Presentation on theme: "Using An Audio Version of the Course Textbooks to Support Learning The Open University of Israel The Center for Technology in Distance Education Shlomit."— Presentation transcript:
Using An Audio Version of the Course Textbooks to Support Learning The Open University of Israel The Center for Technology in Distance Education Shlomit Zarchovitz, Shlomit Zarchovitz, ITHET – Kumamoto Japan, July 2007
The Open University of Israel (OUI) Is A distance and open institution : Open admission, 40,000 students enrolled in 2007, students’ age 13 to 85, 2000 Students with learning disabilities (5%) 600 courses (B.A, M.A, MSc) course materials: Self study course books Home assignments Laboratories, field trips if relevant F2F tutorials which are offered to students in 50 study centres A pioneer and a leader in the implementation of advance technologies to support learning
Adding an audio version to the printed course books 80 courses’ books (out of 600 courses of the OUI), with 40-60 hours of narration each Recorded in the Library for the Blind for use with a 4 channels tape- recorder. Digitizing, inserting an index according to the book’s TOC and loading to the course website in two formats: MP3 for downloading to mobile players, and audio stream format used through the internet. MP3 Download MP3 Players Cell Phone PDA Audio Stream PC Cell Phone PDA Course website
The study Six Social Science introductory courses -books were loaded to the course websites in the 2006 spring semester. A digital questionnaire was distributed to 6194 students who learn these courses to assess satisfaction, trace studying performance and document the learning process. The system provided us with the learning disabilities students answers separately so we could compare them to those of the non LD students.
The study aspects Ways of using audio-books as a tool for learning Contribution of audio-books to the learning process Who can benefit from learning by AB Satisfaction from the learning environment
Using the audio-books as a tool for learning 85% of the students used the audio- book (AB) in addition to the printed book simultaneously or one after the other. Therefore, learning by listening doesn’t replace learning by reading, but rather extends and complements it. 59% of the LD students and 53% of the non LD students learned by listening and reading simultaneously, using the two channels together. About 15% of the two groups used only the AB. We assume that they are the auditory learners who prefer verbal to written information modes.
The ways LD students with different difficulties used the audio-book for learning Most LD students preferred learning by using the two modes together.The majority of those with decoding problems used it one after the other and not together. The group which used only the AB consists of students with attention deficit disorders (ADD) as well as students with all kinds of reading difficulties. Those with impaired visual memory didn’t use it at all. The ways LD student with different difficultie use the audio-book for learning (%)
Active vs passive learning most of the LD students are used to being active while reading (marking sentences, adding remarks etc). When learning by AB only 43.5% used this learning technique. Among the non LD students, 75.3% usually mark the text but with AB only 21% did it. Some students noted that the AB help them to absorb the material and remember it and it replaces the need for marking.
Learning by AB vs. learning by printed-books - Contribution to learning About 28% of the students without LD felt that their absorption, concentration remembering and control, are better while learning with AB compared with the printed book. Among the LD students the rate of those who prefer AB is about 40%.
The contribution of learning by listening to comprehension of LD students and of non LD ones 51% of the LD students and 46% of the non LD students perceive the audio-books as a learning method which highly or very highly contributes to their comprehension
Contribution of audio-books to LD students' comprehension according to their sort of difficulty The ADD students benefit the most from learning by listening (78% of them). About 40% of the students with impaired visual memory and with reading difficulties feel that using AB for learning contributes to their comprehension.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS As time is an important learning factor for distance learners, students like the convenience of learning at any time and at any place. Many of the students have difficulties learning at the OUI – learning disability difficulties and others. Students noted that AB helped them cope with these difficulties. Most of the students listened to the AB while reading the printed book or one after the other. It therefore seems that the ABs are a supportive method and don’t replace the printed books. We assume that among the students who use the AB together with the printed book are those that Hebrew is not their first language.
Learning by the AB is more passive than learning by reading. Many of the students find that learning by listening to AB improves their material comprehension. Among the LD students, 78% of the ones with attention disorders and about 40% of the ones with reading difficulties, feel that the audio-books improve their comprehension. Most of the students will prefer the printed books to the ABs if they will have to choose between the two modes. But there is a group of students for whom the auditory mode of learning is extremely important. We assume that among that group are students whose learning style is auditory.
For some of the LD students audio-books can replace the help they are used to getting from external sources. Most of the students who used the ABs want this learning method to be available to them in other courses. We didn’t find a significant difference in the course achievements, but we believe that without the ABs help, students have to make more efforts and to invest more time for the same achievements.
Students with learning disabilities and students who are forced to manage their time effectively can benefit from the audio books. We assume that students with an auditory learning style and students whose Hebrew is their second language can also benefit from AB. Further study is needed in order to prove our assumption. Learning through printed books is the major learning method at the OUI. The university has to take into account the group of students who need the auditory channel for learning
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