The moderating role of additional information when learning with animations compared to static pictures
In research on learning with animations compared to static pictures usually very short and narrowly defined topics are chosen. However, in school contexts such topics are often extended by additional information (i.e., information that is related to a given topic, but not essential for this topic). In the current study, that took place in a school context, it was investigated which role additional information would play when learning with animations compared to static pictures. It was hypothesized that there would be a beneficial effect of the animation, that additional information would impede learning the original topic and that the beneficial effect of the animation compared to the static picture would be even more pronounced when additional information is presented compared to when no additional information is given. A 2 × 2 between-subject design, with visualization format (animation vs. static picture) and additional information (present vs. absent) as independent variables, was used (N = 199 high school students). Learning outcomes were analysed by means of a focal contrast analysis that corresponded to the stated hypotheses. Results revealed that the hypotheses were not met for factual knowledge tasks, but for transfer tasks: Additional information hindered learning, and the advantage of the animation over the static picture was more pronounced when additional information was presented. However, it should be noted that learners receiving additional information performed better on questions about the additional information than learners without additional information. Implications of these results are discussed.
Kühl, T., & Münzer, S. (2019). The moderating role of additional information when learning with animations compared to static pictures. Instructional Science, 47(6), 659–677. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-019-09498-x