Using olfactory media cues in e-learning – perspectives from an empirical investigation
Abstract: In the human-computer interaction, people interact with computers using their senses. Traditional digital media are used to send information from computers to people such as images and sounds. Relatively few studies have been conducted on olfactory media as a source of information in HCI. This study aimed at examining the possibility of using olfactory media as a source of information, and testing whether it can enhance the prior knowledge, if the olfactory synchronised with other traditional digital media. Also, we study the influence of olfactory media on the learner performance. We developed an enhanced-olfactory web-based application that involves a short quiz about some countries. We used different types of questions that contain four types of digital media in their contents: text, image, audio and olfactory media. We used four scents that were considered to be related to the same countries. Thirty-two participants were invited to our experiment to evaluate this application. The experiment was conducted at Brunel University, London and Mutah University Jordan. According to our results, regarding the average scores, we found the questions in which the olfactory media synchronised with the traditional digital media had a significant difference compared to those that contained no olfactory media. According to our results, the olfactory questions (only scents) had no significant difference regarding average scores, but it was about the average scores for other questions.