Designing computer-based cognitive tools to assist learners to interpret graphs and tables

Brian Ferry, J Hedberg, B Harper

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    This paper reports on how extensive research into learner interpretation of graphs was used to inform the development of a suite of computer-based cognitive tools that assisted learners to interpret graphs and tables. A large sample of preservice teachers was administered a test that measured their ability to interpret graphs and tables. Then a smaller sample was interviewed about the methods they used to interpret questions presented in the test. The data from this research was then used to inform the design of the cognitive tools. A prototype of the cognitive tools was trialed with a small sample of preservice leachers and then refined. The refined tools were then used by a larger sample. Student use of the refined version of the cognitive tool was monitored by computer audit trails and by the reflective journal that each student kept. Also a small sample of the students were interviewed as they used the software The findings showed that simple, context-specific cognitive tools helped to reduce the cognitive load associated with the interpretation of graphs and tables.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAdvanced research in computers and communications in education, Vol 1
    EditorsG Cumming, T Okamoto, L Gomez
    Place of PublicationKildare, Ireland
    PublisherIrish University Press for the Catholic Record Society of Ireland
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)1586030272
    Publication statusPublished - 1999
    Event7th International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE 99) - CHIBA, Japan
    Duration: 4 Nov 19997 Nov 1999

    Publication series

    PublisherI O S PRESS
    ISSN (Print)0922-6389


    Conference7th International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE 99)


    • cognitive tools
    • interpreting graphs
    • tables


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