Working Memory Span and E-Learning: The Effect of Personalization Techniques on Learners’ Performance

  • Nikos Tsianos
  • Panagiotis Germanakos
  • Zacharias Lekkas
  • Costas Mourlas
  • George Samaras
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6075)


This research paper presents the positive effect of incorporating individuals’ working memory (WM) span as a personalization factor in terms of improving users’ academic performance in the context of adaptive educational hypermedia. The psychological construct of WM is robustly related to information processing and learning, while there is a wide differentiation of WM span among individuals. Hence, in an effort to examine the role of cognitive and affective factors in adaptive hypermedia along with psychometric user profiling considerations, WM has a central role in the authors’ effort to develop a user information processing model. Encouraged by previous findings, a larger scale study has been conducted with the participation of 230 university students in order to elucidate if it is possible through personalization to increase the performance of learners with lower levels of WM span. According to the results, users with low WM performed better in the personalized condition, which involved segmentation of the web content and aesthetical annotation, while users with medium/high WM span were slightly negatively affected by the same techniques. Therefore, it can by supported it is possible to specifically address the problem of low WM span with significant results.


Adaptive Hypermedia Working Memory User Profiling Cognitive Psychology Individual Differences 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikos Tsianos
    • 1
  • Panagiotis Germanakos
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zacharias Lekkas
    • 1
  • Costas Mourlas
    • 1
  • George Samaras
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, National and KapodistrianUniversity of AthensAthens
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  3. 3.Department of Management and MISUniversity of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

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