BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Should online maths learning environments be tailored to individuals’ cognitive profiles?

    de Mooij, Susanne M.M. and Kirkham, Natasha Z. and Raijmakers, M. and van der Maas, H.L.J. and Dumontheil, Iroise (2019) Should online maths learning environments be tailored to individuals’ cognitive profiles? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 191 , p. 104730. ISSN 0022-0965.

    deMooijetal2019.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

    Download (3MB) | Preview


    Online learning environments are well-suited for tailoring the learning experience of children individually, and on a large scale. An environment such as Math Garden allows children to practise exercises adapted to their specific mathematical ability; this is thought to maximise their mathematical skills. In the current experiment we investigated whether learning environments should also consider the differential impact of cognitive load on children’s maths’ performance, depending on their individual verbal working memory (WM) and inhibitory control (IC) capacity. Thirty nine children (8-11 years old) performed a multiple-choice computerised arithmetic game; participants were randomly assigned to two conditions where the visibility of time pressure, a key feature in most gamified learning environments, was manipulated. Results showed that verbal WM was positively associated with arithmetical performance in general, but that higher IC only predicted better performance when the time pressure was not visible. This effect was mostly driven by the younger children. Exploratory analyses of eye-tracking data (N = 36) showed that when time pressure was visible children attended more often to the question (e.g. 6 x 8). In addition, when time pressure was visible, children with lower IC, in particular younger children, attended more often to answer options representing operant confusion (e.g. 9 x 4 = 13) and visited more answer options before responding. These findings suggest that tailoring the visibility of time pressure, based on a child’s individual cognitive profile, could improve arithmetic performance, and may in turn improve learning in online learning environments.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): arithmetic, individual differences, working memory, inhibitory control, eye tracking, time perception
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD), Educational Neuroscience, Centre for
    Depositing User: Iroise Dumontheil
    Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2019 10:59
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:55


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item