This study examined visual information processing and learning in classrooms including both deaf and hearing students. Of particular interest were the effects on deaf students’ learning of live (threedimensional) versus video-recorded (two-dimensional) sign language interpreting and the visual attention strategies of more and less experienced deaf signers exposed to simultaneous, multiple sources of visual information. Results from three experiments consistently indicated no differences in learning between three-dimensional and two-dimensional presentations among hearing or deaf students. Analyses of students’ allocation of visual attention and the influence of various demographic and experimental variables suggested considerable flexibility in deaf students’ receptive communication skills. Nevertheless, the findings also revealed a robust advantage in learning in favor of hearing students.

Publication Date



The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in American Educational Research Journal, 42(4), January 2005 published by SAGE Publishing, All rights reserved. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312042004727

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus