¿From Abstract to Concrete? Evidence for designing learning platforms that adapt to user's proficiencies.


Digital-tablets distribute cognition through visual, auditory and haptic interactivity. We designed a tutor-game that explored how narratives ((S)trong/(W)eak) and gestures ((I)conic/(D)eictic) combine to situate embodied learning. Students played seven levels of a fractions game designed to teach them how to create and compare fractions. One hundred thirty-one students (age x̄=8.78 yrs, 52.6% Female) were randomly assigned to one of four groups (SI, SD, WI, WD) in a 2x2 factorial experiment. Students completed pre/post direct and transfer assessments and tutor-game log data was mined to explore students' learning. Results revealed a significant interaction between narrative and gesture moderated by student proficiency. In effect, students new to fractions performed better in an abstracted environment using deictic (pointing) gestures. However, as students' proficiencies improved, they learned better using iconically enactive gestures in strong narrative (with setting, characters and plot). This has important implications for designing adaptive learning platforms and curricula for teaching fractions.

Back to Table of Contents