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LMMP – Learner Supporting Multi Media Plattform for Pupils with Special Educational Needs

Knowledge Construction Lab


February 2006 - December 2008


Landesstiftung / Medienoffensive Schule II



There is no doubt that computers are capable to support pupils with learning disabilities in learning. Nevertheless, we observe a lack of professional learning software for this target group. On the one hand, there are products designed by special education teachers with a high level of instructional design but at a low technical level. On the other hand there are loads of commercial products with absence of any instructional quality. In our project LMMP we wanted to overcome these problems by developing a learning platform for this special target group in an interdisciplinary group based on participatory design principles.
Our main objective was to integrate the computer into daily teaching and learning practice supporting pupils in existing learning procedures without mandatory change of well suited pedagogic methods. Therefore we used the complementary expertise of teachers for children with cognitive disability, computer scientists and psychologists. We developed ten different modules - e.g. for visual apperception, learning reading and writing and calculating. To provide easy access to the generated tasks a special desktop for the pupils has been developed.
First experiences of teachers and pupils using the software have been very positive. We observed that the modules could be adapted easily by the teacher to meet the different needs of the pupils. Hence, the pupils were very motivated and worked with the software effectively.

Teacher tool

With the teacher tool the teachers can create new tasks or change and adapt already existing tasks. The latter allows reusing formerly created tasks or interchanging tasks with colleagues and adapting them to local needs. Figure 1 shows the draft for a writing tasks created with the teacher tool.

Figure 1: Creating a task with the teacher tool

task preparation

For the creation of more complex tasks wizards were implemented to assist the teacher (figure 2). Apart from using the wizard for experts it is still possible to create even complex tasks manually or change tasks later.

Figure 2: Creating a task using a wizard

task generator

The pupils desktop
To facilitate easy access to the personal data and tasks and to focus the attention a special desktop has been implemented. Thereto further experiences from other projects could be incorporated. To ensure that the desktop meets the needs of the special target group of pupils with cognitive disabilities and learning difficulties it has undergone a special design process. In cooperation with Wertewerk (, a local company specialised to barrier free web-design and relating questions, we implemented not only a special customised layout but also elaborated data and information flow processes.

Figure 3: Writing task opened on the pupils desktop

desktop writing

Short description of modules

Figure 4: Selection of different modules

lernkiste module

Focus "cognitive disabled"

  • Picture Story: here, a sequence of pictures and images can be composed to a multi-page story enriched with text and sound components.
  • Jigsaw puzzle: user-defined images can be used to create jigsaw puzzle tasks. Optional the number and size of the pieces can be adjusted and different support mechanisms can be activated.
  • Calculating tasks: addition and subtraction tasks for the number range between 1 and 20 can be created. The tasks are represented by text and visualised with icons. The task can be solved either by typing the result in numbers, using drag&drop or in a mixed form.
  • Word kit: the teacher can assign words to images and then the pupils get either syllables or single letters which have to be ordered in a writing field.
  • Assignment (universal): the main focus of this module is to provide assignment tasks with pictures. But not limited to this it is also possible to create assignment tasks multi representational tasks with different objects such as sound, voice-recording or text.
  • Assignment (word-picture): with this module the teacher can create simple assignment tasks between one word and one picture.

Focus "learning difficulties"

  • Cloze: with this module the teacher can create a cloze where pupils have to fill in single words, syllables or endings by drag&drop operations.
  • Multiple-choice: the teacher can easily create a multi page multiple-choice test by using a simple wizard. At the end of the task the pupils get immediate feedback.
  • Written math tasks: here the teacher can create written math tasks using different representations.
  • Sentence kit: analogue to the word kit here the teacher can assotiate sentences with images. The pupils have to bring the words into order to form a sentence in a writing space.
For more information visit


  • Kultusministerium Baden-Württemberg (Medienoffensive Schule II)
  • Kirnbachschule, Tübingen
  • Wertewerk, Tübingen


  • A. Lingnau & A. Harrer (2008) . Designing Software for Pupils with Special Needs: Analysis of an Example for Complementary Action Design. In Pierre Dillenbourg & Marcus Specht (Eds.), Times of Convergence: Technologies Accross Learning Contexts. 3rd European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2008. Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5192 (pp.245-249 ). Berlin: Springer.
  • A. Lingnau (2008) . A software design approach for pupils with special needs. In Paloma Diaz, Kinshuk, Ignacio Aedo, Eduardo Mora (Eds.), Proceedings of 8th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies. IEEE Computer Society (pp. 128-130). Los Alamitos, CA.
  • A. Lingnau & P. Zentel (2008). A computer supported learning environment to support pupils with cognitive disabilities and their teachers. Proceedings of International Conference of the Learning Science (ICLS), Utrecht, 2008.
  • Lingnau, A., Zentel, P., & Cress, U. (2007). Fostering collaborative problem solving for pupils with cognitive disabilities. In C. A. Chinn, G. Erkens, & S. Puntambekar (Eds.), Proceedings of the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Conference 2007: International Society of the Learning Sciences (pp. 447-449). New Brunswick, NJ: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • P. Zentel, A. Lingnau & E. Ratzke (2007). A multi-media software environment for children with cognitive disability. In R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, & D. A. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2007 (pp. 3668-3673). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
  • Lingnau, A., Zentel, P., & Mästle, T. (2007). A computer-supported learning platform for pupils with cognitive disabilities. In Proceedings of the German E-Science Conference 2007. URL: