Maria Isabel Orega
,Universidade do Algarve - CETAPS
This paper presents a case study on reading comprehension in English as a Foreign Language using the virtual learning environment DidaktosOnLine (Moreira & Pedro, 2006). DidaktosOnLine is a hypermedia system that implements the principles of Cognitive Flexibility Theory (Spiro et al. 1987, 1990.The documents studied integrated a reading comprehension project on Britain and the British. Two groups of students of the Media Studies degree of the School of Education and Communication of the University of Algarve participated in the study that took place on two subsequent academic years. The participants were characterized according to several criteria, among which the focus on learning styles took special relevance. The learning styles instrument used in the study was the Ehrman & Leaver Learning Styles questionnaire (2002). Students were classified according to ten sub-scales, which provide a detailed learner profile. The focus on learning styles aimed at understanding whether the potential benefits for comprehending texts, organized as projects in DidaktosOnLine, vary or are enhanced according to the learning styles of the students.
Keywords: reading comprehension, cognitive flexibility theory, hypermedia, learning styles, intercultural competence.