Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 215–237 | Cite as

The design and testing of multimedia for teaching arithmetic to deaf learners

  • Piyaporn Techaraungrong
  • Surachai Suksakulchai
  • Wacheerapan Kaewprapan
  • Elizabeth Murphy


The purpose of the study reported on in this paper was to design and test multimedia for deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) learners. The study focused on counting, addition and subtraction with grade one (age 7) DHH learners in Thailand. The multimedia created for the study was informed by design considerations for DHH learners of arithmetic and aimed to minimize cognitive load. Testing took place over a period of 16 weeks during which learners alternated between 2 and 3 week sessions of one hour per day with multimedia (numbers 1–10) versus 2–3 week sessions of one hour per day with the teacher (numbers 11–20). Results of the design included features such as non-essential use of text, reliance on non-symbolic objects, user control, and signals to relevant content. Results of testing showed that learning with multimedia resulted in higher scores than learning with the teacher (Z = 4.545, p = 0.000). Post-intervention interviews highlighted the role of motivation, ease of comprehension and independent learner control of the multimedia. The conclusion highlighted the need for multimedia design principles that reflect a more inclusionary focus on children with special needs such as those featured in this study.


Multimedia Arithmetic Deaf and hard of hearing Cognitive load Design Testing 


  1. Antia, S., Reed, S., & Kreimeyer, K. (2005). The written language of deaf and hard of hearing students in public schools. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 10(3), 244–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barker, L. (2003). Computer-assisted vocabulary acquisition: the CSLU vocabulary tutor in oral-deaf education. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 8(2), 187–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baroody, A., & Dowker, A. (2003). The development of arithmetic concepts and skills: Constructing adaptive expertise. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.MATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Beal-Alvarez, J., & Cannon, J. (2014). Technology intervention research with deaf and hard of hearing learners: levels of evidence. American Annals of the Deaf, 158(5), 486–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beal-Alvarez, J., & Easterbrooks, S. (2013). Increasing children’s ASL classifier production: a multicomponent intervention. American Annals of the Deaf, 158(3), 311–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borgna, G., Convertino, C., Marschark, M., Morrison, C., & Rizzolo, K. (2011). Enhancing deaf students' learning from sign language and text: metacognition, modality, and the effectiveness of content scaffolding. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16(1), 79–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cannon, J., Easterbrooks, S., Gagné, P., & Beal-Alvarez, J. (2011). Improving DHH students' grammar through an individualized software program. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16(4), 437–457. doi: 10.1093/deafed/enr023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cavender, A., Bigham, J., & Ladner, R. (2009). ClassInFocus: enabling improved visual attention strategies for deaf and hard of hearing students. In Proceedings of the 11th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, ACM, New York, NY, 67–74. doi: 10.1145/1639642.1639656
  9. Chan, W., & Chou, T. (2006). Model of school adjustment of students with learning disabilities and general students in senior high and/or vocational school students. The Journal of Special Education, 24, 113–134.Google Scholar
  10. Chang, H. (2007). Visual feedback training to promote mandarin disyllabic tone perception and production in hearing-impaired children. Bulletin of Special Education, 32(4), 47–64.Google Scholar
  11. Chen, Y. (2014). A study to explore the effects of self-regulated learning environment for hearing-impaired students. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30, 97–109. doi: 10.1111/jcal.12023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cross, C., Woods, T., & Schweingruber, H. (2009). Mathematics learning in early childhood: Paths towards excellence and equity. Washington DC: Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics, National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences.MATHGoogle Scholar
  13. Dangsaart, S. et al. (2008). Intelligent Thai text – Thai sign translation for language learning. Computers and Education, 51, 1125–1141.Google Scholar
  14. Debevc, M., & Peljhan, Z. (2004). The role of video technology in on-line lectures for the deaf. Disability and Rehabilitation, 26(17), 1048–1059.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Downes, T., Arthur, L., & Beecher, B. (2001). Effective learning environments for young children using digital resources: an Australian perspective. Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual, 2001(1), 139–153.Google Scholar
  16. Gentry, M., Chinn, K., & Moulton, R. (2004/2005). Effectiveness of multimedia reading materials when used with children who are deaf. American Annals of the Deaf, 149(5), 394–403.Google Scholar
  17. Gilmore, C., McCarthy, S., & Spelke, E. (2010). Non-symbolic arithmetic abilities and mathematics achievement in the first year of formal schooling. Cognition, 115, 394–406. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.02.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Golos, D., & Moses, A. (2011). How teacher mediation during video viewing facilitates literacy behaviors. Sign Language Studies, 12(1), 98–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gregory, S. (1998). Mathematics and deaf children. In S. Gregory, P. Knight, W. McCracken, S. Powers, & L. Watson (Eds.), Issues in deaf education (pp. 119–126). London: David Fulton.Google Scholar
  20. Hurlbut, H. (2009). Thai signed languages surveya rapid appraisal. SIL Electronic Survey Reports. Retrieved from 4926740506782505719790/silesr2009_016.pdf.
  21. Israelite, N., Ower, J., & Goldstein, G. (2002). Hard-of- hearing adolescents and identity construction: influences of school experiences, peers, and teachers. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 7(2), 134–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kiboss, J. (2012). Effects of special e-learning program on hearing-impaired learners' achievement and perceptions of basic geometry in lower primary mathematics. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 46(1), 31–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kritzer, K. (2008). Family mediation of mathematically based concepts while engaged in a problem-solving activity with their young deaf children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 13(4), 503–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kritzer, K. (2009). Barely started and already left behind: a descriptive analysis of the mathematics ability demonstrated by young deaf children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 14(4), 409–421. doi: 10.1093/deafed/enp015.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  25. Kyle, F., & Harris, M. (2010). Predictors of reading development in deaf children: a 3 year longitudinal study. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 107(3), 229–243.Google Scholar
  26. Lang, H., & Pagliaro, C. (2007). Factors predicting recall of mathematics terms by deaf students: implications for teaching. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12(4), 449–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lieberman, D., Bates, C., & So, J. (2009). Young children’s learning with digital media. Computers in the Schools: Interdisciplinary. Journal of Practice, Theory, and Applied Research, 26(4), 271–283. doi: 10.1080/07380560903360194.Google Scholar
  28. Liu, C., Chou, C., Liu, B., & Yang, J. (2006). Improving mathematics teaching and learning experiences for hard of hearing students with wireless technology–enhanced classrooms. American Annals of the Deaf, 151(3), 345–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lomber, S., Meredith, M. A., & Kral, A. (2010). Cross-model plasticity in specific auditory cortices underlies visual compensations in deaf. Nature Neuroscience, 13, 1421–1427. doi: 10.1038/nn.2653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Markellou, P., Rigou, M., Sirmakessis, S., & Tsakalidis, A. (2000). A web adaptive educational system for people with hearing difficulties. Education and Information Technologies, 5(3), 189–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Marschark, M., Lang, H., & Albertini, J. (2006). Educating deaf students: From research to practice. US: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Masataka, N. (2006). Differences in arithmetic subtraction of nonsymbolic numerosities by deaf and hearing adults. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11, 139–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mayer, R. (1997). Multimedia learning: are we asking the right questions? Educational Psychologist, 32, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mayer, R. (2009). Multimedia learning (2nd ed., ). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mayer, R. (2014a). Incorporating motivation into multimedia learning. Learning and Instruction, 29, 171–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mayer, R. (2014b). Research-based principles for designing multimedia instruction. In V. Benassi, C. Overson, & C. Hakala (Eds.). Applying science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site:
  37. Mayer, R., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38, 43–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mich, O., Pianta, E., & Mana, N. (2013). Interactive stories and exercises with dynamic feedback for improving reading comprehension skills in deaf children. Computers and Education, 65, 35–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Miles, M., & Huberman, A. (1994). Qualitative data analysis (2nd ed., ). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  40. Nakorn Phrathom School for the Deaf (2009). Innovation and instructional bilingual media for deaf students by Waldorf theory. Nakorn Pharthom. Nakorn Phrathom School for the Deaf.Google Scholar
  41. National Association of the Deaf in Thailand. (2013). Silent world. Retrieved from
  42. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics VR.: Reston., VA: Author.Google Scholar
  43. National Deaf Children’s Society (2015). About Deaf Child Worldwide. Retrieved from
  44. Nunes, T., & Moreno, C. (2002). An intervention program for promoting deaf pupil’s achievement in mathematics. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 7(1), 120–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Thailand (2007). Report: The problem and need to use instructional of teacher and student in deaf school in Bangkok. Education and technology center. Non-formal Education Office.Google Scholar
  46. Paivio, A. (1986). Mental representations: A dual coding approach. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Panselina, M., Sigalas, M., & Tzougraki, C. (2002). Design and development of a bilingual multimedia educational tool for teaching chemistry concepts to deaf students in Greek sign language. Education and Information Technologies, 7(3), 225–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Passig, D., & Eden, S. (2000). Enhancing the induction skill in deaf and hard-of-hearing children with virtual reality technology. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 5(3), 277–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Passig, D., & Eden, S. (2010). Enhancing time connectives with 3-D immersive virtual reality. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 42(3), 307–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Qi, S., & Mitchell, R. E. (2011). Large-scale academic achievement testing of deaf and hard-of-hearing students: past, present, and future. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17(1), 1–18.doi: 10.1093/deafed/enr028
  51. Reilly, C., & Reilly, N. (2005). The rising of lotus flowers: the self-education of deaf children in Thai boarding schools. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Reitsma, P. (2009). Computer-based exercises for learning to read and spell by deaf children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 14(2), 178–189. doi: 10.1093/deafed/enn031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rovinelli, R., & Hambleton, R. (1977). On the use of content specialists in the assessment of criterion-referenced test item validity. Dutch Journal of Educational Research, 2, 49–60.Google Scholar
  54. Segers, P. & Verhoeven, L. (2015). Benefits of technology-enhanced learning for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. In H. Knoors & M. Marschark, (eds.), Educating deaf learners. creating a global evidence base (pp. 481–502). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Sewell, D., Clark, R., Philips, R., & Rostron, A. (1980). Language and the deaf: an interactive microcomputer-based approach. British Journal of Educational Technology, 1(11), 57–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sutherland, R. (2004).Transforming teaching and learning: embedding ICT into everyday classroom practices. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20, 413–425.Google Scholar
  57. Swanwick, R., Oddy, A., & Roper, T. (2005). Mathematics and deaf children: An exploration of barriers to success. Deafness and Education International, 7(1), 1–21. doi: 10.1002/2Fdei.20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sweller, J. (1999). Instructional design in technical areas. Camberwell, Australia: ACER Press.Google Scholar
  59. Sweller, J., Van Merrienboer, J., & Paas, F. (1998). Cognitive architecture and instructional design. Educational Psychology Review, 10, 251–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sweller, J., Ayres, P., & Kalyuga, S. (2011). Cognitive load theory. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Thai Department of Education (2003). National education act BE 2542 as amended (second ed., ). Bangkok: Aksornthai Press.Google Scholar
  62. van Merrienboer, J., Kirschner, P., & Kester, L. (2003). Taking the load off a learner’s mind: instructional design for complex learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 5–13. doi: 10.1207/S15326985EP3801_2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Varee, T. (2004). Special education. Bangkok: Netikul Press.Google Scholar
  64. Woodward, J. (1996). Modern standard Thai sign language, influence from American sign language & its relationship to original Thai sign language verities. Sign Language Studies, 92, 227–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Woodward, J. (2000). Sign languages and sign language families in Thailand and Vietnam. In K. Emmorey, & H. Lane (Eds.), The signs of language revisited: an anthology to honor Ursula Bellugi and Edward Klima (pp. 23–47). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  66. World Federation of the Deaf (2015). Who are we?. Retrieved from
  67. Yoong, J.-O., & Kim, M. (2011). The effects of captions on deaf students' content comprehension, cognitive load, and motivation in online learning. American Annals of the Deaf, 156(3), 283–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Zevenbergen, R., Hyde, M., & Power, D. (2001). Language, arithmetic, word problems, and deaf students: linguistic strategies used to solve tasks. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 13(3), 204–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piyaporn Techaraungrong
    • 1
  • Surachai Suksakulchai
    • 2
  • Wacheerapan Kaewprapan
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Murphy
    • 3
  1. 1.Learning Innovation and Technology, Faculty of Industrial Education and TechnologyKing Mongkut’s University of Technology ThonburiThung KhruThailand
  2. 2.The Department of Electrical Technology Education, Faculty of Industrial Education and TechnologyKing Mongkut’s University of Technology ThonburiThung KhruThailand
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

Personalised recommendations