Variation in processing patterns of dyslexic adolescent readers working with conflicting web sites containing multiple representations - a multiple case study

Variation in processing patterns of dyslexic adolescent readers working with conflicting web sites containing multiple representations - a multiple case study

First Author: Anette Andresen -- University of Oslo
Additional authors/chairs: 
Ivar Bråten - University of Oslo, Norway; Ladislao Salmerón - University of Valencia, Spain
Keywords: Multimedia learning, Dyslexia, Multiple Text Comprehension, Eye movements
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: To explore variation in the processing patterns of dyslexic adolescent readers working with conflicting web pages containing multiple representations. Additionally, to explore how these processing patterns were related to cognitive differences and to performance on post-reading learning and integration tasks.
Method: Four students with dyslexia were given access to 3 different web pages about sun exposure and health. All three web pages contained a title and a lead paragraph, a video, a short text, and a picture. The main idea units in each representation were unique, making it possible to track idea units in participants’ answers to post-reading questions. An eye-tracker was used to record participants’ processing patterns. In addition, word recognition, working memory, knowledge about the topic (pre- and post-reading), and integrated comprehension were assessed.
Results: The processing patterns based on eye-tracking data showed substantial processing differences among participants with respect to time and linearity. Two participants had a non-linear processing pattern, both prioritizing text. The other two had a linear pattern, with one of them starting out by overviewing the pages. Processing time ranged from 6 to 23 minutes. Three participants displayed large gains on the topic knowledge test but poor integration of information across pages and representations. One participant performed well on the integration task but gained little knowledge during the reading session. All participants drew on textual information while answering the post-reading knowledge questions but only on videos and pictures while responding to the integration task.
Conclusion: Our study indicates that students with dyslexia display different processing patterns when dealing with online representations. While they may process web pages strategically to improve their conceptual learning, they fail to integrate information across different online representations and web pages.