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Student doodling is a form of self-expression that diverts attention from course content in an educational setting. The purpose of this research is to determine the extent to which student attention span and doodling can be used to predict how much students learn from an educational video. Participants watched a video in a mock educational setting and were given the opportunity to take notes and doodle. They completed an attention measure and were quizzed on video content. It was hypothesized that a relationship would exist among attention span, amount of doodles, and test scores from the video. Students with shorter attention spans were expected to have more complex doodles and perform lower on the video quiz. This study has implications for the value of multitasking and provides greater insight on a students’ ability to retain course material.
Limited research has been conducted on the topic of art therapy as a tool for individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities, but the research conducted thus far offers encouragement. According to van Buren (1986), art was found to enhance reading, communication vocabulary and self-expressive skills of children. Other studies have found a positive correlation between the applications of art centered educational methods and emotional improvement with this population. I discuss a review of literature and a summer internship at Bradford Woods, a camp for adults, adolescents, and children with multiple cognitive, developmental, and physical disabilities. I discuss the use of adaptive tools, visual art projects, and art therapy techniques that were successful in work that was done with people who have Down’s syndrome, autism, paraplegia, and spinal bifida.
Do students’ emotional states correlate with complexity of their doodles? Emotional state can interfere with students’ ability to concentrate on course content; likewise, it is thought that doodling can interfere with the students’ ability to concentrate on course content. To examine the potential relationship between emotional state and doodling, we administered surveys to five general education classes and collected students’ doodles on their class notes for that course. Doodles were coded according to size, complexity, mood, theme, and content. The coded information from the doodles was correlated with students’ survey responses. Based on research by Burkitt and Barnett (2006), we anticipated a correlation between doodle complexity and emotional state. Specifically, we expected a direct relationship between negativity of students’ emotions and size and complexity of the doodles. We predicted that mood, theme (e.g., happy, sad), and content (e.g., positive, negative) portrayed in the doodles corresponded to students’ moods identified in the survey. Implications of this research for students’ educational experiences are explored.
According to Mueller (2009) “gifted children that are exposed to bullying, and their extreme sensitivity have led them to aggressiveness, extreme depression and social isolation.” Gifted students function at higher cognition levels than non-gifted students, but may require greater attention to their emotional needs because of barriers they encounter with depression (Neihart, 1999). Consequently, this research is going to provide insight to the question: Do gifted students have greater depression levels in contrast to non-gifted students? The presentation is of the literature pertaining to this topic. Psychological tests that measure depressive symptoms will eventually be used to assess if depression is more prevalent in the gifted population than the non-gifted population. The eventual goal is to implement academic modifications to assist gifted children with depression.
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