2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14


Overall the findings suggest that those with recent relevant teaching performed better on test scores on understanding graphical change than those that did not. Study 3 and study 4 in the minimum and intermediate exposure to animation 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 showed that those using the heart animation (higher prior knowledge) performed significantly better than those using the respiration animation (lower prior knowledge). More specifically these studies showed that those with higher 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 prior knowledge performed better on interpreting graphical change and on conceptual questions. This particular progression may suggest that salience and interpreting graphical change occurs sooner for those with higher prior knowledge 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14, but that those with lower prior knowledge are not precluded from achieving a similar level of understanding, if exposure to the animation is sufficient. Those with higher prior knowledge reached a similar level 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 of processing the salient features of the animation after an intermediate number of runs, and of processing interpretation after the maximum number of runs. This suggests that processing of salience of 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 graphical change occurs prior to interpretation of the change. Study 6 showed that pupils using a non-parsed animation (information not in smaller sections, no guidance to фокус of attention, more dynamic information load 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14) performed similarly to those using an additive parsed animation when integrating information from the animation. This facilitation in understanding from the control animation may also be explained by level of prior domain 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 knowledge.

Research has shown that differences are apparent in the way that experts and novices use external representations, for example, in the way they perceive and understand information, particularly in terms 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 of meaningful chunking of information (e.g. De Groot 1965, Hinsle et al. 1977, Egan and Schwartz 1979, Ehrlich and Soloway 1984) and in their level of dependence on domain relevant information rather than visuo-spatial features of 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 the diagram (Lowe 1994). The level of prior knowledge may have enabled pupils to фокус on domain relevant information rather than visuo-spatial aspects of the representation, facilitating interpretation of graphical 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 change. The parsed animations in study 6 also directed pupils to domain relevant chunking of information. A higher prior domain knowledge may have enabled pupils to achieve similar chunking themselves when using the non 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14-parsed animation.


However, although level of prior knowledge may have had some effect on interaction with the animations, the pupils had not reached a level where they could reasonably be termed ‘experts’, thus 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14, the information gained from these participants was not considered to compromise the findings in relation understanding the cognitive basis for using animation. In fact despite potential differences in level of prior knowledge 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14, pupils showed similar cognitive progressions in terms of understanding graphical change and making links from animated representations. Aspects that seem more pertinent in facilitating processing using animation are the proposed 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 cognitive dimensions of the representation presented and discussed in 9.9.

9.7. Other research findings

9.7.1. Training / expertise

No assessment was мейд in this thesis of the amount of expertise or interaction pupils had working with animation and 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 /or animated diagrams generally. Previous research has cited the possible need for training in processing graphics (e.g. Peek 1993, cited Betrnacourt & Tversky 2000). Therefore, difficulties of noticing and identifying the dynamics on this kind of 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 representation may be partly a function of familiarity or expertise in terms of reading this kind of representational format. Limited expertise with animated representational format may hamper processing aspects such 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 as tracking moving items, interpreting graphical change. Inexperience and, therefore, unawareness of the required processing may lead to less cognitive attention and effort being applied to these kinds of tasks. Research using 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 differing levels of training with animated representations may inform further about the relevance of animation ‘reading expertise’ in learning contexts. For example, pupils could participate in clearly guided instruction when using 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 an animation, including such aspects as tracking translation change, practising interpreting different kinds of graphical change and relating these to the diagram as a whole, prior to participating in learning with alternative domain animations 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14.

^ 9.7.2. Self explanation effects

Although self explanation was not used specifically as a tool for eliciting cognitive processing or for assessing learning in this thesis, it is interesting to note that verbal explanation, be it 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 specifically ‘self explanation’ or ‘to another’ explanation, appears to have some effect on pupil understanding. More specifically verbal explanation appears to facilitate awareness and understanding of functional aspects of the process that 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 is less apparent in learners who did not externally verbalise their processing. Chi (1997) suggests that explaining brings awareness to the learner of discrepancies in their understanding, which prompts them to 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 revise their understanding more appropriately. It would be interesting in further research to explore the effects of externalising through different kinds of physical interaction with animation, perhaps exploring different outcomes as a result 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 of manipulating the diagram (also see 9.10).

^ 9.7.3. Multiple representations

Although definitions of multiple representation differ, in this research multiple representations refer to the equivalent of multiple diagrams of the same domain, such that each frame 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 constitutes one representation. Consequently, an animation consists of multiple representations to depict the different dynamic changes being depicted. Therefore, learners are having to integrate information from several diagrams or 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 representations rather than one single diagram. Not only do they need to integrate across several representations, but they also need to remember the information to integrate as each representation is not concurrently available with another 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14, and comparisons of differences cannot be мейд. The studies using the parsed animations took this issue into account and the animations were designed in such a way that any 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 parsed sections not yet clearly visible were merely masked, allowing the rest of the animation to be discernible. This design should have facilitated the making of links between pieces of information displayed 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 in differing explicitness on the diagram. However, it was apparent from the results that these kinds of links were not necessarily мейд, unless there was visual explicit depiction of appropriately ‘linked’ components. This suggests 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 that integration of information across different frames may not in itself be problematic, as integration of information appears to take place on different levels. Integration of information across animation frames is 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 taking place on one level when particular graphical changes are identified and understood. Studies three and four showed evidence of this kind of integration. Integration of information takes place on another level when ‘parsed 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14’ or ‘chunked’ pieces of the diagram are linked. These two aspects of information integration begin to inform a little about understanding cognitive processing of animation.


^ 9.8. The issue of defining complexity.

Overall the 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 research in this thesis suggests that complexity as defined prior to these experiments is not sufficient. Although multidimensionality and transience may remain features of animation that contribute to a complex representation and 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 impede cognitive processing, in terms of dynamic information overload and memory load, they are not the only dimensions of complexity to be taken into account when processing animated diagrams 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 or indeed any diagram.


The form of graphical change itself may be cognitively complex, in that each type of graphical change demands different kinds of processing. For example, translation change requires consistent 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 tracking over time, transformational change requires mapping of meaning of, for example, colour changes or changes in size onto real world events, feature presence demands noticing whether or not a particular item is present at 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 any one time. The cognitive demands of understanding graphical change may be further enhanced by the level of dynamic information load (multidimensionality of the particular animated representation), which may prematurely distract 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 attention, and transience, which may facilitate potential attention distraction.


Complexity may also be defined in terms of expertise, referring to both prior knowledge and experience with the representational format. The knowledge 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 or perception already present cognitively influences the way the external representation is perceived and interpreted. The level or even type (general or domain specific) of ‘internal’ cognitive resources available to pupils when interacting 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 with the external representation, may serve to reduce the effect of the complexity of animated diagrams in various ways, for example, helping to direct attention to relevant aspects of the diagram, aiding accurate 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 interpretation. However, it may also be the case that inaccurate prior knowledge results in misidentification of graphical change and misinterpretation. This emphasises the importance of clarity of the representation in terms 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 of cognitive dimensions of the representation as defined below (see 9.9).


Expertise with animated diagrammatic format may also serve to reduce some of the cognitive complexities inherent in animation. Practice or training with reading 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 this kind of representation may facilitate фокус of attention, aiding differentiation, identification and interpretation of graphical changes, direction to relevant aspects, making links between different pieces of information.

9.8.1. Summary

Although potential cognitive 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 complexities from inherent features of animation are apparent, there may also be factors that serve to counterbalance these effects facilitating benefits from the advantages of explicit dynamic depiction in learning 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 about dynamic processes, such as parsing animation, directing learner attention, providing explicit information links.

^ 9.9. Cognitive dimensions of representation

Cognitive dimensions of representation were described in chapter three as properties specific to animated representations 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 that affect the way that information is processed. This term was adopted for this thesis from Green’s (1989) cognitive dimensions of notation on the basis that it provided an appropriate conceptual 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 framework from which to explore the cognitive benefits and disadvantages of animation. The findings from the studies in this thesis point to certain features that could be termed cognitive dimensions of the representation 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14, that are not only features related to the representation itself, but also features related to cognition (where the features of the representation interrelate with relevant cognitive features).


Proposed cognitive dimensions of 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 representation:

(i) Visibility; which refers to the degree to which the representation facilitates noticing of all graphical changes (translation, transformation, feature presence).

(ii) Identifiability; which refers to the degree to which the representation enables differentiation 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 between types of graphical change, i.e. facilitates the distinction between translation, transformation and feature presence.

(iii) Trackability; which refers to the degree to which the representation facilitates tracking of changes over 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 time.

(iv) Interpretability; refers to the degree to which the representation facilitates the placing of appropriate meaning on graphical changes.

(v) Parsability; refers to the degree to which the representation facilitates segregation 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 of information into smaller coherent components, be they a dynamic change, or a domain relevant section of the diagram.

(vi) Linkability; refers to the degree to which the representation makes 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 explicit the links between appropriate sections of information.


These dimensions have been identified as important dimensions of animation for learner interaction, but several (if not all) will, no doubt, be determined 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 by other factors, such as; the dimensionality or the amount of simultaneous graphical changes taking place contributing to dynamic information load; the transience of the representation in terms of the speed at 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 which graphical changes unfold and pass by, contributing to memory load; and the degree to which the representation facilitates фокус of attention.

^ 9.10. Cognitive model of processing animation (see fig. 9.1.)

In summary of the 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 findings from this research on processing animation, the cognitive demands may differ according to the level of dynamic information load, transience and the explicitness of graphical changes, smaller domain divisions and links between these 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 information sections. Noticing, identifying and interpreting graphical change appear to have different cognitive demands according to the type of graphical change. For example, identifying transformational change seems less cognitively demanding than 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 translation change, whereas interpreting transformational change seems more cognitively demanding than translation change. Smaller domain divisions within the representation may be cognitively beneficial not only for making interpretations of graphical changes 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 but also for making links between different pieces of information, if those links are мейд explicit. On the basis of findings in this thesis the following stages in processing animated diagrams of dynamic processes 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 are proposed:

^ 9.10.1. Visibility demands

a) Parsing of dynamic change.

The processing of graphical change consists not only of noticing dynamic changes taking place on the diagram, but also the identifying of 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 the kinds of graphical changes taking place.

(i) Noticing graphical change basically refers to an awareness of the learner that a dynamic change or event has taken place. This is a general 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 observation about each change that is no more specific than knowing it has happened. However, the likelihood of the change being noticed may be a function of (amongst other things) the type of change 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14. Detailed noticing of graphical changes may be affected by the dynamic information load within the animation (the more changes occurring the more difficult it is to notice accurately) and by 2002 School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences University of Sussex Brighton bn1 9hq sarap@cogs sussex ac uk Dedication - 14 the transient nature of the representation, which potentially contributes to loss of information from the start to the end of a change.
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