the SALSA system over two to three weeks, and taking part in an interview afterwards to reflect on their experiences.
All participants engaged with the beacons and the learning content, with many of the participants visiting the majority of different scenarios. For some of the participants, this happened as part of their daily activities, though most visited places they’d not normally go to, and we had some positive responses about how this gave them the opportunity to go to new places. In one case at least this became a game: collecting the beacons as fast as possible!
We purposely put a range of different types of learning content on the app, some of which could be interacted with quickly (vocabulary and phrases) and other types that required longer engagement (spoken dialogues with a supporting transcript, and grammar lessons). This selection was well received, and stimulated reflection on how different content types were better for different situations, as well as unexpected insights: the social challenge of using content with audio files in public places, and the the enterprising use of a dialogue transcript by one participant and a friend to practice their speaking skills by treating it as a theatre script to practice together.
We’re now writing up and will report more on findings shortly.