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Effectiveness of auditory sequential learning

ABSTRACT:

This investigation was designed to compare the effectiveness of auditory sequential learning compared with visual spatial learning on memory. 50 subjects were shown slides with ten images. After a 2 minute-long distraction task, the subjects were asked to answer ten questions relating to the images and their scores were recorded. After a 10 minute break, the same subjects were instructed to listen to a 4 minute audio recording and complete the ten questions after the distraction task. Most subjects could answer the questions for the visual memory test better than for the auditory memory test. A Wilcoxon signed-ranks test that compared the median of the two sets of observations showed that the score of memory quiz is greater at 5% significance level for visual memory test rather than auditory memory test, compatible with the experimental hypothesis.

NULL HYPOTHESIS:

There will be no significant difference in the memory quiz score for both the auditory and visual memory tests.

EXPERIMENTAL HYPOTHESIS:

The memory quiz score is significantly greater for the visual memory test compared to the auditory memory test.

RESEARCH AND RATIONALE:

There are two types of learners identified in researches which are auditory sequential learning and the visual spatial learning. This experiment was carried out to investigate the effectiveness of auditory sequential learning and visual spatial learning on memory. The methodology in this experiment focuses on the short term memory on students.

Research had proven that changing a study habit could improve a student’s performance in tests. Usually they struggle in recalling what was heard in lectures. But they find it easier to recall things which were visually recorded in mind. (1)

Visual assistance when studying for visual spatial learners are like a colorful outline of test materials, pictures, tables, diagrams, flowcharts, pie charts, graphs and mute movies. Whereas, auditory learning uses materials like sound clips, lectures, movie audio, repetitively saying something, and songs. (2)

A visual learner could answer best in tests that has diagramming, reading maps, essays (if studied using an outline), short questions or showing a process. (3) For visual spatial learners, they would learn quicker from a teacher who has more dramatic presentation in their teaching and with enough visual company. A monotonous speech would be tough for them to follow. Visual learners may also reach a conclusion without taking much steps but the accuracy can be trusted. Visual spatial learner would need more time in recalling. (4) Structural construct for incorporating and processing new ideas can be provided by visualization.

A visual learner also would find it hard it getting along with another person’s idea. Some problems would be worked backward in showing the steps. Some research had also shown that visual spatial learners might score poorly in tests when they fail to take small details into account. They are also normally imaginative, artistic, musical and rhythmic in delivering their views or ideas. Visual spatial learners also often succeed in complicated tasks compared to simple tasks. (8)

Dunn R. et al. had stated that for auditory-sequential learner, learning is one-at-a-time, and followed by logical understanding that constructs the idea. Auditory-sequential learners are good listeners, learn sequentially with no time pressure, and think in words and processes idea rapidly. (5)

Auditory learner could answer in most tests if the studies are carried out in ways of, using word association to remember facts and lines, recording lectures, watching videos, repeating facts with eyes closed, participating in group discussions, using audiotapes for language practice, and taping notes after writing them. (3)

Auditory learning strengths are important for the development of linguistic competence. (6) This is why when a child has severe loss in hearing, would face toughness in learning languages and delay the progress. Since language involves both grasping and producing sequences of words, there is a connection between good listening skills and good sequencing ability.

An auditory sequential learner is proficient with timing too. It also enhances verbal fluency that enables aptitude to comprehend words easily, efficiently, and quickly, thus providing greater ease at public speaking and impromptu presentations. (7)

Memory is the next part of our model of the user as an information processing system. There are generally three types of memory: sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory.

Firstly, the sensory memories that act as buffers for stimuli received through the senses. Information is passed from sensory memory into short-term memory by attention, hence only the part of interest is absorbed into short-term memory in a given time. Secondly, the short term memory erases rapidly and also has a partial capacity. Portioning of information can lead to an augment in the short term memory capacity. Intrusion often causes disturbance in short-term memory preservation. This accounts for the desire to complete the tasks held in short term memory as soon as possible.

Diagram 1: Process of Sensory Memory Converted into Long Term Memory

http://image.wistatutor.com/content/control-and-coordination/cerebral-cortex-view.jpeg

Diagram 2: Brain Anatomy that Involves in Visual and Auditory Memory (9)

Temporal lobe is the main part of brain which helps in visual and auditory learning.

PLANNING:

Five subjects aged 19-20 was taken to conduct the trials for the modification of the investigational procedure. This is a pilot sample so that the method can be verified whether it is suitable to be done.

Trial 1 : Video clip versus Images.

The first trial was to find out whether a short video clip or images should be used as object for the visual test. Firstly, the subjects were instructed to focus on the video clip played for two minutes. Then, they were asked to answer ten questions relating to the video clip played. After a 10- minute break, the procedure was repeated for the slides of ten images that were projected for 5 seconds each continuously.

Table 1: The Results of the First Trial Experiment

Type of objects

Median score

Images

12

Video clip

8.5

This trial results show a significant difference when images were used instead of a video clip. Thus, images on slide were then chosen to conduct the experiment.

Trial 2 : Determining the time of display of each image.

Four subjects were instructed to focus on the ten images projected, where each image will be displayed for 3 seconds, 4 seconds, 5 seconds and 6 seconds respectively.

Table 2: The Results of the Second Trial Experiment

Subject

Time of display

Score

1

3 seconds

3

2

4 seconds

5

3

5 seconds

7

4

6 seconds

10

The subjects were subsequently debriefed after the quiz regarding the time limit given. The first two subjects claimed that the time of display was too short and they did not manage to complete all ten questions resulting in low score. The third subject claimed that the time was sufficient enough to focus on the images but could not remember all the features in each image. The fourth subject told that 6 seconds is too long and he can focus and remember the features very well resulting in full score. Therefore, it was decided that the time of display should be 5 seconds to reduce any unreliable result.

Trial 3 : The number of times the sound clip should be played.

Third trial was carried out to determine the number of times the sound clip should be played. Four subjects were selected, two with the sound clip which was played once and another two with the sound clip which was played twice.

Table 3: The Results of the Third Trial Experiment

Subjects

Median score

1 and 2 (sound clip played once)

8

3 and 4 (sound clip played twice)

10

These results show that the median score of the subjects when the sound clip played twice was slightly higher and it was noted that the last few questions about the last part of the clip were answered correctly.

Thus, the sound clip was played once to determine how fast the subjects can catch up with the sound clip and to analyse whether they have the characteristics of the auditory sequential learners.

The visual stimulus administered was slideshows with ten images (Appendix). The images are clear, compact and contain a lot of variations so that various types of questions can be asked in a memory quiz. In this particular research, ten simple questions mainly about the names and features of the images were asked. On the other hand, the auditory stimulus used was approximately 4 minute long sound clip entitled ‘How to Make a Kite’, which was taken from YouTube website with very clear audio presentation.

METHODOLOGY:

The manipulated variable in this study is the type of stimulus administered (visual and auditory).

The score of the memory quiz of the memory tests is the responding variable.

There are few constant variables in this study, include:-

age of the subjects (fifty Advanced Level students from University of Technology MARA, and aged between 19 and 20).

level of education of the subjects.

time in a day the experiment was conducted (the morning only).

environmental conditions in doing both types of tests ( in a quiet classroom).

EXPERIMENTAL METHOD:

A random sample of 50 subjects aged 19-20 was selected.

The subjects were provided with a sheet of paper containing a distraction task and two sheets with the memory quiz for visual and auditory consisting of ten questions each.

The distraction task consisted of simple mathematical problems.

Firstly, the subjects were instructed to carefully study the pictures displayed for the visual test or the recording for the auditory test to commit them to memory.

For visual test, the subjects were shown slides of ten images where each image was shown by using a projector for 5 seconds and constantly changed.

Immediately after the presentation, the subjects were asked to perform the 2-minute distraction task to reduce the effect of rehearsal.

Then, the subjects were required to answer the questions in the memory quiz paper without a time limit.

After a 10 minute break, the procedure was repeated on the same group of subjects, but this time for auditory test.

The subjects were required to put on headphones connected to the computer prepared and were told to listen to the recording for 4 minutes attentively.

After that, the subjects were asked to perform the distraction task and were told to answer the questions about the recording they listened.

The quiz papers were collected and the score for each subject was recorded.

A Wilcoxon signed-ranks test was used to compare the median score for each memory tests (visual and auditory) at 5% significance level.

RISK ASSESSMENT:

The procedure is ranked as a low risk procedure. Firstly, the subjects were told that the data will be used in a scientific investigation and were asked to sign consent forms to give permission to use their results. Their results were also kept anonymous and confidential. The subjects also were informed that the memory test was not testing a person’s intelligence or memory power. This was to avoid any unnecessary stress and the subjects could as well make informed decision about taking the test or otherwise.

The volume of the recording played over the computer was set at an acceptable volume so as not to cause any impairment on hearing. The visual images displayed were also ensured not explicit or immoral.

OBSERVING AND RECORDING:

Table 4: Frequency table of the scores for each type of test

Memory quiz scores, x

Number of

people, f

Visual

Auditory

0

0

0

1

0

2

2

0

4

3

5

12

4

7

14

5

3

5

6

5

4

7

10

6

8

8

3

9

9

0

10

3

0

Total

50

50

Graph 1: Graph of number of people against memory quiz score

Table 5 : Median score for each types of memory test

Median score

for the memory quiz

Visual

Auditory

7

4

Figure 2: Box plot of the median scores for the visual and auditory memory tests

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

A Wilcoxon signed-ranks test was used to analyse the data for scores of each types of memory tests as the data does not show a normal distribution.

Subject

Auditory,

Visual,

D = (-

Absolute D

Rank of Absolute

Signed Rank

1

5

8

3

3

22

22

2

8

8

0

0

---

---

3

4

9

5

5

38

38

4

5

8

3

3

22

22

5

3

8

5

5

38

38

6

3

6

3

3

22

22

7

7

7

0

0

---

---

8

3

7

4

4

31.5

31.5

9

6

5

-1

1

5

-5

10

5

8

3

3

22

22

11

8

7

-1

1

5

-5

12

5

8

3

3

22

22

13

4

7

3

3

22

22

14

9

9

0

0

---

---

15

4

8

4

4

31.5

31.5

16

2

5

3

3

22

22

17

3

8

5

5

38

38

18

5

8

3

3

22

22

19

4

9

5

5

38

38

20

6

10

4

4

31.5

31.5

21

4

8

4

4

31.5

31.5

22

8

6

-2

2

13

-13

23

7

7

0

0

---

---

24

6

9

3

3

22

22

25

3

7

4

4

31.5

31.5

26

8

7

-1

1

5

-5

27

9

9

0

0

---

---

28

4

8

4

4

31.5

31.5

29

7

5

-2

2

13

-13

30

8

7

-1

1

5

-5

31

2

9

7

7

42

42

32

7

8

1

1

5

5

33

6

8

2

2

13

13

34

4

6

2

2

13

13

35

7

7

0

0

---

---

36

5

9

4

4

31.5

31.5

37

2

7

5

5

38

38

38

5

8

3

3

22

22

39

7

5

-2

2

13

-13

40

6

7

1

1

5

5

41

8

4

-4

4

31.5

-31.5

42

4

7

3

3

22

22

43

5

7

2

2

13

13

44

5

5

0

0

---

---

45

6

7

1

1

5

5

46

8

9

1

1

5

5

47

8

6

-2

2

13

-13

48

9

9

0

0

---

---

49

3

9

6

6

41

41

50

7

8

1

1

5

5

= 799.5 , = 103.5

The lowest value between the two sums of ranks is , therefore test statistics, T = 103.5.

The critical value at 5% significance level (one-tailed test) is found using a Wilcoxon signed-ranks table to be 319. T = 103.5 is lower than the critical value of 319, hence the null hypothesis is rejected and the experimental hypothesis is accepted. Thus, there is sufficient evidence that the memory quiz score for visual memory test is greater than of auditory memory test.

DATA ANALYSIS:

The Wilcoxon signed- ranks test verified that the memory quiz score for visual memory test is greater than that for auditory memory test. At α = 0.05, the value of the test statistics, T = 103.5 is lower than the critical value (319). This shows that the probability of the score of questions answered correctly for visual memory test being significantly greater is more than 95% if the experiment was to be repeated on the same population, and the probability that the results occurred by coincidence is less than 5%. This strongly supports the experimental hypothesis that the memory quiz score is higher for visual memory test than for the auditory memory test.

66% of the subjects scored higher for visual memory test compared to the auditory memory test. From Table 4, we can also find out that 12 people could answer 9 or all 10 questions for the visual memory test while there were none for the auditory memory test. This clearly suggests that learning visually can improve the scores by having some impact in the memory.

Graph 1 clearly shows that all the scores of the auditory test within the range of 1 to 8 in which the mode is 4 (scored by 14 subjects). On the other hand, 70% of the subjects in the visual memory test scored at least 6 up to 10 and higher than the auditory memory test in which the mode is 7 (scored by 10 subjects). This clearly indicates that the subjects generally showing the characteristics of visual spatial learning compared to auditory sequential learning.

However, in the visual memory test, 5 of the subjects scored 3. This result could probably be due to the subjects being too nervous or tired. For the auditory memory test, none of them scored 9 or 10 but 3 of the subjects scored 8. One possible reason for the anomaly is that the subjects can be a good auditory sequential learner with a keener hearing ability, thus could remember the sound clip excellently.

Collectively visual spatial learning can be considered as a better method since the auditory learning could be done only one at a time, and with no time pressure. (5) Score for visual learning was high was possibly due to the short and simple question asked. (3) Auditory memory can be decayed by disturbance; since a distraction task was carried out, the auditory memory test could have gotten a lower score too.

However, auditory objects might be fundamentally different from visual objects. In their physics or psychophysics, they may actually be less memorable than their visual counterparts. Sound and light are processed by different receptors (eyes and ears) and furthermore, processed in different neural streams within the brain. Hence, result may differ from one individual to another parallel to the biological factor in neural stream. Visual spatial learning can be considered as better than auditory sequential learning.

EVALUATION:

A large sample of 50 subjects was taken to minimise the errors and to reduce the possibilities of inconsistent results, which is considered as anomalous. Furthermore, choosing the subjects randomly from the college population help to improve reliability of the result.

The age of the subjects became a control because memory varies with age, for example children below 12 years old are not matured enough to comprehend the test and need more times of observation whereas older people might have weaker memory power which will give an unreliable result. Moreover, all the subjects were chosen from University of Technology MARA and are doing Advanced Level course. The level of difficulty of English also was taken into consideration and questions were made in a simpler English language and easier to understand. As for the auditory test, the test was carried out in a quiet classroom so that the subjects can concentrate completely without any distractions.

Therefore, this study was carried out with low degree of errors and with a large sample and the results obtained can be valid.

LIMITATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS

The subjects selected may not represent the true college population even though the subjects were chosen randomly. This is because there are limited availability of participants and the subjects chosen from only one college. Modification can be made by choosing subjects chosen from other course and from other colleges so that a more conclusive result can be obtained.

This experiment also could have been improved, if subjects were each shown the slideshows and the recordings on individual computers or laptops. This would decrease the distance of the subjects from the screen. All the tests could be carried out in the morning as it will be more effective on the learning where subjects can learn and memorise more effectively. Subjects with less than four hours sleep the night before were not considered for this experiment because the lack of sleep will affect the memory power.

In auditory learning, the sound clip could be simpler and shorter and also repeated before answering questions is done in conducting a future research. In the visual learning, the images shown can be shown for a longer time period, so that the manipulated variable will only be the type of learning method and not the time.

EVALUATION OF SOURCES:

Source 1 is an online source that discussed about the learning styles. This source is a part of the New York Times and written by Grace Fleming from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, a scholar and highly experienced writer.

Source 2 (online source), source 3 and 4 (journals) regarding visual spatial and auditory sequential learning, were written by Linda Kreger Silverman, a theorist, a PhD holder and the director of Gifted Development Centre, thus the sources are highly reliable. Source 8 by Elizabeth Maxwell, also had quoted exactly her journals.

Sources 5 and 6 were books on human learning style and intelligence published by internationally recognised publishers like Price Systems Inc. and McGraw-Hill which have produced hundreds of scientific books and journals.

Source 7 was a book about visual spatial learning by Professor David F. Lohman from University of Iowa and published by Ohio Psychology Press. The author, an active researcher, had produced more than 43 books and journals on learning styles and psychology.

Source 9 (online source) is maintained by TutorVista which is a part of Pearson Group, a world-class publisher and serve over 6 million tutoring sessions.

CONCLUSION:

It can clearly be seen that the score for visual memory test is significantly greater than that in auditory memory test. The value of the test statistics, T = 103.5 is lower that the critical value, 319 obtained from the statistical table at 5% confidence level, thus the experimental hypothesis is accepted. This leads to a concrete conclusion that visual spatial learning is better than the auditory sequential learning for the scopes of study conducted, which is a sample aged 19 to 20, from the similar environment and good background of education. Visual spatial learning could be better than auditory sequential learning since the questions asked were short and the images were more attractive compared to a monotonous sound clip. In a case of more complicated and large visual image but a simpler and shorter sound clip in a same given time of learning, the results may differ. However, results may also vary from one individual to another, according to their ability to think and the type of learner they are.

APPENDICES :

Memory Quiz for Visual Memory Test

What was the first picture displayed in the slide?

What was the time displayed on the watch?

What was the brand of the ball?

What is the colour of fish displayed in the slide?

What is the name of flower displayed in the slide?

How many cup(s) of water was/were there beside the Chicken Rice plate

What was written on the clock?

How many penguins were there in the slide?

How many trees were there behind the cartoon characters?

What was the image on the book in the last slide?

Memory Quiz For Auditory Memory Test

What was the audio about?

How will the size of kite prepared by speaker be compared to normal kites?

Which group of people would this type of kite suit?

What was the first material mentioned by the speaker?

What is the use of the second piece of plastic he mentioned?

How many dibbles used by the speaker?

What is the use of the markers?

Apart from regular kite string, what can be used to replace it to fly the kite?

What is the use of the book the speaker mentioned?

Form the audio, do we need a stapler as a supply in making the kite?

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