When to Use Animations to Enhance Student Learning, and How to Create Cartoons YourselfDr. Kathy Zanin, Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental BiologyThe Citadel
Students consistently report that they enjoy learning from cartoons, animations and videos!
Student Comments BIOL 101 05 Evaluations (Non-major Introductory Biology): Responses to “What did you like most about this course?” The cartoons The cartoons on WebCT helped a lot The lecture notes and the cartoons on WebCT Interaction, cartoons, and WebCT Cartoons Responses to “What constructive suggestions do you have?” Use more cartoons… The cartoons help a lot… Make more cartoons, they were very helpful
UndergraduateCell 205Evaluations: • Response to, “What did you like most about this course?” • Cartoons and discussion boards on WebCT • All the cartoons – videos, they helped a lot. • Undergraduate Immunology 427 Evaluations: • Responses to, “What constructive suggestions do you have?” • More animations. Animations really helped me grasp the subject matter.
Graduate-Level Cell Biology 612 Anonymous Midterm Evaluations: • Response to, “Do you feel that the instructor gives clear explanation of the course material?” • What I like most of all are the cool videos and cartoons. It makes it easier to comprehend. • Graduate-Level Immunology 610 Anonymous Midterm Evaluations: • Response to, “Do you have any suggestions about how I can improve my teaching skills? • I would have like to have seen more animations since some of the process were quite involved. • I would like to see more cartoons…
But do students actually learn more from animations than from written lessons? The answer is unclear; although many studies have been conducted.
Freshman and Sophomore Biology Majors at The Citadel Have Participated in a Pilot Experiment Designed to Compare Learning From Written Lessons to Learning From Animations
Did you prefer learning from written lessons or from movies? Explain • i think i learned better from the movies; not only was i listening to the lesson, i was able to follow along with what was happening. Also having a few of the main points written in the movie helped me to focus. • I preferred learning from the moviesbecause visuals are my sort of thing. I need to see it in order to understand how it works. • I preferred the movies because I learn much better if I am looking at actual examples while learning the material. I liked how it was being explained to me and i didn't have to worry about writing any notes down or try to follow what was being read. I just watched the animations and let the information sink in. • I prefer learning concepts from a movie.... If I need to just learn hard facts I think the written material is actually easier for me to memorize very SPECIFIC terms. • movies, because I'm more of a visual learner than auditory; also watching a video keeps me awake during class
Did you prefer learning from written lessons or from movies? Explain • I enjoyed the animations more. • written lessons, i feel that by doing this and i dont understand something i can go back and re-read it myself until it makes sense to me • I think of myself as a visual learner...I can better recall certain processes when I see it done first. • I think I prefer a mix ofthe two, but like Dewitt said it definitely helps to visualize the • processes, especially when it comes to the different actions taking place in the cell • I definately prefered learning from the video. I am a visual learner so it helped me • relate how everything worked together. • I prefer the written lessons • i liked the video more because it showed the actual things happening within the cell
Did you feel you learned faster from written lessons or from movies? Explain. • I don't know which I learned faster from, but I understood with the movies more. I hope that makes sense. • I learned faster from the movies due to the fact that if i got stuck on a question, I could run back through the video in my head and find the answer. This is much more difficult to do with text. • Movies, for the same reasons as question one. • I learned faster from the written stuff I think. I think it really depends on what your learning. For something like cell cycle I think a movie is extremely helpful but in order to prepare for a quiz I think it is more beneficial to learn from word documents. • Movies, same reason as Steven, it's easier to replay the video in my head to see what happens next if I get stuck
Did you feel you learned faster from written lessons or from movies? Explain. • Animations; I feel that I learned faster and could recall the material better because I could imagine how a certain process takes place. • i know it would be alot of work, but i think it would be really cooltohaveboth, notes for in class and then all the movies on Web CT that we could go back and watch for extra help. • I probably learned more, faster from the movie because I am a fairly slow reader and I usually have to read through this a few times, especially in science, in order to put all the pieces together. • i learn better by reading something over and over until i understand it but the movie helps bring everything together in the end. • i think that i learned more from the written lessons
New Hypothesis: Individual Learning Styles Impact Results! The Best Way to Improve Classroom Learning Is to Incorporate a Variety of Teaching Methods!
When should we incorporate dynamic animations instead of static images? When the topic of the lesson involves a moving process
Making animations can be very time-consuming. Do instructors have to create all their animations from scratch? No! I have had great success finding good videos using the Google video search!
When you cannot find an acceptable animation, you may want to create one yourself!
For illustration, I will create a very short animation with Microsoft PowerPoint
From our perspective, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west
Here is a Sample Page from Written Lesson and a Sample Clip from Movie lesson on Photosynthesis:
e- Stroma One of the photosystem’s electrons becomes so energetic that it jumps off the photosystem and onto the first carrier, and then is passed along horizontally by redox reactions. II Thylakoid space
e- H+ H+ H+ H+ H+ H+ As Photosystem II’s electron is passed along, it moves to carriers with higher and higher redox potentials (more electronegative). Therefore these redox reactions release energy. This energy is used to actively transport H+ ions into the thylakoid space. Stroma II Thylakoid space Written Lesson: