Determining effectiveness of visual disability guidelines presented on a multimedia workbench

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Virginia Tech


The research was conducted using a 2 x 2 between subjects design to compare the effectiveness of two methods of instructional training. The first factor was gender of the subjects. The second factor was presentation. A printed text presentation (control condition) was compared to a computer based multimedia presentation with redundant audio (experimental treatment). The experimental treatment was set up as a workbench to present guidelines to developers of computer equipment and software for the visually impaired. The guidelines were presented and then illustrated through pictures, sound, animation, and quicktime video. Each condition was measured for its effectiveness in increasing knowledge in the subject area and positively influencing attitudes toward the blind and disabled. The experiment was conducted as follows. To counter any possible gender/computer variables, forty subjects of similar knowledge, skills, and computer abilities were recruited. Subjects received three pretests in the order listed; an Attitude Toward Blindness (ABS) questionnaire, an Attitude Toward Disabled People (ATDP) questionnaire, and a pretest on the research material. Training subjects then completed either the printed text or the multimedia with redundant audio presentation. Following the presentation of the study material the subjects completed three posttests in the order listed; a posttest on the research material, an ATDP questionnaire, and an ABS questionnaire. It was hypothesized that subjects would spend a significantly longer time studying the multimedia material because of interest and motivation. It was also hypothesized that the multimedia condition would produce significantly higher results in the knowledge test and significantly improve attitudes toward the visually impaired and disabled. The knowledge scores and the study times were recorded, analysis of variance was used to analyze the results. The analysis showed that there were no significant effects for either gender or presentation for knowledge posttest scores, although the difference between pretest and posttest for all groups was significant, indicating effective training. Females took significantly less time to complete the second attitude pretest and two attitude posttest questionnaires. Subjects who were exposed to the multimedia presentation finished the posttest significantly faster. And multimedia subjects spent significantly longer studying the material and completing the experiment. The attitude questionnaires were scored, treated as nonparametric data, and analyzed using a Kruskal-Wallis test. No significant pretest to posttest changes in attitude resulted, although both groups of females (printed text and multimedia) held more favorable posttest attitudes toward the disabled in general than did males exposed to the printed text presentation.



instructional training, people with disabilities