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Informing the design of a multisensory learning environment for elementary mathematics learning

Cuturi, LF; Cappagli, G; Yiannoutsou, N; Price, S; Gori, M; (2021) Informing the design of a multisensory learning environment for elementary mathematics learning. Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces 10.1007/s12193-021-00382-y. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

It is well known that primary school children may face difficulties in acquiring mathematical competence, possibly because teaching is generally based on formal lessons with little opportunity to exploit more multisensory-based activities within the classroom. To overcome such difficulties, we report here the exemplary design of a novel multisensory learning environment for teaching mathematical concepts based on meaningful inputs from elementary school teachers. First, we developed and administered a questionnaire to 101 teachers asking them to rate based on their experience the learning difficulty for specific arithmetical and geometrical concepts encountered by elementary school children. Additionally, the questionnaire investigated the feasibility to use multisensory information to teach mathematical concepts. Results show that challenging concepts differ depending on children school level, thus providing a guidance to improve teaching strategies and the design of new and emerging learning technologies accordingly. Second, we obtained specific and practical design inputs with workshops involving elementary school teachers and children. Altogether, these findings are used to inform the design of emerging multimodal technological applications, that take advantage not only of vision but also of other sensory modalities. In the present work, we describe in detail one exemplary multisensory environment design based on the questionnaire results and design ideas from the workshops: the Space Shapes game, which exploits visual and haptic/proprioceptive sensory information to support mental rotation, 2D–3D transformation and percentages. Corroborating research evidence in neuroscience and pedagogy, our work presents a functional approach to develop novel multimodal user interfaces to improve education in the classroom.

Type: Article
Title: Informing the design of a multisensory learning environment for elementary mathematics learning
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12193-021-00382-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12193-021-00382-y
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137027
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