UCSI’s Faculty of Business and Information Science (FoBIS) together with the Faculty of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts (FoSSLA) recently collaborated on a project entitled "A Novel Software for Movement Based Early Simulation to Enhance Language Acquisition of Children with ASD".
Their project won the silver medal award for the innovation category at the Melaka International Intellectual Exposition 2019 (MIIEx 2019) which was held at UiTM Cawangan Bandar Melaka.
Team members included Associate Professor Dr Ganeshsree Selvachandran (FoBIS), Dr Mimi Fitriana, Dr Amira Najiha Yahya and Assistant Professor Dr Oh Siew Pei (FOSSLA) as well as Assistant Professor Dr Quek Shio Gai from UCSI College, Kuala Lumpur campus.
Their project pertained to the development of a software for movement-based early simulation to enhance cognitive and psychomotor skills of children with ASD. In the first phase of development, modules were developed to enhance language acquisition of children with ASD, and in subsequent phases more modules will be developed to enhance other aspects of cognitive ability and also psychomotor skills of children with ASD.
The project was the brainchild of team members from FoSSLA and is directly related to the fields of psychology and education which are among the main thrusts of the faculty. The researchers from FoSSLA developed the theoretical framework for this invention, whereas FoBIS developed the software and the modules.
For Dr Ganeshsree, receiving the award was very special as it was a way of contributing back to society as the invention was designed to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
“For FoSSLA and FOBIS, it is another step forward in conducting interdisciplinary research and forging close collaboration partnerships with researchers from other faculties. Our success in this competition also shows that we can achieve great things if we work together and harness the expertise of researchers from different areas,” said Dr Ganeshsree.
As such, the faculties will continue to support its staff in participating in such invention and innovation competitions as this can contribute to the development of the university. In particular, staff have always been asked to seek solutions to problems that are currently affecting society, and contribute back to the society and country.
Collectively, the faculty members had UCSI to thank for making the achievement possible by funding their participation in this competition. They particularly thanked Associate Professor Ir Dr Jimmy Mok, DVC of Academic and Student Affairs for approving the funding for the competition and for giving them the encouragement and full support in the process of preparing for this competition. They also thanked both of their Deans for their unwavering support and guidance.
“Our motivation was the lack of any existing computer or mobile-based programmes that are catered to developing the cognitive skills of children with ASD, particularly for very young children with ASD. We saw this as a problem that needs to be fixed urgently and developed our software to cater to children with ASD. Our hope is that this software would be able to promote inclusive education for children with ASD,” said Dr Mimi.
Overall, the project contributed to the on-going efforts to promote R&D in the faculties and the university as a whole.