The use of a co-operative student model of learner characteristics to configure a multimedia application
This paper describes an investigation into the ways in which learning using a multimedia application can be supported and enhanced by means of a simple co-operative student model of learner characteristics. This paper reports the design, implementation and evaluation of an individually configurable multimedia learning application, based upon such a model. A multimedia learning application was developed that presented information differentially based upon the individual characteristics of learners, held in the student model. The characteristics employed in the model were language level, cognitive style, task and question levels, and help level. Small groups of learners followed the multimedia course in learning centres located in colleges in the UK. A Grounded Theory study was carried out in order to understand the many and complex interactions that took place between learners, tutors and the learning environment. Stages in the Grounded Theory method are described and some qualitative data is presented. It was possible to conclude from these, that the quality of learning for individuals was improved by the use of the co-operative student model. Quantitative data is presented to support this view and where possible, to relate performance on the multimedia learning application to the student model configuration.