140 paper

Educational animation: Who should call the shots?

Richard Lowe
Department of Education
Curtin University

Despite the increasing popularity of animation for explaining dynamic subject matter, research shows it is not uniformly beneficial for learning. User control has been suggested as a way to enhance learning by ameliorating negative effects of animation. However, giving learners the responsibility for controlling how an animation presents its information does not always produce the anticipated benefits. It appears that the associated interrogation tasks can over-tax learners’ internal processing resources so that extraction of relevant information is prejudiced. More prescriptive animation presentation regimes may be superior to free user control, particularly for learners who are novices in the depicted domain.

Keywords: animation, user control, learning, interrogation strategies, complex content