The Effect of Dynamic Algebra Animation on Learning Outcomes in a Physics Education Video
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Research remains inconclusive as to what extent dynamic animations contribute to an effective educational video, especially in the context of mathematics and physics. This study investigated whether and why dynamic animation of algebra is beneficial for grasping topics that hold both an algebraic and a conceptual challenge. The question was whether video-design based on conceptual metaphor theory and embodied cognition can improve understanding of both algebraic manipulations and physical concepts for such topics. In a quantitative experiment 38 bachelor students in chemistry or molecular life sciences watched a designed video about time dilation in which the involved algebra was animated in either a static way, a dynamic way, or with animated hands dynamically performing the manipulations. We investigated cognitive load as a possible explanatory factor for the effects of these different conditions. Analyses of the posttest scores showed significantly higher understanding of the physical concepts in the embodied dynamic condition compared to the dynamic condition. For algebra scores as well as cognitive load no significant differences between the conditions were found.