The Use of multimedia in Telecare systems to improve the performance of users with different cognitive skills.
This source preferred by David John
Authors: John, D.
This thesis is concerned with the investigation of methods of providing support to non-expert users of telecare systems by creating easy-to-use interfaces and assessing the effect of adapting the interface to suit the cognitive style of individual users. The contributions to knowledge fall into three main areas; firstly the innovations built into a prototype adaptive telecare system, secondly the identification of the sort of tasks and the types of media that best suit different cognitive style groups, and thirdly the proposal of a new dimension of cognitive style that classifies individuals by their perception of visual compared to auditory information.
The first phase of the project is concerned with the design and implementation of a prototype adaptive telecare system that demonstrates existing usability principles. The prototype system enables users to communicate over the Internet using text, audio and video, and to enable access to information stored within the system and on the Internet. The adaptive features include the automatic selection of information based on the knowledge of the user and the automatic selection of a presentation style that is based on the way the user perceives information. The system contains a number of innovations that relate to the application of the technology used to build the system, how information is structured, and the design of the style of interaction. The second phase of the project is concerned with assessing the effect of designing interfaces using different media that are suitable for individual users based on how they perceive and process information.
Cognitive style is found to significantly affect performance in few tasks, but relative differences of performance are observed between the cognitive style groups in the different types of task and in the different media versions of each task. A major contribution to knowledge is the identification of the tasks and the types of media that suit different cognitive style groups, as this will help developers of multimedia systems to design interfaces that will improve the performance ofusers in each cognitive style group. The major contribution to the field is the proposal of a new visual-auditory dimension of cognitive style.
The assessment of cognitive style using a visual test is found to be significantly different to an assessment using an auditory test. An individual's style can be calculated using an existing cognitive styles analysis test augmented by the new audio test presented in chapter 8. The new visual and auditory classification of cognitive style is found to explain the performance of subjects to a greater degree than the old purely visual classification.