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ERIC Number: EJ895942
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
ISSN: ISSN-1093-023X
Can Functional Brain Imaging Be Used to Explore Interactivity and Cognition in Multimedia Learning Environments?
Dalgarno, Barney; Kennedy, Gregor; Bennett, Sue
Journal of Interactive Learning Research, v21 n3 p317-342 Jul 2010
This paper reviews existing methods used to address questions about interactivity, cognition and learning in multimedia learning environments. Existing behavioural and self-report methods identified include observations, audit trails, questionnaires, interviews, video-stimulated recall, and think-aloud protocols. The limitations of these methods are examined, highlighting the problems with using behavioural information to speculate about the cognitive activity that is occurring; the difficulties posed by relying on the correct interpretation of questions or accurate recall of past events; and the potential for the data collection methods to have an impact on cognition as it is occurring. Functional brain imaging techniques offer a complement to the existing methods, but possess a number of inherent methodological constraints. The specific constraints emerging from a recent pilot study carried out by the authors are discussed in detail, including: limitations on learner-computer interaction because of the need to use MRI compatible input devices; activation from motor tasks potentially confounding the results of comparisons between cognition occurring during interactive and non-interactive resources; visual differences between multimedia conditions potentially confounding the results due to activation associated with the visual processing; and problems with the provision of "baseline" or "rest" conditions for comparison purposes during holistic problem-based tasks. Despite these constraints it is argued that the use of functional imaging techniques within this field of research has significant potential. (Contains 4 figures.)
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. P.O. Box 1545, Chesapeake, VA 23327-1545. Tel: 757-366-5606; Fax: 703-997-8760; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A