THE CONTRIBUTION OF ANIMATED CARTOONS IN A MULTIMEDIA APPLICATION FOR TEACHING CHEMISTRY: A CASE STUDY FOR 5TH GRADE STUDENTS IN GREECE
1 National Technical University of Athens (GREECE)
2 University of Athens (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:This study reports research findings on the use of animated cartoons in a multimedia application meant to evaluate their effectiveness in supporting teaching and learning in science. In the multimedia application the animated cartoons where designed from scratch using appropriate programs. The application that was created consists of two major parts. In the first part (the introduction story), the presentation and the analytic explanation of solubility and the factors that influence it was attempted via animated cartoons and hearing dialogues, thus aiming at both the comprehension and the assimilation of the above concepts. In the second part of the application (the questionnaire), a series of closed-type questions were presented. The questions were of the multiple choice type, and the answers that each student gave were stored in *.txt form on the computer’s hard disk.
The study was carried out with 184 5th grade students in Greece. Concretely, two groups of students and one researcher were used. Different instructional methods were used in each group but in both groups the same concept of solubility and how it is affected by the temperature, was presented. The first group followed the classic instruction method. Specifically, the researcher came to the class and discussed with the students following the teacher’s usual methodology (which included the theoretical explanation of the concepts with analytical comments regarding qualitative and quantitative examples, the resolving of students’ queries that were asked along with problem-solving exercises). Then, the researcher gave a questionnaire (on paper sheets) to the students to answer it. The second group followed the method with the multimedia cartoons application. The researcher came to computer lab and used only the application with the animated cartoons. The students after the hearing of the introductory story, they were asked to fill the questionnaire that was followed. The questionnaires had exactly the same number and type of questions, the same concepts were addressed and they were differentiated only in the way that questions were presented (multimedia cartoon-style versus text-style).
The main research questions were:
• If animated cartoons help students to differentiate the concepts of dissolving, melting and disappearing in the solution chemistry?
• If animated cartoons recall prior knowledge regarding students’ conceptions of solubility more effectively in 5th grade students?
• If animated cartoons can be used as a supplementary didactical tool for teachers in elementary school?
The statistical analysis of the answers of the students led us to some very important conclusions. Students’ knowledge and understanding was upgraded through the differentiation of dissolving, melting and disappearing with the use of animated cartoons. In addition, the success rates of the students showed that animated cartoons helped them recall prior knowledge more effectively as they had forced them to confront their misconceptions and therefore, promote the process of conceptual development. Overall, the data of this study have demonstrated that well designed multimedia material, such as the animated cartoons, can be used by the teacher as a supplementary didactical tool.
Keywords: elementary education, improving classroom teaching, multimedia application, animated.