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ERIC Number: EJ905058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1042-1629
Collaboration Modality, Cognitive Load, and Science Inquiry Learning in Virtual Inquiry Environments
Erlandson, Benjamin E.; Nelson, Brian C.; Savenye, Wilhelmina C.
Educational Technology Research and Development, v58 n6 p693-710 Dec 2010
Educational multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) have been shown to be effective platforms for situated science inquiry curricula. While researchers find MUVEs to be supportive of collaborative scientific inquiry processes, the complex mix of multi-modal messages present in MUVEs can lead to cognitive overload, with learners unable to effectively process the rich information encountered in virtual space. In this study, we investigated the effect of communication modality on cognitive load and science inquiry learning in students completing a science inquiry curriculum in an educational MUVE. Seventy-eight undergraduate education majors from a large southwestern university participated in this control-treatment study. Significant positive results were found for reducing cognitive load for participants communicating through voice-based chat, although this reduction was not found to influence learning outcomes. We conclude that use of voice-based communication can successfully reduce cognitive load in MUVE-based inquiry curricula. (Contains 4 tables and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A