On-line Reading Behaviors of Typical and Struggling Readers Across Varied Text and Visual Element Integration Schemes

Sociology - Lecture/Discussion - WPI Only

Tuesday, March 6, 2012
3:00 PM-4:00 PM

Bob Dolan, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Pearson

In order to design effective online instructional materials, it is important to understand students strategies for reading and interacting with multimedia content. This is especially critical if we are to leverage technology to provide students materials and layouts adapted to their individual learning characteristics. The current study evaluates the impact of different text and visual element integration schemes on student reading behaviors. Sixty six fourth and seventh grade students were eye tracked during online reading of middle school science passages embedded diagrams and photographs. We find that the way visuals are positioned within and referred to in text greatly influences the amount of time students spend viewing the visuals. This effect is most pronounced for struggling readers. These results have strong implications for the design of online learning materials for diverse students, and in informing adaptive approaches toward multimedia presentation.

Bob Dolan is a Senior Research Scientist in Assessment and Information at Pearson. His work focuses on technology-based adaptive learning and assessment solutions with emphases on cognition, accessibility, and usability. Prior to joining Pearson in 2007, Bob was a Senior Research Scientist at CAST, where his research focused on designing, implementing, and evaluating advanced technology-based learning environments that support diverse learners. Bob has served as principal investigator on research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and private foundations. Over the past 25 years, Bob has pursued parallel tracks in research and development in systems and cognitive neuroscience, and the development and engineering of technology-based tools for educational, scientific, and medical research. He received a B.S. in Biology at Cornell in 1986 and a Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT in 1992.

Suggested Audiences: Adult, College

E-mail: ssps@wpi.edu

Last Modified: February 28, 2012 at 3:33 PM

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