Listen to the models: Sonified learning models for people who are blind

Orly Lahav, Nuha Hagab, Sewar Abed El Kader, Sharona T. Levy, Vadim Talis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Students who are blind need access to learning materials. This study looks at the learning of science by people who are blind using a curriculum-based textbook compared to their learning using an identical curriculum integrated with the Listening-to-Complexity (L2C), an agent-based model created on NetLogo. The L2C system employs sonified feedback that provides auditory streams synchronically. This study examines acquisition of scientific conceptual knowledge and systems reasoning for the Kinetic Molecular Theory (KMT) of gas and Gas Laws in chemistry. Twenty persons who are blind participated in this research; they were divided into two experimental groups: those using an accessible curriculum-based textbook and those using the same curriculum integrated with L2C agent-based models. Results showed that all research participants gained scientific knowledge; statistically significant differences were found for both experimental research groups between pre-and posttest. Those who learned through the L2C models performed with higher accuracy in the posttest; furthermore, learning using the NetLogo L2C models predicted their success at the posttest. A comparison of learning task accuracy between the two experimental groups showed that the participants who studied using the NetLogo L2C models performed with statistically significant differences in the five learning activities with integrated L2C models, but no differences were found for the learning activities without integrated L2C models. These research results are likely to have a beneficial impact on integrating sonified models in science education as a compensatory aid, allowing hands-on learning experience for students who are blind. Integrating sonified models will support their inclusion in the K–12 academic curriculum on an equal basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-153
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Education
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially supported by a grant from The Israel Science Foundation (ISF) (Grant No. 536/11 ). We thank our anonymous participants for their time, efforts, and ideas.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Blind
  • Computer-based learning
  • Learning
  • Science education
  • Sonification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)
  • Education


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