ERIC Number: EJ1063298
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Animations in Learning--A Cognitive Fit Perspective
Li, Pengtao; Santhanam, Radhika; Carswell, Catherine M.
Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, v7 n2 p377-410 Jul 2009
Information technology (IT) artifacts such as animations are increasingly used in educational institutions. Researchers caution that, if we are to derive benefits from animations and other such IT artifacts, we must understand how to use it optimally. In this study, we look at the effects of animations in supporting learning processes. IT-enabled animations dynamically depict changes in events and are used in the classroom as external representations to elaborate on the knowledge content transferred in the classroom. Research in related disciplines has investigated the effects of using these animations on student learning outcomes and has reported conflicting results. We propose that the theory of cognitive fit in information systems could reconcile these conflicting findings and offer some insight into how these animations might be used most beneficially. We conduct laboratory-based experiments to test our ideas. Our findings indicate that these representations are superior to text-based representations and reduce students' cognitive load only in learning tasks where animations have a good cognitive fit. We discuss the implications of our findings for the use of animations and other external representations in the classroom and for future research on the role of Technology Mediated Learning.
Descriptors: Information Technology, Animation, Technology Uses in Education, Learning Processes, Outcomes of Education, Cognitive Processes, Difficulty Level, Educational Benefits, Laboratory Experiments, Information Systems
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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