Leveraging on interactive animation to facilitate student science-process skill learning

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Chien, Y. T.
Chang, C. Y.

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In this study, a set of computer-based multimedia were designed to assist students in learning topographic measuring. Twenty-seven students were randomly assigned to different multimedia groups, including Static Graphics (SG), Simple Learner-Pacing Animation (SLPA), and Full Learner-Pacing Animation (FLPA). The interactive design of FLPA allowed learners to physically manipulate the virtual measuring mechanism, rather than passively observe dynamic or static images. The results of a one-way ANOVA analysis on students’ self-report cognitive load ratings, practical performance scores, and instructional time-spans revealed that there were statistically significant differences along with large effect sizes of cognitive load ratings and performance levels (f = 0.69 and f = 0.76, respectively) between groups, but there was no significant difference in instructional time-spans between groups (p = 0.637). The post-hoc tests indicated that FLPA imposed less cognitive load on students than did SG (p = 0.007), and FLPA fostered better learning outcomes than both SLPA and SG (p = 0.004 and p = 0.05, respectively). Overall, the media format of FLPA had the best efficiency for facilitating learning. It suggested that the interactive design of FLPA could serve as the aid to ease students’ cognitive load on constructing visual representations.