Software: Learndirect English
Posted 8th September 2015
Velawoods English (previously known as Learndirect English) is an English learning software application which uses state of the art speech recognition provided by Carnegie speech, tied into a personalised 3d virtual world experience that is underpinned by gamification principles.

This product that I helped to create was produced through a joint venture between Learndirect, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge English Language Assessment, and Route One game developers.

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Work for the software was an incredibly varied and multifaceted process, involving my consideration for a great many factors including; educational methodologies, storytelling consistencies, UI principles, annunciation of the voice acting, bug testing, and a whole range of incredibly detailed plans and review processes.

As part of a small management team it was a necessity for me to maintain awareness for almost every aspect of the software so as to develop a suitable review process that I could lead the rest of the team through.

Meanwhile I was also simultaneously handling a wide range of tasks such as: liasing with my counterparts at Cambridge University Press, visiting Route One developers in Sheffield, meetings with the storyboarding team, editorial duties on the scripts, as well as many other high level tasks which can be viewed in greater detail on my Linkedin.

Due to my hard work and ability to adapt quickly, I was asked to cover the senior manager's role on two separate occasions.

Because of the innovative nature of the product, Velawoods English was shortlisted for the President's award for new technology in the English Language Awards; which is hosted each year by the English Speaking Union at Green Park in London. Unfortunately we did not win, but it was an honour for such a new product to be up against two products from BBC Learning English, and one from Oxford University press. Link