Source Themes

Investigating route learning, metacognition, and beacon-based strategies using virtual environments.

In this paper we present three different experiments to provide a comprehensive picture of whether adults can learn complex routes consisting of a number of choicepoints, and if so, what strategies they might be employing to do so. We found that adults could learn a 15-junction route after only a single experience of the route (Experiment 1) but that they underestimated how good they would be at learning the 15-junction route (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, we found that when learning a route made up of 'T' shaped junctions, participants relied on a 'beacon' strategy based on visual matching. Collectively, these findings suggest that adults can learn complex routes, even with as many as 15 choicepoints, very quickly and without the need for repeated exposure. These findings have implications for theories of wayfinding and call into question the need for repeated exposure.

Evaluating the effectiveness of a 'real-world' shared reading intervention for preschool children and their families; A randomised controlled trial.

In a pre-registered cluster randomised controlled trial, 85 lower SES families and their 3- to 4-year old children from 10 different preschools were randomly allocated to take part in The Reader's Shared Reading programme (intervention) or an existing 'Story Time' group at a library (control), once a week for eight weeks. Three outcome measures were assessed at baseline and post-intervention; (i) attendance, (ii) enjoyment of the reading groups, and (iii) caregivers' knowledge of, attitudes and behaviours towards reading. A fourth, - children's vocabulary - was assessed at baseline and four weeks post-intervention. Families were significantly more likely to attend the intervention group and rated it more favourably, compared to the control group. However, there were no significant effects on caregivers' knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, or on children's language. The intervention was only successful in engaging families from disadvantaged backgrounds in shared reading.

The Impact of Shared Book Reading on Children's Language Skills; A Meta-Analysis

The current meta-analysis explored whether shared reading interventions are equally effective (a) across a range of study designs; (b) across a range of different outcome variables; and (c) for children from different SES groups. It also explored the potentially moderating effects of intervention duration, child age, use of dialogic reading techniques, person delivering the intervention and mode of intervention delivery. Our results show that, while there is an effect of shared reading on language development, this effect is smaller than reported in previous meta-analyses (g = 0.215, p

Barriers and solutions to participation in family based education interventions

The fact that many sub-populations do not take part in research, especially participants from lower socioeconomic (SES) backgrounds, is a serious problem in education research. To increase the participation of such groups we must discover what …

Adjective forms and functions in British English child-directed speech

In our novel corpus of UK English, adjectives occurred more frequently in prenominal than in postnominal (predicative) syntactic frames, though postnominal frames were more frequent for less-familiar adjectives. They occurred much more frequently with a descriptive than a contrastive function, especially for lessfamiliar adjectives.

Using virtual environments to investigate wayfinding in 8- to 12-year-olds and adults

A total of 80 participants from the United Kingdom in four groups of 20 8-year-olds, 10-year-olds, 12-year-olds, and adults were shown a route through a 12-turn maze in a virtual environment. At each junction, there was a unique object that could be used as a landmark. Participants were ‘‘walked” along the route just once (without any verbal prompts) and then were asked to retrace the route from the start without any help. Nearly three quarters of the 12- year-olds, half of the 10-year-olds, and a third of the 8-year-olds retraced the route without any errors the first time they traveled it on their own.

A comparative study of cognitive behavioural therapy and shared reading for chronic pain

The case for psychosocial interventions in relation to chronic pain, one of the most common health issues in contemporary healthcare, is well-established as a means of managing the emotional and psychological difficulties experienced by sufferers. …

Encouraging 5-year olds to attend to landmarks; A way to improve children's wayfinding strategies in a virtual environment

In two studies, a total of 72 5-year olds were shown a route in a six turn maze in a virtual environment and were then asked to retrace this route by themselves. A unique landmark was positioned at each junction and each junction was made up of two paths - a correct path and an incorrect path. Two different strategies improved route learning performance. In Experiment 1, verbally labelling on-route junction landmarks during the first walk reduced the number of errors and the number of trials to reach a learning criterion when the children retraced the route. In Experiment 2, encouraging children to attend to on-route junction landmarks on the first walk reduced the number of errors when the route was retraced.

The development of wayfinding abilities in children; Learning routes with and without landmarks

Participants were shown a route in a virtual environment, before they were asked to retrace this route until they had achieved two consecutive trials without error. The virtual environment contained no landmarks, landmarks, or landmarks that were verbally labelled. Adults, 10-year-olds and most 8-year-olds learnt the route when landmarks were present, but not all the 6-year-olds were successful. All age groups of children improved when the landmarks were labelled. Children were much poorer when there were no landmarks.

Amateur versus professional. Does the recovery of forensic evidence differ depending on who assesses the crime scene?

Five hundred thefts from motor vehicles offences recorded by Northamptonshire Police (UK) between 14 January 2010 and 28 February 2011 were analysed; 250 were attended forensic assessments and 250 were non-attended assessments. Significant differences were found between the two scenarios, with attended assessments more likely to yield DNA, property and trace substance material. Conversely, fingerprints were more likely to be recovered at non-attended assessments.