Multimedia Interactive Software for Infancy: Analysis of the Communicative Effectiveness, the Usability and the Function of the Iconic Code

Maria Rita Ciceri, Federica Biassoni, Paola Colombo

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter

Abstract

Software devoted to infancy are an increasing phenomenon, despite they are little studied from a theoretical point of view. Studies examining the cognitive valence of multimedia stimuli, and particularly the communicative effectiveness of different graphical styles, are still very few. In these instruments the contents are presented in an arranged and integrated pattern of visual and auditory representation (Calvert, 2003); images language plays a fundamental role in the meaning assigned to architecture. “Attiv@mente.comunicazione” is a project intended to supply multimedia activities for assessment and development of cognitive and communicative competences: it is made up of animated and interactive sequences, during which the child is called upon to play while using his own competences. The software design has entailed an analysis of the criterion for communicative effectiveness in the architecture of a software for infancy. The software architecture is firstly aimed at concerning several abilities: cognitive abilities, such as narrative, procedural and logical thinking, and communicative competences related to the use of different languages (words and images) and media. Besides the software architecture is characterized with the primal role of the iconic and multimodal codes: the activities design is very accurate and different part are featured by different image styles (abstract vs. figurative one, static image vs. animation). Designed for children from 3 to 7 years old, it is also aimed to support the acquisition of computer ability since first infancy. In a first research, some activities gleaned from the software have been administered to 120 children in two different conditions: computer and paper format. For each activity response time, number of attempts and the scores of performances caught up in the task have been appraised; moreover a self-evaluation of liking and fun about the task has been made through the use of emoticons. So multimedia format doesn’t compromise the performance while it positively influences motivation at task. Moreover, in some activities, such as history comprehension, the animated format supplies several microclues useful to the history comprehension. The purpouse of a second study was to deal the appraisal of pleasantness and facility perceived in relation to activities characterized with different types of images. A battery of 6 activities, abstract and figurative images, was administred to 120 children. Results show that, in general, older children appraise all the activities more pleasant and easier. These results fit with the hypothesis according to which the improvement of the perceptive abilities evolution of the would explain the effect of aesthetic preferences in connection with the age (Chevrier and Delorme, 1980; Piaget, 1961; 1963). Finally a tendency to prefer the figurative style is observed (Parsone, 1987; Lowenfeld, 1982; Winner, 1982): both the two styles imply specific perception and cognition abilities acquired during the individual development.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2005
EditorP Kommers, G Richards
Pagine1687-1693
Numero di pagine7
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2005

Keywords

  • infancy
  • interactive
  • software

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