Developing Effective STEM Animations: Application of a Multimedia Learning Theoretical Framework
Although most people believe animations can be very effective for STEM instruction and engagement, research often leads to findings that they are not superior to static graphics or other information presentations. The reason for these failures is not inherent in animations. Rather, the failures often reflect non-adherence to principles of good graphics design and a lack of understanding of principles of STEM learning. Sci-Toons, a series of animations dealing with diverse STEM topics, were developed based on a theoretical learning framework and the use of teams comprised of individuals with scientific expertise and individuals with visual design expertise. The process employed in the development of these animations is presented along with data on the wide-spread dissemination of Sci-Toons, its impacts on viewers, and its impacts on students involved in their production.