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Leveraging on Animations to Improve Questionnaire Design, Skill Learning, and Teacher Preparation: Three Studies in Science Educational Settings
This thesis explored the educational uses of computerized animations in three science educational settings, including science educational questionnaire design, science process skill learning, and science teacher preparation. In Chapter II, based on dual coding theory, the feasibility of using an animation-based questionnaire to survey college students’ perceptions of a future science learning environment was explored. The findings revealed that using animations to visualize the key concepts of survey questions had great potential to bound students’ visual images stimulated from question descriptions, and therefore it could reduce the probability that students misinterpret survey questions. In Chapter III, from the perspective of cognitive load theory, the comparative instructional efficiency among one graphic-based and two animation-based tutorials for assisting high school students in learning a topographic measuring skill was investigated. The results indicated that the degree of user-control in animations would influence students’ cognitive load and achievements in multimedia learning environments. The additional supporting strategies for improving educational animation design were discussed. In Chapter IV, a framework of instructional design anchoring on cognitive apprenticeship model was proposed to facilitate science pre-service teachers in producing animation-based coursewares. This framework was implemented to reform a science teacher education course and evaluated using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The results indicated that this framework significantly promoted the pre-service teachers’ technology competencies and enhanced their confidence in implementing animation-based science instruction. Moreover, it can hone pre-service teachers’ reasoning on the interplays between technology, pedagogy, and content. Potential additions for incorporating this framework into science teacher education courses were recommended. The preliminary findings reported in this thesis may contribute to a deeper and broader understanding of how and why the uses of computerized animations would benefit the practice in science education.
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