Dr. Lynne Hall leads the Sunderland team of researchers working on eCUTE.  Dr. Susan J. Jones, Dr. Sarah Tazzyman and Colette Hume are researching in the eCute (Education in Cultural Understanding, Technology Enhanced) project, a Specific Targeted Research Project (STReP) funded by the European Commission in the FP7 funding programme in the ICT Theme 4: ‘Technology-enhanced learning’.  The project brings together eight research partners from academic institutions in Germany,  Japan, the Netherlands,  Portugal and the United Kingdom.

The eCute project is divided into eight workpackages managed by partner institutions. The research team at Sunderland is responsible for two workpackages, namely ‘Evaluation with users and stakeholders’ and ‘Dissemination and exploitation’ – the workpage leader in both instances is Dr. Lynne Hall.  The other six workpages are project management, theories and models of cultural learning and interaction, creating synthetic cultures for learning scenarios, culturally-sensitive interaction, culturally-sensitive intelligent characters and cultural learning systems.

During the early design and development of two software products – one for children aged 9-11 and the other for young adults aged 18-25, all partner institutions will be involved in the evaluation of their respective deliverables and technologies.  The role of the Sunderland based research team is to help co-ordinate this evaluation, but is more specifically to develop an over-arching evaluation framework through which the prototype product will be tested and evaluted in context.

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