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Research project

KTP With First Step Trust

Project overview

The aim of this KTP project is to eliminate barriers to learning using assistive technologies for disadvantaged learners. We have identified both a need to provide an early diagnostic tool that can be used by both independent learners and employers to 'scaffold' First Step Trust’s learners into vocational learning. 

The multidisciplinary team will:

· Develop a mobile app using machine learning and user-centred design to understand users' learning preferences, offer practical advice and support their ongoing learning

· Test the efficacy of the app by collecting data in First Step Trust's (FST) training context

· Establish routes to commercialisation with the automotive industry as the primary market

Our focus is on enabling everyone to demonstrate their competence. "Our learning pathways treat every individual with respect enabling independence and dignity."

The innovation lies in developing new ways of enabling learners to overcome barriers that they currently experience accessing digital training programmes. Using universal design principles, the app will create a supportive learning environment to respond to individual learners' strengths and needs, present content in flexible and varied ways to determine engagement and offer nudges and prompts to improve confidence and motivation. We believe that this approach could disrupt traditional approaches to supporting learners with additional needs.


Lead researcher

Dr Indu Bodala PhD

Lecturer in Computer Science

Research interests

  • Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
  • Social Robots
  • Affective Computing
Connect with Indu
Other researchers

Dr Vasilis Strogilos PhD

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • The Inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream schools
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Co-teaching
Connect with Vasilis

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs