Learning Styles and Content Delivery Methods Barbara Martinson and Sauman Chu Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel
DHA 4131 History of Visual Communication • Course Objectives: • consider the influence of social, technical, and aesthetic forces on design • gain an overview of design history • gain recognition skills in regard to various types of design work
Games are effective tools for learning because they offer students a hypothetical environment in which they can explore alternative decisions without the risk of failure. Thought and action are combined into purposeful behavior to accomplish a goal. Playing games teaches us how to strategize, to consider alternatives, and to think flexibly (Poggenpohl, 2002).
Different games appeal to different people. This appeal may be based in content, activity, or personal affinity for game playing. We know that people have preferred learning styles, but we know very little about the relationship of learning style to learning within a game context. • This project focuses on integrating the game concept into class content and examines the interaction between students’ learning styles to computer-game content delivery.
Our research questions are: • Will students remember content presented in the game? • Do students with a certain learning style tend to do better on a quiz that includes content from the game? • Do students with a certain learning style spend more time playing the game? • 4. Do students indicate a preference for the game (as measured by a survey) based on learning style?
The findings of this study will help to inform both educators and educational technology developers. If the results indicate that students with a certain learning style did score higher on the test by using the game component we could complete further research to see how to adapt the game for other learning styles. Variations of a game could be developed that would appeal to different learning styles and users can select the variation that best suits their learning style. Conversely, we could develop games that take people out of their comfort zone in terms of learning style and the notion of doing this within a game context may be more appealing and fun.
This project is purposefully limited to a basic learning activity—acquiring knowledge of facts. Future studies could study the interaction of learning style with higher thinking skills. Our hunch is that students with concrete learning styles will have a greater affinity for this learning game as it emphasizes concrete knowledge.
Games as learning objects Learning objects are small, reusable chunks of instructional materials that can be included on course Web sites or with other digital instructional materials. Sometimes they have no implicit instructional objective–they are shell programs in which instructors can insert their own content (such as a quiz game shell in which instructors insert their own questions), or media elements that can be aggregated and used with other digital instructional materials (such as a photograph or video clip). Sometimes they do have specific instructional objectives but can be adapted to different learning contexts. Digital Media Center, University of Minnesota
There are two basic types of learning objects: 1. Content Resources Learning objects can consist of blocks of text, photographs, illustrations, animations, or audio and video clips. These can be included on course Web sites or with other digital instructional materials. Sometimes complete courses or learning modules can be built entirely from separate learning objects. 2. Learning Tasks Learning objects also can be multiple choice quizzes, games, and other kinds of interactions. Sometimes they are completely self-contained and require no customization; sometimes they can be customized to meet your needs. Ideally, they are easy to customize, and include instructions. Digital Media Center, University of Minnesota
Process Game developed by Chialing Hsieh Mattson, derived from a game developed in Sue Chu’s class using Flash. Two levels: Ancient Letterforms and Calligraphic Scripts 3. Game was integrated into the course via WebCT. 4. Students played the game over a four day period and then took a quiz on the content on the fifth day. 5. The quiz asked students to match lettering samples with names of the scripts.
Quiz results Overall mean on both levels 8.2/10 range:3-10 average times played 6.4 range: 2-18 Mean on Ancient letterforms 4.6/5 range: 2-5 average times played 3 range: 1-8 Mean on Calligraphic Scripts 3.6/5 range: 0-5 average times played 3.3 range: 1-10
Effect of Learning Style on achievement Regression analysis was used to analyze the relationshipbetween score and learning style and score and number of times played. There was no significant relationship between learningstyle and performance on quiz There was only a slight advantage to playing the game multiple times
Issues Encountered and Confounding Variables (what I learned) Interface and viewing difficulties inevitability of technical issues Students may have captured screen shotsnext time I wouldcarry out a designed experiment and control for these type of confounding variables Game was via computer; quiz was pencil/paperbuild quiz into game and make the quiz part of the learning tool
Outcomes:practical significance Games can be used as tools to teach recognition Game added variety to course; made studying fun Use of a previously designed learning object made the project doable in terms of time and money
Survey responses • Students completed a seven-question survey responding to questions about the effectiveness of games in the learning process and indicating preferences for certain learning activities. • These questions can be divided into three categories: • Questions about games as learning tools; • Questions about memory and assessment regarding content attained from games; • Questions about learning activity preferences.
Games as Learning Tools 63% felt that games make learning process more efficient Why? visual aids for memory, interactive nature of game, ability to go at one’s own pace, repeat as needed No differences in learning style were found.
Games as Enjoyable 77% felt that games were enjoyableexcitement, challenging 19% felt games not enjoyablefrustration, lack of human presence, too much time 100% of those who found games enjoyable were students with concrete sequential learning style.
Games, Learning, and Assessment 63% felt that info from game was remembered better than info from lectures and readings 23% remembered info from lectures and readings better Students who preferred the game tended to have a concrete learning style.
Learning Styles and Preferred Activities Students who preferred projects tended to have concrete learning styles Lecture was ranked in the top three by half of the participants and nearly equal proportions of each learning style were found in this group.
. The findings show that learning style did not affect performance on a quiz, nor did increasing times playing the game significantly affect performance. Students did show strong preferences for three types of learning activities: games, projects, and lecture. Learning style may have played a small role in each of these preferences. The majority of participants had a concrete learning style as measured by the Gregorc Learning Style Delineator. Students with concrete learning styles prefer the concrete world and instinctive responses to learning situations. They prefer demonstrations and prefer to work with physical objects.
That lecture was identified as one of the preferred learning activities was a surprise. As several students responded, they enjoy the interaction with the lecturer, the fact that the information is presented in a listener-friendly way, and the ability to diverge or elaborate on meaningful topics.
This study does indicate that games can be used as tools to teach various types of information within a college course. Games added variety to the design history course and made learning facts more fun. The concrete nature of the game was appropriate for this particular group of students, most of whom had concrete learning styles. Finally, the recycling of a previously design learning object made the project affordable in terms of time and money.