Hagit Yarden Doctorate 2010
Animations have a great potential for improving the way people learn. A number of studies related to different scientific disciplines have shown that instruction involving computer animations can facilitate the understanding of processes at the molecular level. The purpose
of this study...
Findings regarding the challenges involved and the recommended teaching strategies for enacting animations in class were obtained by analyzing teachers' focus group, teachers' interviews and two exemplary case studies. I found that the teacher's contribution to the enactment of animations in class is pronounced in the following three aspects: establishing the "hands on" point of view, helping students deal with the cognitive load that accompany the use of animations and implementing constructivist aspects of knowledge construction while studying using animations. These findings strengthen my preliminary assumption that students and teachers should work together in transforming knowledge while studying from animations.
I believe this study shed some light on the complexity of using animations in class, thus make a difference in considering the common conception, that animations are an ideal tool for learning and teaching. Through this research I was able to show the unique contribution of animations, and their advantage over still images, for the acquisition of certain kinds of information, namely the mechanistic aspects of biotechnological methods. These findings could have educational implications in learning of various scientific disciplines, in which mechanistic understanding and reasoning causality is crucial. In addition, in this study I was able to show the unique contribution of animations to certain kinds of learners, namely students with low prior content knowledge. The constructivist mediation of the teacher while learning from animations enables the students to employ this unique tool of animations most effectively.