Honors Projects


Bailey TownsFollow


American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language expressed through movements of the hands as well as facial expressions and body language. While Deaf individuals are the primary users of the language, many hearing people learn ASL in order to communicate with Deaf people and promote inclusivity for the Deaf community. When learning ASL, one area of difficulty that they initially encounter is producing signs correctly. The present study addressed this concern by examining two methods for introducing ASL signs to novel learners. Animated ASL programs have been proposed to combat the problems created by static 2D presentations of signs. Animations provide the opportunity to view the sign in motion as well as offer various perspectives on a sign in order to ensure the viewer can observe all parameters. This study investigates the following research question: Do hearing college students who have no experience with American Sign Language imitate signs better when they are exposed to the signs from animations or pictures? The participants of this study consisted of 12 undergraduate students at Bowling Green State University with no prior knowledge of ASL. The participants were randomly assigned to either the animation group or the textbook group. Each participant was shown the same 10 signs, then given a overall accuracy rating as well as a rating for each parameter (handshape, location, palm orientation, and movement). The results suggested meaningful differences for overall sign accuracy and movement between the two groups. An additional analysis was conducted to determine if there were differences in production accuracies across each sign and their parameters. The results of five of the ratings indicate that for this study the score for movement was correlated with overall accuracy of the sign. Findings from this study suggest that animations serve as an aid in understanding signs which can lead to improved accuracy when imitating the signs.


Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Tim Brackenbury

First Advisor Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Second Advisor

Jerry Schnepp

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Spring 4-21-2021