Abstract

Abstract:

Online learning environments are challenging for deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) individuals. A major concern is split attention, which occurs when one simultaneously attends to multiple stimuli, a situation that characterizes most multimedia presentations and instruction that combines sound, text, images, graphs or charts, and video. Needing to take notes adds another stimulus. DHH learners face this issue when auditory content is accommodated visually, in combination with visually presented content. No one can view multiple visual signals simultaneously. Learners must choose to view one signal and miss others; view signals sequentially, which requires additional time and hinders class participation; or switch between visual signals, losing elements of each. This process increases auditory and visual fatigue and cognitive load, ultimately compromising learning. Several ways are suggested to achieve more equitable access to instructional content for learners challenged by the problem of split attention.

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