Date of Award
Master of Arts in Education (MAE)
A pilot project was undertaken to test an emerging technology with a view to examine the feasibility of assisting older participants in the telling of their life stories. With the use of a digital recorder and voice-to text software, ten older persons were freed from the labor of creating a formal record of their life stories, either through typing ,writing, or manual transcription of audio tape. Extemporaneously, on a hand-held recorder, and in a one-on-one interview format, each participant's voice was converted to digital form as the narration proceeded. This digital recording was then transcribed electronically into a computer, which subsequently converted the digital voice record into text. The resulting text was corrected to mirror the audible story, and a printed copy was given to each participant.
Adapting this emerging technology to a one-on-one interview process presented many challenges, the most significant of which was correcting the machine generated text to mirror the audio recording. The technique of assisted life stories has potential for more widespread usage when software programs are developed that more adequately address the unique requirements of an interview format and require a shorter training period.
Harlow, Gary R., "Technology Assisted Life Stories" (2001). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 1789.