This ADE will provide you with a quick
experience and introduction to the issues surrounding specific learning
disabilities. At the end of this ADE, you will relate to these
cognitive disabilities and you should be able to discuss the impact of
these disabilities on software design decisions.
Cognitive Issues are often referred to and dealt with as learning
disabilities. It affects much more than learning. Since there are many
different kinds of cognitive issues, the background area for each topic
will be provided by the videos below.
What to Do:
- On the Misunderstood Minds web site, now go to the
- Watch the Writing video:
Making Writing Automatic.
- Try the Composition Activity:
Putting Ideas in Sequence.
- Were you able to understand the meaning of the resulting prose?
- How did the exercise make you feel?
- On the Misunderstood Minds web site, now go to the Reading
- Watch the Reading video:
Remembering What is Read.
- Try the Memory Activity:
Recalling and Understanding.
- What was your score on the test?
- How many of the answers do you think you were able to get
correct because you had prior knowledge of the topic area?
- Do you think your score would be the same if the topic of the
reading material was something you had little or no knowledge of?
That is, if you could only get your information from the reading,
would you still have the same score? (For example, what if the
topic was the Riemann hypothesis, or the Poincaré conjecture?).
- Now try the Decoding Activity:
- On the Decoding Activity, how long did it take you to read
- Did you find yourself referring to the code or were you able
to memorize the code and use it as you read along?
- Go to the Misunderstood Minds web site,
- Watch the Attention video:
Too Much Attention?.
- For the sighted, try the Visual Activity:
Reading with Distractions.
- How many did you get right?
- For the sighted and hearing, try the Auditory Activity:
Listening to Directions.
- How many pieces did you get right?
- How many pieces did you get wrong?
What to Hand-in:
Submit a written report with your answers to the following questions.
Be sure to copy the questions in your report.
For the Writing activity:
- How can software support the writing process? What tools currently
exist to support the process?
- How can software be harmful to the writing process?
For the Reading activities:
- How might memory recall be a problem in using software user
- What might a designer do to help?
- What does the decoding activity have to do with software user
For the Attention activities:
- Describe an instance where an individual's inability to focus
on the task at hand might make it difficult for someone to use a
software user interface?
- What could you do to improve the user interface you chose in
Question 1 to make it more user-friendly for someone who has
difficulty focusing their attention?
- What were your expectations of this ADE?
- Did this ADE meet your expectations? Provide a rating between 1 and
7, where 1 means not at all, 4 means somewhat, and 7 means
absolutely. Please explain your choice.
- Did you feel that the video(s) for this ADE was appropriate? Why or
why not? Provide a rating between 1 and 7, where 1 means not at
all, 4 means somewhat, and 7 means absolutely. Please explain your
- Do you have any suggestions for other possible videos?
- Did you feel that the questions above got you to think about the
real and serious issues regarding this ADE? Provide a rating
between 1 and 7, where 1 means not at all, 4 means somewhat, and
7 means absolutely. Please explain your choice.
- If you have any suggestions on how to improve this ADE, please
include it here.
What Else You Can Do (optional - not required):
I encourage you to explore the rest of the Misunderstood
Minds website. You can also read the paper by Fourney
for more information on cognitive disabilities.