UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXTUAL ROLE THAT MODALITIES PLAY IN JUST-IN-TIME MOBILE LEARNING WHILE CARRYING OUT MECHANICAL TASKS
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Paper-based user manuals that provide assembly and disassembly instructions often do so with a combination of diagrams supported with textual information that clarifies how to perform the tasks. Mobile devices are emerging as a multimedia platform for providing on-demand training due to their portability. Mobile devices have limited screen size; as a result, the text instructions associated with the diagrams can produce clutter and occlusion on the screen. Also, too much information if fed through a single sensory channel (visual) may result in excessive cognitive load on the working memory of the human brain, thus hindering the learning process. In this work, two user studies were conducted to investigate the tradeoffs of using text, voice, and a combination of both modalities on the learning experience in a just-in-time mobile learning scenario. In such a scenario end-users are managing two very visual tasks at the same time; i.e., the primary task of carrying out the assembly/disassembly job and the secondary task of learning how to perform the task.