The influence of affordances on user preferences for multimedia language learning applications.

Uther, Maria and Banks, Adrian P (2016) The influence of affordances on user preferences for multimedia language learning applications. Behaviour and Information Technology, 35 (4). pp. 277-289. ISSN 1362-3001

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This study investigates the influence of sensory and cognitive affordances on the user experience of mobile devices for multimedia language learning applications. A primarily audio-based language learning application – ‘Vowel Trainer’, was chosen against a comparison, text and picture-based language learning application – ‘Learn English for Taxi Drivers’. Impressions of the two applications were assessed on two different devices that have virtually the same interface and identical sound output (when headphones are used), but differ in physical size: the iPhone and the iPad. A mixed design was chosen, with native language as a group factor and device type (iPad vs. iPhone) and language application type (audio vs. video) as within groups factors. Assessments of sensory and cognitive affordances were made, along with measurement of learner preferences of each application. Data from 41 participants (21 native English speakers, 20 non-native English speakers) were analysed, revealing device differences in both audio and visual subjective quality ratings, despite only visual quality being affected by the device's physical limitations. We suggest that sensory affordances (indexed by subjective quality) are not simply a function of physical limitations, but are heavily influenced by context. The implications for developing design guidelines for language learning and other multimedia applications are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The authors thank Dr Paul Iverson of University College London for the use of the Vowel Trainer in this study and Dr James Uther for technical assistance throughout this project. Preliminary data from this study were published in the proceedings of IADIS Mobile Learning Conference, March 2015.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Perceived sound quality; mobile language learning; affordances
Subjects: C Biological sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological sciences > C850 Cognitive & affective psychology
C Biological sciences > C856 Experimental psychology
J Technologies > J920 Ergonomics
Departments: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Maria Uther
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2016 11:27
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2016 15:44

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