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ERIC Number: ED552091
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 230
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-5093-2
The Impact of Multimodal Virtual Manipulatives on Young Children's Mathematics Learning
Paek, Seungoh
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how virtual manipulatives, designed to provide multimodal interactions, support richer perceptual experiences that promote conceptual learning. To study this phenomenon, a virtual manipulative called, "Puzzle Blocks," was developed by the researcher. "Puzzle Blocks" introduces the concept of multiplication through repetitive addition activities. These activities guide students to manipulate virtual blocks and numbers in order to build objects hidden within the puzzles. While constructing the objects, students receive visual notations of the underlying mathematical concept. "Puzzle Blocks" also provides aural and kinesthetic information. The aural information is experienced in the form of a narrative voiceover that is either present or absent. The kinesthetic information is experienced through a lesser or greater degree of embodiment. A greater degree of embodiment was operationalized as manipulating the on-screen blocks with a finger on a touchscreen, while a lesser degree of embodiment was operationalized as using a cursor controlled by a computer mouse. To investigate which combination of factors resulted in the greatest conceptual learning, an experiment using a 2x2 factorial design was conducted. One hundred seventy-nine first and second grade students were randomly assigned to four experimental groups and two control groups. All participants took pre-, mid-, and post-tests and played "Puzzle Blocks" for ten sessions over four weeks. The results indicate that both the presence of audio narration and a greater degree of embodiment leads to significantly higher learning as measured by far-transfer tests. Although audio narration had a significant impact on learning outcomes for all ten sessions combined, it did not have significant impact on learning outcomes after the fifth session. However, degree of embodiment did impact learning outcomes significantly across all ten sessions. These findings suggest that multimedia learning environments with carefully designed multimodal interactions can promote children's conceptual learning by providing a richer perceptual experience. Furthermore, the impact of each modality-specific factor alone does not affect young children's learning the same, and certain combinations of modalities may be more effective than others. The implications of including multimodal interactions in the design of virtual manipulatives and other multimedia learning environments are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A