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Effect of user choice on language learning

Background:  Some call software offers many help choices- textual, video, audio, and still image glosses, contextualized help, etc, while others are Spartan.  Some software requires the students to access glosses or help, or pops up hints automatically, while other software allows users the option of when and if they will access supporting materials.  Some designers of learning materials consider the added features to be a distraction, while others think them essential.  Who is right?  Can we tell?  Does it matter? 

Research question: What effect does increasing user choice in accessing ancillary and help materials have on language learning via CALL software? Can we discover any meaningful and general principles about the value of hint, helps and glosses?  About the manner of presentation?  The importance of freedom vs. coercion in their use? 

Suggested methodology/comments: 

Contact:  Derek Roff   Derek@unm.edu

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