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The Cognitive Load Impacts of Assistive Technology Devices Used by Sighted Teachers in Training During Literary Braille Instruction Charles R. Farnsworth.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cognitive Load Impacts of Assistive Technology Devices Used by Sighted Teachers in Training During Literary Braille Instruction Charles R. Farnsworth."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cognitive Load Impacts of Assistive Technology Devices Used by Sighted Teachers in Training During Literary Braille Instruction Charles R. Farnsworth Jr., Ed.D. Dominican College Jamis J. Perrett, Ph.D. Texas A&M University

2 Purpose To compare perceived cognitive load impacts encountered by the manual Perkins braillewriter (MPB) and hybrid technology (HYB) groups in the learning of the literary braille code by sighted teachers in training

3 Review of literature Paas, Renkl, and Sweller (2003) posit the existence of “schemas” (p.2)…  constructs of long-term memory which appear to be permanent in duration There appears to be an unlimited storage capacity in the long-term memory construct  one schema may represent all of the combined skills of a single activity

4 Review of literature The process of receiving instructions for a learning task creates an extraneous cognitive load on short term memory When the task is learned to proficiency there has been a transition from extraneous to germane cognitive load The learner has now engaged existing short- term memory resources to accomplish a task (Kirschner, 2002)

5 Research questions RQ1 To what extent are mental demand and frustration levels impacted in the (MPB) or (HYB) groups during the learning of literary braille? RQ2 How do temporal (time) demand and effort levels differ in impact in the MPB and HYB groups during the learning of the literary braille? RQ3 How do physical demand and own performance differ in the MPB and HYB groups?

6 Research questions RQ4 How do literary braille code proficiency levels differ between the MPB and HYB groups according to the NLBCT practice test protocol standard? RQ5 How do literary braille code proficiency levels differ between the MPB and HYB groups according to the National Certification in Literary Braille (NCLB) test standard? RQ6 How do attrition/non-completion rates differ between the MPB and HYB groups?

7 Research Design This study employed a quasi- experimental design involving the use of both quantitative and qualitative measures Quantitative instruments  NASA TLX, NLBCT Practice Test, NCLB test Qualitative interviews

8 Sample selection In July 2008, 30 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada were invited to participate Between August 2008 and June 2009, 94 participants were recruited from 18 universities/colleges in the USA and Canada  MPB group: N=43  HYB group: N=51

9 Procedure Four instruments were used to collect data The NASA – Task Load Index, N = 77 NLBCT – practice test protocol, N = 72 NCLB – National Certification in Literary Braille test, N = 39 Semi-structured interview schedule (Miller, 2006), N = 10  Perceptions of assistive technology environments and cognitive load

10 NASA –Task Load Index Participants submitted ratings using the NASA-TLX via the Internet upon completion of each literary braille lesson http://shinytomato.com/nasa/

11 Quantitative data analysis – RQ 1-5 Means of dependent variables were analyzed using a MANOVA design with the following independent variables:  Technology group  Age  Program delivery type  Prior education level  Previous level of braille experience  College term

12 RQ6 – Attrition Rates The DV complete or did not complete was analyzed with Chi-square tests of association using the following IV’s:  Gender  Age  Program delivery type  Prior education level  Previous level of braille experience  School  College term  Technology group

13 Results RQ1 - Mental demand and frustration by technology group Technology group was not relevant (p =.628) Prior Braille experience was relevant (p =.006) College term was relevant (p =.002) RQ2 - Temporal demand and effort in the MPB and HYB groups Technology group was not relevant (p =.361) Prior Braille experience was relevant (p =.001) College term was relevant (p =.028)

14 Results RQ3 – physical demand and own performance - MPB and HYB groups Technology group was not relevant (p =.822) Prior braille experience was relevant (p =.037) RQ4 – Braillewriting and proofreading scores by technology group Technology group and prior braille experience were not relevant in the model

15 Results RQ4 – NLBCT practice test protocol 5 errors allowed on each task HYB group: 42 participants, 26% passed MPB group: 30 participants, 47% passed RQ5 –NCLB descriptive results participants had to pass all 4 sections HYB group: 22 participants, 14% passed MPB group: 17 participants, 47% passed

16 RQ5 – NCLB Results by technology group A MANOVA was used to analyze the MPB and HYB groups Technology group was not relevant in the model at alpha =.05, Wilks' Lambda =.85, F(4,24) =1.03, p=.413

17 NCLB mean scor es MPB group HYB group Perkins 89.00 83.81 Proofreading 90.71 85.27 Passing scores for the Perkins and proofreading sections are approximately 95 out of a possible 100 points Multiple choice 46.11 44.77 Slate 44.65 41.81 Passing scores for the multiple choice and slate/stylus sections are approximately 45 out of a possible 50 points

18 Results RQ-6 Attrition vs. completion of literary braille courses by technology group It was found that technology group was not associated with attrition  X 2 (1, N=94)=0.007, p=.934 The attrition rate was 9% for both MPB and HYB groups

19 Qualitative Analysis Glaser and Strauss’ (1967) constant comparison method was employed to analyze the interviews for emerging themes. Themes were sorted into categories (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992) The frequency of each theme was tabulated across all transcripts (Miles & Huberman, 1984) Themes that occurred with the highest frequencies were taken as the most meaningful results.

20 Results: Thematic Analysis Six themes emerged from the interviews: 1. Physical perceptions of Perky Duck, Perkins and slate and stylus 2. Perceptions of efficiency of the three devices 3. Instructional Design Issues 4. Mental effort attributed to braille code complexity; comparison with foreign language learning 5. Time pressure for lesson completion due to extraneous (lifestyle) factors other than technology Muscle memory typical with using the Perkins does not easily transfer to Perky Duck

21 Theme 1: Perceptions of Perky Duck/Perkins Brailler “There’s no more state competency tests that I have to prove myself to (on the Perkins) for Nemeth code.” “I think it’s a million times easier…to use Perky Duck than the Perkins.” “…with Perky Duck your mental effort was changed because you could draft it quickly and go back and proofread it.”

22 Theme 2: Perceptions of Efficiency Perkins Brailler/Perky Duck/Slate and Stylus “…I would like to see something else that is…easier on fingers and is more correctable.” “I really don’t understand why I have to use the brailler for my exam.…why don’t we have the option to use Perky Duck when everybody else is in the computer age?” “Well, I’m glad that I have the experience on the Perkins but I will not be doing (future) assignments on that at all. I’m just using the computer.”

23 Conclusions/Implications The lack of significance of technology group was surprising Possible explanation  MPB group participants focused primarily on one or two devices (Perkins, Slate and stylus)  HYB participants’ had to demonstrate proficiency on three devices (Perkins, Slate and stylus, Perky Duck)

24 Conclusions/Implications NASATLX Data: Previous braille experience was significant on RQ’s 1-3 This finding was unexpected Participant background and interview data suggest that a large proportion of the sample had previous experience  Already serving as TVIs in school districts  Prior Awareness of need to demonstrate proficiency on state competency tests

25 Conclusions/Implications NCLB results: Multiple choice section There may be some instructional design “disconnects” regarding perceptions of most appropriate background knowledge of literary Braille  Lower than anticipated scores by both groups on multiple choice sections  Concerns raised by instructors who used the NLBCT practice test as a final exam.

26 Conclusions/Implications NCLB results: Slate and stylus Despite the reduced usage of slate and stylus in programs generally, MPB and HYB mean scores on these sections were relatively high  Perhaps some consideration may need to be given as to the appropriateness of competency demonstration with this device considering recent changes in the field regarding electronic devices.

27 Contact information For additional information on The Cognitive Load Impacts of Assistive Technology Devices Used by Sighted Teachers In Training During Literary Braille Instruction Please e-mail: charles.farnsworth@dc.edu charles.farnsworth@dc.edu jamis@stat.tamu.edu


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