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When learning from animations is more successful than learning from static pictures: learning the specifics of change

  • The results of three meta-analyses show that the effectiveness of learning from animations, when compared to learning from static pictures, is rather limited. A recent re-analysis of one of these meta-analyses, however, supports that learning from animations is considerably more effective than learning from static pictures if the specifics of the displayed changes need to be learned. In order to further validate this finding as well as to clarify the educational strengths and weaknesses of animations and static pictures, an experimental study with three groups was conducted. Overall, 88 university students participated in the study. One group of learners (n = 30) watched a single picture of a gear mechanism, one group of learners (n = 28) watched four pictures, and one group of learners (n = 30) watched an animation. All groups had to identify specific motions and spatial arrangements covered by the gear mechanism. While learners who watched the animation exhibited the best performance with respect to the identification of motions, learners who watched the pictures showed the best performance with respect to the identification of spatial arrangements. The effect sizes are large. The results of the study help to clarify when animations and when static pictures are most suitable for learning.

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Author:Rolf PlötznerORCiD, Sandra Berney, Mireille Bétrancourt
Parent Title (English):Instructional Science
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
Document Type:Article
Date of first Publication:2021/08/01
Release Date:2023/05/25
Tag:Animations; Educational effectiveness; Learning; Specifics of change; Static pictures
GND Keyword:-
First Page:497
Last Page:514
Open Access:Frei zugänglich
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International