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Cognitive Framework and Topics

From: Chuck Hitchcock <chitchcock@cast.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 12:22:18 -0400
To: "WAI GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NDBBLDFEGLNOMJEDCGPPIEPBEEAA.chitchcock@cast.org>
Below is a first pass effort to organize key cognitive topics into three
brain systems that CAST has been promoting for the past few years.  It is a
model that is gaining acceptance by the US Office of Education, researchers,
and others.  I will spare you the details at this time.

Note that the three categories include recognition, strategic and affective
systems of the brain. Dr. Boo Murry, one of CAST's researchers who has been
examining research on strategic and action systems of the brain, helped
propose the categorization of topics within the framework of the three brain

This may be too much to focus on for a first pass so I would suggest that
some effort be made to cut the list down into 1st pass items where there are
clear and obvious implications for both web content preparation and user
agent functionality. As mentioned in my last email, I think we need to
quickly consider which items are likely to provide the greatest payoff for
Web users with cognitive disabilities.

Cognitive disabilities topics and W3C-WAI

1. Recognition Systems

Information Processing
-visual processing of information
-auditory processing of information
-maintaining focus
-dealing with complexity
-unimodal vs multimodal

-creating meaning/interpretation
-background knowledge
-receptive language
-reading level

-recall (visual, auditory, language - triggers for)

2. Strategic (action) Systems

Executive Functions
-planning (goal-setting and objective prioritizing  whats important)

Working Memory

Routine Actions

3. Affective (engagement) Systems

-subjective prioritizing  whats desired
-ease of use  at appropriate level  multiple levels of difficulty,
complexity, etc?
-perception of success  feedback, supports when an action is required

If we are thinking of access to Web per se, not as an educational learning
environment, then we need to think about things such as novelty vs
familiarity and challenge vs ease of access to information.  Familiarity may
be more important in some cases, as novelty can be associated with
unfamiliar or difficult.  There should be some hook to what is already
known; for persons with cognitive disabilties this might need to be more
obvious.  There may be a need to recognize and comprehend something at the
site an entry point.  Of course this is much easier to do when you know
something about the anticipated or intended visitors to a site but can be
difficult to accomplish on the Web.


Chuck Hitchcock
Chief Education Technology Officer, and
Director, National Center on
Accessing the General Curriculum,
CAST, Inc.,
39 Cross Street, Peabody, MA 01960
Email chitchcock@cast.org
Voice +1 978-531-8555 x233
TTY   +1 978-531-3110
Fax   +1 978-531-0192
Received on Sunday, 9 April 2000 12:23:11 UTC

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