Cognition & Learning

roundtableLocation: Ballroom C+D+E
This is a roundtable in the Cyberlearning 2017 Roundtable session.

Does the technology-generated listening environment impact task productivity?

Debbie Cockerham

New technologies have helped create a world with never-ending sounds and colors around us. People work with headphones hanging on their ears, and their eyes are fixed on their phones whether they are walking on the street or studying in the libraries. McLuhan warns that media creates both extensions and amputations for us. In a series of studies, we investigated the impact of the technology-generated listening environment upon productivity. Our first study found that participants were significantly more productive on a simple math task when listening to fast, energetic music than when listening to calm music, rain sounds, or working in silence. When we increased the participants’ cognitive load, little difference was seen between the four conditions. Findings support the duplex-mechanism theory (Hughes, Vachon, & Jones, 2007), and suggest that the ability to screen out irrelevant sounds may be more controllable through greater top-down task engagement. In addition, increased media stimulation may be impacting our motivation and affect as it changes our attentional needs. Hughes, R. W., Vachon, F., & Jones, D. M. (2007). Disruption of short-term memory by changing and deviant sounds: support for a duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33(6), 1050-1061.

Education through Application-Supported Experiential Learning: Just-in-Time reflection

Christian Rogers
Screenshot of EASEL Just-in-Time reflection on mobile
Reflection is crucial for assessing critical thinking, deeper learning, and metacognitive skill development in experiential and active learning contexts. Current practices usually focus on composing journal entries or discussion board posts; however, these entries are often composed days or weeks after the experience. Details about the experience may not be remembered unless reflection occurs (and is documented) during the learning experience. Mobile cyberlearning technologies can help provide opportunities for students to reflect closer to the experience, increasing opportunities for metacognition. EASEL, or Education through Application-Supported Experiential Learning, was developed to allow for this Just-in-Time model of reflection. Using mobile JIT reflection may help provide a scaffold for learners to meet learning objectives and help them think more deeply about what they are learning before, during, and after an experience. This roundtable will begin with participant introductions and reasons for selecting this roundtable, will present the evolution and preliminary results of current EASEL research, and will allow participants to share ideas about their own experiences with experiential learning applications or reflection technologies.