Send to

Choose Destination
CBE Life Sci Educ. 2007 Fall;6(3):217-23.

The value of animations in biology teaching: a study of long-term memory retention.

Author information

Department of Biology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.


Previous work has established that a narrated animation is more effective at communicating a complex biological process (signal transduction) than the equivalent graphic with figure legend. To my knowledge, no study has been done in any subject area on the effectiveness of animations versus graphics in the long-term retention of information, a primary and critical issue in studies of teaching and learning. In this study, involving 393 student responses, three different animations and two graphics-one with and one lacking a legend-were used to determine the long-term retention of information. The results show that students retain more information 21 d after viewing an animation without narration compared with an equivalent graphic whether or not that graphic had a legend. Students' comments provide additional insight into the value of animations in the pedagogical process, and suggestions for future work are proposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center