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The effects of whiteboard animations on retention and subjective experiences when learning advanced physics topics

Computers & Education Volume 98, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Digital instructional tools develop rapidly, and they can create novel learning experiences. Still, adoption of new formats is often expensive, and their efficacy is untested. Whiteboard animations are an increasingly popular form of educational media. Although recent research in the development of whiteboard animations is rich, there is a lack of understanding of learner experiences with this type of animation. The purpose of this study is to provide concrete scientific evidence for the impact on retention and subjective experiences of enjoyment, engagement, and challenge. We recruited participants from Amazon's Mechanical Turk (N = 621; 239 females). We used a between-subjects design with participants assigned randomly to one of four instructional conditions: whiteboard animation, electronic slideshow (i.e., sequential images with narration), audio (i.e., narration) only, and text only. For learning experiences, we also introduce a novel behavioral measure of engagement alongside participant self-reports by eliciting continuation values with diminishing compensation. Using repeated measure ANOVAs to test effect of lesson format on subjective experiences and one-way ANOVAs to test the effect of lesson format on retention, we found that whiteboard animations have a positive effect on retention, engagement and enjoyment, although we do not rule out the possibility that some of this result is due to novelty.


Türkay, S. (2016). The effects of whiteboard animations on retention and subjective experiences when learning advanced physics topics. Computers & Education, 98(1), 102-114. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved September 18, 2021 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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