Priority Grants Research Fund

Abstracts of Priority Research Project Funded for FY 2012

Lawrence Pick, Daniel Koo, Karen Garrido-Nag
Psychology; Hearing, Speech, Language Sciences
Cognitive and Electrophysiological Correlates of Phonological Processes in Deaf Undergraduate Readers
Qi Wang, Caroline Solomon
Business; Biology
Exploring Blended Instructional Pedagogy to Enhance Student Learning and Scientific Reasoning Skills in Biology

NEW GRANTS

Cognitive and Electrophysiological Correlates of Phonological
Processes in Deaf Undergraduate Readers

Principal Investigator:
Lawrence H. Pick, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Psychology, Gallaudet University
Co-Investigator:
Daniel S. Koo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology, Gallaudet University
Co-Investigator:
Karen Garrido-Nag, M.Phil, M.S., Instructor
Department of Hearing, Speech, Language Sciences, Gallaudet University
 

Although much is known about the reading achievement levels of deaf individuals, we know less about how certain undergraduate students become strong readers. One prevailing assumption is that phonological awareness and processes, as well as working memory and executive functions play a critical role in reading achievement. Thus far, there is a paucity of neuropsychological data and neurophysiological evidence to support this claim in deaf individuals. This study will examine the cognitive and electrophysiological profiles of deaf undergraduate readers using American Sign Language as their primary mode of communication. A comprehensive battery of neuropsychological measures will be administered to gain a better understanding of the cognitive, linguistic, and reading profiles of strong versus weak readers. Further, Event Related Potential (ERP) recordings will be used to determine whether strong versus weak readers show amplitude and temporal differences in cortical regions known for phonological processing. A rhyme judgment paradigm will be employed to examine differential cortical responses at P200 and N400 indices for matched versus mismatched word pairs.

CONTINUED GRANTS

Exploring Blended Instructional Pedagogy to Enhance Student Learning and Scientific Reasoning Skills in Biology
Qi Wang, Caroline Solomon

Business; Biology

Instruction of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) content has always been challenging for Gallaudet University's (GU) undergraduate programs which serve deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students who primarily depend upon visual sensory inputs to process information. Several major factors related to STEM subject matters and the university's unique instructional environment have adversely affected student learning delivered through traditional one-pace-fits-all classroom lectures. These factors include DHH students' general lack of prior scientific content knowledge, practice-based skill acquisition in STEM fields that requires learning labs to replicate real-world environment, lack of a universal signing standard, extensive use of fingerspelling in signed lectures, and learners with significantly diverged capability due to GU's liberal undergraduate admission policy. This three-semester multiple case study, proposed to address GU's Research Priority 4—Teaching, Learning and the Communication Environment, is to explore an e-Learning and classroom instruction blended learning pedagogy with DHH biology majors and to examine its associated factors that may influence student comprehension and scientific reasoning skills in Biology, one of the most popular STEM disciplines on campus. The investigation will replicate and expand the instructional design and research framework derived from a multiple-case study which explored blended learning design and individualized instructional delivery with students in Computer Information Systems classes (Wang, 2006). The preliminary findings of the limited experiment (in length and scope) were positive. However, additional studies with a more systematic approach and different target learners in other STEM disciplines are called for to gain further insights on the technology-supported blended learning phenomenon, to test the premise that this alternative learning paradigm can improve DHH student learning of STEM subjects, and to accumulate instructional design and delivery experiences that can be applied to other STEM disciplines.


[Last modified: 2012.04.23 12:39:28. by Kevin Cole]

DISCLAIMER: This website contains documents with terms that may be considered by today's reader as outdated and even offensive. For example, the term "hearing impairment" is sometimes used as a category for levels of hearing loss, such as hard of hearing and deaf. Some people now see cultural identification and communication preference as defining characteristics behind terms such as hard of hearing and deaf, and they do not favor terms conveying medical distinctions and loss. Yet we recognize that removing and changing terms may alter the precise meaning of the scientific author. A solution may be found by expanding the scope of future research to include non-medical perspectives.
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