Kim T. Zebehazy, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia

Conquering Complexity

- Student Strategy Use to Understand Tactile Graphics

In this session you will learn about the variations in strategies used by students with visual impairments when reading simple to more complex tactile graphics at different grade levels. You will also learn and discuss ways to help students improve problem solving around tactile graphic reading.

Zebehazy and Wilton have carried out a survey of students with visual impairments. Their result indicate that the students like to have graphics available to feel included with their peers, but that they do not necessarily find tactile graphics useful for understanding concepts. In addition to attending to the creation of quality graphics, what from the instructional side can be done to enhance student ability to understand and gain information from tactile graphics?

In this session Zebehazy will share results from a study that investigated the strategies used by students with visual impairments when reading typical math graphics (e.g., bar graph) and a social studies graphic (i.e., a map). Students were video recorded and asked to think out loud as they engaged with five different tactile graphics varying in complexity to answer multiple choice questions. The presentation will highlight the strategies and hand movements used by the most successful students. Relationships between successful graphic reading and demographic information such as teacher rating of problem solving skills and instruction in graphics use will also be highlighted.  What the results might mean for teaching other students to be confident tactile graphics readers will be discussed.

 

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