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Perceptual Learning in Math: Implications for Educational Research, Practice, and Technology

Perceptual learning theory posits that learning relies on the way we observe and process visual, auditory, and tactile information. Perceptual support guides students’ attention towards important information, enabling high-level cognition for learning. This effect has been demonstrated with numerous manipulations to visual features in math instructional materials, such as altering the color, spatial proximity, and arrangement of math symbols. Perceptual cues, especially changes to the visual presentations of learning content, are subtle but a low-cost, effective means of support. These cues offer avenues for research on math learning and implications for instructional design.

Citation: Closser, A. H., Chan, J. Y.-C., Smith, H., & Ottmar, E. R. (2022). Perceptual
learning in math: Implications for educational research, practice, and technology. Rapid
Community Report Series. Digital Promise and the International Society of the Learning Sciences.

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