Technical Support: Q & A

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Headsets (general info)


Q: "Does DynEd recommend any headsets?"

A: Here is a list of recommended headsets that DynEd has tested.

Q: "Does DynEd's SR (Speech Recognition) work as well over a network as it does on standalone computers?"

A: Technically there is no difference between the SR program running over a network versus the same SR program running on a standalone computer. For the same person, with all other factors being equal, DynEd's SR should work equally effectively whether the program is being run off of a network server, or via a local installation.

Q: "What factors can affect how well students are recognized by SR programs?"

A: Things which can affect the effectiveness of any SR program include the quality of the microphone, its compatibility with other parts of the hardware configuration (such as the sound card), background noise, the distance of the microphone from the student's mouth, and -- very importantly -- the level to which it is adjusted.

Q: "Do DynEd's SR programs require expensive microphones?"

A: No. Many inexpensive microphones work perfectly for SR purposes, while some expensive mikes seem not to work well. For this reason, DynEd strongly advises that a test be done before deciding on a microphone to use in a lab.

Q: "How important is the microphone volume adjustment for SR?"

A: In our experience, assuming a microphone is generally working and is able to record, the biggest single factor in SR success is the proper volume adjustment of the microphone within the Sound Control Panel. Usually, getting the volume right means lowering the recording volume of the microphone so that when the student speaks, the evaluator doesn’t go into the red zone of the speech meter. Once the microphone volume control has been adjusted on a computer, it should work for most students. However, some additional adjustments may be necessary for students with significantly louder or softer voices.

Q: "Why does DynEd recommend headsets instead of hand-held microphones?"

A: Even after a microphone has been properly set up, and its volume adjusted, student success with SR programs can be strongly affected by variations in the loudness of their voices. Such problems are far more frequent with hand-held or desktop microphones. DynEd generally recommends headsets with no-hand microphones attached to headphones, since these remain at a consistent distance from the student's mouth.

Q: What are WIDA Headset recommended specifications? 

A: You can find information on WIDA Headset specifications at this link: Access for ELL's Headset Specifications

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