Enhancing e-learning environments with users' cognitive factors: The case of EKPAIDEION
Spanoudis, George C.
SourceProceedings of the 7th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL 2008
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We are now witnessing an extensive and gradually increasing use of the World Wide Web space, proved to be a quite favourable way of communication, due to its speed, simplicity and efficiency. Distance learning (or eLearning) is considered one of the most rapidly evolving application areas of the Web that improves the traditional educational processes and methodologies of knowledge transfer. In recent years, there has been significant research and experimentation around the adaptation and personalization of the eLearning hypermedia that mainly concerns the timely delivery and adjustment of the content to user's needs and perceptual characteristics. This paper provides a new comprehensive way of reconstructing eLearning content; by creating a user profile based on specific metrics of cognitive processing parameters (such as cognitive style, cognitive processing speed efficiency and working memory factors) that have specific impact into the information space. The combination of the cognitive user profile and the 'traditional' user characteristics (e.g. age, gender, profession) could become the main personalization filter for eLearning environments. Such approach may be proved to be very useful in assisting and facilitating a student to better understand eLearning content. In view of that, an adaptation and personalization Web-based environment, namely EKPAIDEION, has been developed. An evaluation with approximately 128 users has been conducted with the results being highly promising and encouraging, since there has been identified significant increase of learners' academic performance when interacting with our personalized eLearning environment that is matched to their cognitive styles and visual working memory span capabilities.