Critical Review of Reappraising Cognitive Styles in Adaptive Web Applications Keni Gin
University of Western Ontario
Review on Reappraising Cognitive Styles in Adaptive Web Applications Introduction and Related Work
This research is based on empirical user trial data and a sophisticated analysis. It tries to evaluate the validity of applying visual-verbal preferences to an adaptive web-based educational system (AWBES) by examining user trials of a case study. Previous researches are either focused on pragmatic applications or based on inadequate sample sizes. This research goes beyond former ones by employing user trials to collect critical data and directly raising the core question of the effectiveness of the method. However, the flaws in method setting, data analysis, ambiguity in details and the claimed result put in doubt the conclusions suggested by the study. Method/Procedure
In this research, students were firstly labeled as visual, verbal and bimodal learners through a computer test, and then put into groups with learning contents either matched, or deliberately mismatched, or neutral to their learning styles. Then students’ academic performances were compared to see the significance of differences between groups. Questions were raised when the researchers excluded the verbal users from the statistical analysis due to the extremely small sample size (n=11). The study is supposed to examine three cognitive styles (visual, verbal, bimodal); therefore without the data of the verbal group, the study is incomplete. The study method is further impaired by two questionable grouping methods. The first questionable method states, “Neutral students were given a mix of visual and verbal content, irrespective of their learning style” (p. 330). If a bimodal user is randomly placed in a neutral group and given mixed content, then he will actually receive content matching his learning style. Therefore, since he will end...
References: Brown, E., Brailsford, T., Fisher, T., Moore, A., Ashman, H (2006). Reappraising cognitive styles in adaptive web applications. Internatioanl world wide web conference committee.
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