What are the Benefits of animation in Teaching?

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To improve the quality of science education, imparting with entertaining and exciting technique of animation for better understanding of scientific principles. Latest technologies are being used with more vigor to spread venomous superstitions.
1. Computer Animations a Science Teaching aid: Contemplating an Effective
Name: Kirti Tannu
Date: 13/2/08
2. To improve quality of science education, imparting with entertaining and
exciting technique of animation for better understanding of scientific principles.
Latest technologies are being used with more vigour to spread venomous
superstitions. Better understanding of science may help students to better their
scientific temper. Keeping this in mind various teaching aids were measured
with pros & cons and computer animations were supposed to be the most
effective teaching aid.The purpose of this research was to find out effective and
practically feasible method of teaching science with the help of computer
animation in schools. Class VII fifty nine students were tested by pre-post test
and data was collected. Paired t test was used to calculate the most effective
3. Introduction: ‘Long queues to offer milk for Lord Ganesh’,‘People
rushed to drink holy sweet seawater’, or ‘Crowd to collect diamonds in
Mahim seashore’. These types of headlines heating again and again
though most of the Indian urban been to school and learned science for at
least eight years.
Pregnant women are prohibited from cutting vegetables or fruits during
solar eclipse to avoid the damages to the foetus’ ‘Human blood purifies in
heart’ most of the science educated thinks. Besides, the advertisement of
one of the branded mineral water says that their mineral water contains
300 % more oxygen or the edible oil companies advertise ‘cholesterol
free edible oil’.
‘Earth is like a disc’ answer came from a student who stood 3rd in SSC
merit list or ‘Heart situated in stomach’ answer from M.A. geography
student or Electrical engineer calls electrician to change fuse. Or
experiment showed in schools for last 30-40 years for percentage of
oxygen in air.
This type of feedback from science educated people is an indicator of a
need to reshape science education. The incidences mention earlier also
concluded the poor understanding of basic science principle among the
most of the students.
When a question was asked to the students in a questionnaire, if you have
4. power to vanish anything then to what will you makes disappear? All
students have the same answer that I will disappear with my school.
One answer from the students from Pune is really a worry for the
Hence there is a great need to analyze, what has gone wrong? And reform
and reorganize science education. So scientific literacy will be improved
and better understanding of science may help in reducing the superstitions
in the country.
Taking science to home through students may be the effective way to
create awareness of science. Only 6% students can continue their
education after X class4. So teaching science effectively in schools is
It is universally accepted that the quality of education depends on the
quality of instructions imparted in the class room. Hence there is a need
not only to enrich the curriculum but also device innovative ways of
teaching and learning science.
Considering all these point effective learning and teaching science in
school is extremely important. Most of the problems related to science
literacy can be tackled by making science learning interesting. With the
help of teaching aids, science learning and teaching is more interesting
and motivating. It has been proved that a activity that motivate children
also leads to successful learning and that motivation is strongly link to
5. the child’s involvement in the learning process ( The encyclopedia of
educational media communication and technology. Athanassios Jimoyiannis
and Vassilis Komis, computer and Education vol. 36 Issue 2 Feb.2001, page
Hence the topic for the research has been selected.
There is lot of research done in this region.
In a study, evaluating students’ ability to learn the operation and
troubleshooting of an electronic circuit from a static graphic or from an
animated graphic, reported better performance in the animated graphic
condition. (Park and Gittelman1992). Large and colleagues and Rieber believe
their findings support the use of animated graphics. (Rieber 1990, 1991).
Research by Thompson & Riding (1990) supported the hypothesis that
animation facilitates learning. Their program taught the Pythagorean
theorem to junior high school students. The graphic depicted a triangle and
three squares, where each square shared one of the triangle’s sides. Using shears
and rotations, the program showed that the area of the square along the
hypotenuse was the same as the combined areas of the two other squares. One
group viewed a static graphic, a second group saw a discrete animation of the
steps shown on the paper graphic, and a third group saw a continuous animation
of the steps. The group viewing the continuous animation outperformed the
other two graphic groups. Kieras (1992) investigated the effects of animated and
6. static graphics on students’ ability to understand the operation of an energy
system. Students studied conceptual information about the system in the form of
text or in the form of static or animated diagrams. Students who learned from
the animated graphic performed significantly better than those who learned
from a static graphic or lacked a graphic. Gautam utilized computer as an
effective tool for teaching science. He studied the effect of this method on the
tribal students of different North-Eastern states of India. His study yielded a
conclusion that “Computer offered a strong medium for teaching and learning
science. The visual image of an abstract phenomenon on the monitor gives a
clear understanding of the different scientific concepts to the students. The tribal
students of class X could, therefore, grasp the knowledge and understand it and
the application of different scientific phenomena clearly and correctly. In the
normal classroom situation (without computer), the concepts are not often
clearly explained but the computer can make the concepts clear and enhance the
understanding of the students.” Some of the difficult topics chosen for study
include energy, fuel, Sun and Nuclear energy, Universe, Man and his
environment. He demonstrate the construction and working of the Bio-gas plant
in live condition. The conclusion drawn by him is based on the pre and post
tests. Results were analyzed statistically. A similar study of comparing the
effectiveness “of computer aided instruction” in terms of the achievement of
students with traditional method was conducted by Dubey and Adhikari (1999).
This study was focused more on the aspects of teaching biological sciences.
7. Sanger studied the importance of the computer animations in chemistry. In his
publication he elaborated on the need of computer animations in Chemistry. He
reviewed the research on the use of computer animations in chemistry
instruction and found out that the several researchers (Gabel et al 1987, Sawrey
1990, Pickering 1990, Nakhleh 1993) have documented that students have
considerable difficulties answering conceptual questions based on the
particulate nature of matter. There are three theories proposed for computer
animation and learning. Firstly, Piaget theory of intellectual development
focuses on the process by which learners develop logical and proportional
reasoning abilities. Herron (1975, 1978) provided an excellent discussion of the
difference between learners who have not fully developed these abilities (
concrete operational thinkers ) and those who have. (formal operational
thinkers). Secondly, the instructional effectiveness of computer animations
can be explained using Paivio’s (1991) dual coding theory. The theory assumes
that learners store information received in working memory as either verbal or
visual (pictorial) mental representations in long term storage. The instructional
superiority of pictures over words lies in the assumption that while words are
coded verbally, pictures are more likely to be coded visually and verbally. As a
result, better recall of pictures can be expected because they are dually coded.
Thirdly, it was proposed by Mayer and coworkers a derivation of the dual
coding theory called as contiguity theory. The contiguity principle suggests that
when pictures and words are presented simultaneously are more effective than
8. presented separately. Therefore at the end of the study Sanger concluded that
the instruction including the use of molecular level computer animation has a
positive effect on student’s conceptual understanding of chemical processes at
the molecular level. Athanassios Jimoyiannis and Vassilis Komis deliberated
effect of Computer simulations in Physics teaching and learning on student’s
understanding of trajectory. In this research students were studied to determine
the role of computer simulations in the development of functional understanding
of the concept of velocity and acceleration in projectile motion in physics. Their
findings strongly support that computer simulation may be used as alternative
instructional tool, in order to help students confront their cognitive constraints
and develop functional understanding of physics. Dwyer (1970) showed that
simple line drawing graphics tend to be superior to photographs or other more
realistic drawings. The key seems to be the relevance of the cues to the learning
task. For example, using a photograph of a car engine to teach about the
location of the carburetor might be appropriate in terms of relevant cues,
whereas the same photograph would be inappropriate to teach about the
structure and function of the carburetor itself. In another study with adult
learners, Mayton (1991) found increased scores in the animation condition
immediately after study persisted and were measurable one week later.
McDermott concluded that microcomputer tools enhance and do not replace the
physics teacher's input. Using these tools, different concepts, artifacts, and
events can be introduced around which meaningful scientific discourse can be
9. Michelle Patrick Cook (1995) reported the results of a cognitive study of
multimedia and its effect on children's learning. A sample of 71 children (12-
year-olds) drawn from three primary schools viewed a procedural text that
included a four-sequence animation with captions on how to find south using
the sun's shadow. The children were divided into four groups, each of which
viewed different media combinations: text only; text plus animation; text plus
captions plus animation; and captions with animation. Shortly afterwards the
children were asked to undertake two tasks: To recall in their own words what
they had learned, and also to enact how they would find south using a model
specially designed for this purpose. No significant differences were found
among the groups regarding literal recall of what they had read and seen, or in
their ability to draw inferences from it. The children in the text plus animation
and captions group, however, were more successful at identifying the major
steps in the procedure and at enacting that procedure whereas the children who
read the text only experienced the most difficulty in performing the procedure.
Dilek Ardac, Sevil Akaygun made use of the capabilities of computerized
environments to enable simultaneous display of molecular representations that
correspond to observations at the macroscopic level. This study questions the
immediate and long-term effects of using a multimedia instructional unit that
integrates the macroscopic, symbolic, and molecular representations of
chemical phenomena. Students who received multimedia-based instruction that
10. emphasized the molecular state of chemicals outperformed students from the
regular instruction group in terms of the resulting test scores and the ease with
which they could represent matter at the molecular level. However, results
relating to the long-term effects suggest that the effectiveness of a multimedia-
based environment can be improved if instruction includes additional prompting
that requires students to attend to the correspondence between different
representations of the same phenomena.
Interactivity can be thought of as mutual action between the learner, the learning
system, and the learning material (Fowler, 1980). Computer-based multimedia
instruction tends to be more interactive than traditional classroom lectures.
Interactivity appears to have a strong positive effect on learning (Bosco, 1986;
Fletcher, 1989, 1990; Verano, 1987). One researcher (Stafford, 1990) examined
96 learning studies and, using a statistical technique called effect size
(difference between means of control and experimental group divided by
standard deviation of the control group), concluded that interactivity was
associated with learning achievement and retention of knowledge over time.
Similar examinations of 75 learning studies (Bosco, 1986; Fletcher, 1989, 1990)
found that people learn the material faster and have better attitudes toward
learning the material when they learn in an interactive instructional
environment. So, the learning advantage of computer-based multimedia
instruction over traditional classroom lecture may be due to the increased
interactivity of multimedia instruction rather than the multimedia information
11. Teaching aids in schools
Today various methods and teaching aids are used in schools for science
learning. Performing experiment, still images – like charts, maps, printed
visuals, 2D and 3D models and working models, audio and visual tapes
or CDs are helping teachers to teach science.
The pro and cons of prevalent teaching aids:
Use of Graphics
Graphics have been used to portray things like graphs, maps and charts.
Graphics provide an additional way of representing information in pictorial
form. It may save words by showing things that would otherwise need many
words to describe. Carefully designed graphics proved to be more beneficial for
learning science than only text. However, complex structures, systems like
atomic structure, respiration and blood circulation in different animals, working
of machines are difficult to explain effectively by still images only since lots of
actions and motions involved in it. Very few students can visualize it accurately.
Otherwise it may affect the further understanding of the topic. These topics are
effectively learned with the help of working models. Teacher faces lots of
problems while using working models in schools. Working models require
more space to install or store, they are expensive so teachers hesitate to bring
into play. For schools, to buy teaching aid for each and every topic is not
practicable. Besides, period of the schools is thirty minutes and number of
12. students in the class is fifty to sixty so it is difficult to demonstrate a model to
each and every student. And the most important problem is availability of well-
designed working models in market.
Practical work
Practical work means tasks in which students observe or manipulate real objects
or materials - for themselves (individually or in small groups) or by witnessing
teacher’s demonstrations. Practical work can motivate pupils, by stimulating
interest and enjoyment, teach laboratory skills, enhance the learning of scientific
knowledge, give insight into scientific method and develop expertise in using it,
develop scientific attitudes such as open-mindedness and objectivity. (Hodson,
D.1990). Although practical work is beneficial for learning science, it is not
feasible to work on some of the topics from science in school laboratory since
some of them are often expensive, dangerous, morally difficult or tedious to
demonstrate to students. For example, handling sodium metal or chemicals like
potassium cyanide for chemical reactions, experiments of radioactive substances,
dissection of most of the animals. Besides, it is difficult to explain mechanism of
chemical reaction or stereochemistry of a molecule by performing chemical
reactions or to observe microscopic parts while dissection of plant or animal.
There is a limitation of repetition of the experiments too.
Scientific observation of natural processes is also an effective way of learning
phenomenon. For example, to study effects of solar eclipse, actual observation of
13. shadows, temperature fluctuations, and animal’s behaviour is the best way to
learn effects of eclipses. But eclipses do not occur frequently, it can be seen from
very narrow belt on earth and time duration is very small (1-1.5 min. for solar
Why computer animation
All these shortcomings can be overcome if computer animation is used as
teaching aid. Main advantage of animation is that we can animate almost
everything using either 2D or 3D animation software such as complicated
movements like revolution of electrons in atom, planets in solar system, blood
circulation, inhalation of air in animals and plants, working of power generators,
bio-gas plant, dynamos and different machines etc can be animated. In addition
any object, phenomenon can be observed from required angle. Besides,
repetition is possible for desire time, at the same time uniformity in explanation.
No language barrier so may be effective for all students, in addition dumb and
deft students. Computer animations link observable phenomena with scientific
representations of the phenomena. In chemistry, for example, a computer
animation might provide simultaneous views of an observable chemical reaction,
the same reaction viewed schematically at the molecular level, and a third view
of the reaction at the symbolic level of graphs and equations. It can also explain
mechanism of chemical reaction or stereochemistry of a molecule all together or
computer simulations in a variety of instructional ways such as it might be used
14. as a simulated frog dissection, for example, as preparation for an actual
dissection. It might also be used as a simulation to replace regular instruction.
Most important, however, simulations can be used to help students to integrate
facts, concepts, and principles that they learned separately. In the early days of
computing, schools were equipped with machines and software of minimal
resources minimal configuration of memory, central processing unit (CPU) and
mass storage and the operation often required a high level of computer
awareness by the students and teachers alike. We have now more powerful
processors, able to compute more quickly, more addressable memory to
accommodate larger programs and data sets and less expensive mass memory
for online storage of gigabyte of data. Eight bit Processors are now sixty four bit
version which when combines with more advanced computer graphic hardware
and laser compact disc technology offer powerful computational engines. In
early days schools expenditure of high cost of computer hardware and software
were beyond school budget. Now computer hardware costs have dropped
significantly due to technological advances. The majority of schools have been
equipped with computers and many students have access to machines in their
homes. In order to utilize computers to its full capacity it may be used as an
effective teaching aid. Another advantage of computer software is, it can be
delivered on the media like CD and can be replicated in minimum time. It
requires very reasonable cost. Additionally, interactivity for software may
motivates the students and may leads to successful learning.
15. Nowadays most of the students are computer literate so they can easily handle
Experiments or dissections provide students with individual interaction with
systems. But some of the phenomenon, which is expensive, dangerous, morally
difficult or tedious to demonstrate to students, those can be possible to show
with the help of computer animations. It may provide s with individual
interaction with systems in a limited way, which may otherwise have been
impossible to experience. In addition, Government is encouraging to purchase
computers for schools. All these points discussed were confirmed the topic for
While planning outline of the research, it was understood that different
methods of learning science through computer animation are possible in a
school. To chalk out methods, the opinion of the science teachers from
different schools were also taken into consideration.
There are five possible methods with which science by computer animation can
be taught in a school.
A. Teacher will teach a topic through computer animation followed by
learning the same animated topic on computer by students in a group of three.
B. Teacher will demonstrate a topic through computer animation and students
will observe it simultaneously.
C. Teacher will teach a topic in a class and let the students see the same topic on
16. computer within a week.
D. Teacher will teach a topic by lecture method. Let the students see the
same topic on computer whenever it is possible.
E. With the help of LCD projector.
First three methods (A, B and C) were preferred to test effectiveness. Due
to time constrain fourth method (D) was not selected for test. Since LCD
projectors are expensive, this method (method E) will not be economically
feasible for majority of schools so this method also was not selected for
1. To find out effective method of teaching science with the help of
computer animation in secondary schools.
2. To test its feasibility.
Pre-test for a class VII was conducted. Three identical groups of the
students were arranged by achievement of pre-test of the students. Pre-
test papers were set on simple objective type question on basics of
science from class VI textbook.
Topic from the class VII textbook ‘Respiration and circulation’ was
selected. The content of this topic was developed using animations. This
computer animations were used to teach a ‘respiration and circulation’ to
all three groups. The topic was taught to three groups one by one with the
17. help of same computer animations.
Post-test for all the groups were conducted at the same time. Post-test
paper was designed on the understanding of the topic taught. The
questions were close ended objective type.
Comparing achievement of the students in post-test effectiveness of
methods was tested. The medium of the instruction was Marathi.
To decide feasibility of method, feedback from science teachers,
headmasters were taken into consideration. In addition to that practical
difficulties for regular use of computer animations in schools were also
18. Data collected
No. Pre-test marks /10 Post-test marks /10
Method A method B method C
1 9 9.5 8 7
2 7 8.5 4.5 4
3 7 3 4.5 2
4 7 7 2.5 3
5 6 6.5 6.5 2
6 6 7.5 3 5
7 6 9 2 2
8 6 2.5 0.5 3
9 6 6.5 1.5 2
10 5 7.5 3 1
11 5 2 2.5 2.5
12 5 6 2 1.5
13 5 4 2 2
14 5 2.5 2.5 2
15 4 3.5 6 2
16 4 3.5 4 3
17 4 1 5.5 2
18 3 3.5 1.5 1
19 3 3.5 2.5 1.5
19. Feedback from the teachers was collected in the form of questionnaire.
Name of the method Most Effective Most feasible
Method A 13 2
Method B 6 8
Method C - 9
Statistical analysis
Paired t test was used to calculate the most effective method of learning
science with computer animation.
No. Name of the method [t cal]
1 Method A 10.9609
2 Method B 4.4 003
3 Method C 0.6784
From statistical analysis of data [t cal] is highest for method A (Teacher will
teach a topic through computer animation followed by learning the same
animated topic on computer by students in a group of three) consequently
method A is the most effective method.
Opinion of teachers about implementation of the computer animation package
in school is divided.
So method A, the most effective method is used for further research to find out
20. effectiveness of computer animations.
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