|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Education in Science and Technology|
|Prof. Dori Yehudit|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The development of web-based applications allows teachers and educators, nowadays, to present complex animations. In our study, web-based animated movies were integrated into the science curriculum of 4th and 5th grade students. Our goal was to examine the effect of teaching via animated movies on students’ learning outcomes with emphasis on achievements and motivation to learn science.
The research was based on the quantitative methodology using the pre- and post- experimental design. The teaching method - the integration of animations - was the independent variable, while the dependent variables were: students' understanding, implementation, reasoning skills, and motivation to learn science. The research tools included two questionnaires consisting of open- and close-ended questions. The research main study included seventeen elementary schools in the central part of Israel. The schools were divided into experimental and control groups according to the school principles' preferences. The experimental students (N=1292) integrated science with web-based animations as part of their science curriculum. The control students (N=725) continued studying science courses in the traditional way - using books and worksheets. Our sample included 67% of the students that participated in the program (N=1335).
The animated movies were presented to the students at least once a week, about one animation for each topic taught in class. The animated movies were used to foster class discussions or to summarize a topic.
Findings indicated that the use of animated movies enhanced students' science understanding, knowledge implementation, and reasoning ability. Our study also indicated that students who studied science with the use of animated movies developed higher motivation to learn science compared to students who studied science in a traditional way. Some researchers claim that knowledge is represented and manipulated through two cognitive channels: the visual-pictorial and the auditory-verbal. Indeed, the animated movies presented in our study had both visual-pictorial and auditory-verbal capabilities. This and the fact that students were engaged in active learning can explain the positive and high correlation between science competencies and motivation to learn science among the experimental group students.
We recommend encouraging teachers to integrate the use of animated movies, more frequently than just once a week. It is well known that 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. In light of the research results, we may also say that 'an animated movie, if it is smoothly integrated into the science curriculum, is worth a thousand pictures'.