Strategies to Prevent Visual Split-Attention with Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

When: December 4, 2013
Dr. Susan M. Mather
Note: Presented in American Sign Language (ASL) with a spoken English translation and captions

One of the challenges that teachers face in teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing is how to manage visual split-attention in the classroom. When a teacher is presenting information using visual supports (e.g., utilizing an interpreter, writing on the black board, giving a PowerPoint presentation), learners have no choice but to divide their visual attention. As a result of visual split-attention, the students will experience either high levels of cognitive load or cognitive overload, adversely affecting their classroom performance. However, recent research shows that there are strategies that teachers can use to reduce the effect of split-attention. This webinar will cover the following topics: 

  • Differences between auditory-oriented classrooms and visually oriented classrooms
  • Impact of visual split-attention on cognitive overload and working memory· Shifting attention between visual fields in the classroom· Strategies to reduce the effect of split-attention in various types of classroom situations

About the Presenter:

Dr. Susan M. Mather earned her doctorate in sociolinguistics with minors in applied linguistics and anthropology from Georgetown University. She is a professor in the Linguistics Department at Gallaudet University. Among her published research includes an investigation of classroom discourse strategies, including proper use of eye gaze. Mather continues to research visual split-attention effects due to non-integrated speaking/signing along with use of classroom props with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

PowerPoint: Click Here
Odyssey Spring 2012 article: Click Here

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