Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Multimedia-Based Learning System Improved Cognitive Skills and Motivation of Disabled Children with a Very High Rate

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Multimedia-Based Learning System Improved Cognitive Skills and Motivation of Disabled Children with a Very High Rate

Article excerpt

Introduction

Children with intellectual disabilities (ID) are very challenging to teach, and can learn best with the use of different methodologies that engage their senses, such as using images, sounds and clips. In fact, every child in the same classroom may have a different way of understanding, and should have an individual learning plan with specific goals and objectives. Therefore, instructors use different methods to teach these children in an acceptable manner (Adam & Tatnall, 2008).

Existing research in Universal Accessibility (UA) related to individuals with ID is quite limited. Studies that examine cognitive disabilities started to emerge only in the past decade. Cohone et al. (2007)worked on developing reminiscence tools for people with Alzheimer's disease. Wu et al. (2007) developed some tools for people with amnesia. Moffatt et al. (2004) developed tools for people with aphasia. A field that has drawn increasing attention both in the general public and in academia is the study of children with autism and the attempt to improve their language development and social skills via computer mediated software or agents e.g., Lehman (1998), Hart (2005), and Tartaro & Cassell (2008). In addition to developing technologies to be used by children with autism themselves, researchers also explored technologies to assist the children's caregivers in communication, record collection and analysis, decision-making, and assessment of the children's internal states as what was done by Kientz et al. (2007). A few studies investigated people with ID together with users of various other cognitive impairments e.g., Dawe (2006). These studies provide valuable insights regarding the impact of cognitive impairments on the use of computer-related activities. But due to fundamental differences between conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, amnesia, aphasia, Autism, and ID, observations and findings from these studies cannot be readily applied to children with ID.

Researchers in special education are to some extent informed of the potential of computer technology in helping individuals with ID, e.g., Buckley (2000) and Black & Wood (2003). They claim that computer technology can help people with ID increase confidence and motivation through creative activities and web browsing. Computer technology also has other benefits, including errorless learning, patient feedback, immediate feedback, self-paced learning, and independence of learning. However, Lloyd et al. (2006)suggested that the actual benefits of computer technology may be reduced or not apparent depending on the quality of the software. First, the contents of many software programs are not age appropriate. Second, many educational software are unable to reach educational goals and are used as a tool for mere entertainment. Third, many applications do not promote independent learning.

Different approaches have been proposed to present the multimedia-based learning system (Adam & Tatnall, 2008; Evans et al., 2006; Garcia-Ruiz et al., 2008; Kirk et al., 2011). The empirical study conducted by Ortega-Tudela & Gomez-Ariza (2006) examined the impact of educational software on learning mathematical counting skills. Eighteen children with ID have participated in the study. Ten of them used multimedia education software to learn basic counting skills and the other eight tried to learn the same counting skills via the traditional paper-and-pencil approach. After fifteen sessions, children who used the educational software demonstrated significantly higher performance than those who used paper and pencil. Wuang et al. (2011) illustrated a system that applies design and learning theories in developing multimedia courseware. This system develops multimedia courseware of Loci in two dimensions (Li2D) using ADDIE methodology with Macromedia Flash 8 and Adobe Photoshop. The theories that have been applied in the development include: Design Theory, Behaviorism, Constructivism, Cognitive and Van Hiele Thinking Model. …

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