Mobile technology and the reduction of cognitive load
Sides, Marti A.
MetadataShow full item record
Students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and a variety of other learning disabilities often struggle in school. Cognitive load plays a prominent role in these struggles. For students with dyslexia and dysgraphia, cognitive processing is overloaded when simply trying to read or write words. However, mobile technologies can help to reduce this cognitive load. The purpose of this study is to explore the use of mobile technologies and their effect on cognitive load. By analyzing the effects of mobile technologies on these students’ cognitive load, we will be able to help students and adults with learning disabilities. In particular, the Learning Ally app will be used to help students with reading knowledge, while the Dragon Dictation app will be used to help students with writing composition. Students will rate their perceived cognitive load after each treatment and will take an attitudinal survey at the end of all treatment sessions. In addition, teacher observations will be conducted to determine if their actions affect the perceived cognitive load of the students. This study will employ quantitative methods in order to determine the effectiveness of the treatments in this study. In particular, paired sample t-tests will be used to determine if there is any difference between the achievement scores of the reading knowledge quizzes and the writing composition scores. Correlation statistics will be used to determine if there is a relationship between the students’ perceived cognitive load of treatment and the achievement scores. Correlations will also be used discover the link between the students’ attitudes and their achievements, along with the link between attitudes and cognitive load. Finally, the study will examine how teacher actions affect cognitive load and achievement scores. The results indicate that there is no difference between reading or writing achievement scores regardless of the use of an iPad app. There is, however, a significant difference in the cognitive load of students when they use an iPad app for reading knowledge. There is no significance difference in cognitive load when students use the iPad app, Dragon Dictation, for writing compositions. The students’ attitudes did not affect their achievement scores or the cognitive load. Teacher observations scores were extremely minimal and did not have any effect on student scores. This study examines an area that has not been thoroughly researched – the use of iPad app to increase achievement scores and reduce cognitive load in students with learning differences. However, future research is needed, especially in the area of reading. Due to comments from the students, they preferred the teacher to read the story over the Learning Ally app. Further research is needed to determine the cause of this, and, if the differences in how the story is read aloud effects student comprehension. Future research is also needed with regard to writing. Students had a very difficult time using the Dragon Dictation app. Thus, it would be beneficial to complete more research after students have had more instruction in the use of and practice with the Dragon Dictation app.