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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Zhongzhou Chen and Gary Gladding
Visual representations play a critical role in teaching physics. However, since we do not have a satisfactory understanding of how visual perception impacts the construction of abstract knowledge, most visual representations used in instructions are either created based on existing conventions or designed according to the instructor's intuition, which leads to a significant variance in their effectiveness. In this paper we propose a cognitive mechanism based on grounded cognition, suggesting that visual perception affects understanding by activating "perceptual symbols": the basic cognitive unit used by the brain to construct a concept. A good visual representation activates perceptual symbols that are essential for the construction of the represented concept, whereas a bad representation does the opposite. As a proof of concept, we conducted a clinical experiment in which participants received three different versions of a multimedia tutorial teaching the integral expression of electric potential. The three versions were only different by the details of the visual representation design, only one of which contained perceptual features that activate perceptual symbols essential for constructing the idea of "accumulation." On a following post-test, participants receiving this version of tutorial significantly outperformed those who received the other two versions of tutorials designed to mimic conventional visual representations used in classrooms.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Instructional Material Design
= Simulation
= Tutorial
- Technology
= Multimedia
Education - Basic Research
- Communication
= Representations
- Learning Theory
= Representations
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.010111
NSF Number:
0817185
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.40.Ha
01.50.fh
01.50.ht
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 27, 2015 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
May 30, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 3, 2014
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Record Link
AIP Format
Z. Chen and G. Gladding, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 10 (1), 010111 (2014), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.010111).
AJP/PRST-PER
Z. Chen and G. Gladding, How to make a good animation: A grounded cognition model of how visual representation design affects the construction of abstract physics knowledge, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 10 (1), 010111 (2014), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.010111>.
APA Format
Chen, Z., & Gladding, G. (2014, April 3). How to make a good animation: A grounded cognition model of how visual representation design affects the construction of abstract physics knowledge. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 10(1), 010111. Retrieved April 7, 2020, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.010111
Chicago Format
Chen, Zhongzhou, and Gary Gladding. "How to make a good animation: A grounded cognition model of how visual representation design affects the construction of abstract physics knowledge." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 10, no. 1, (April 3, 2014): 010111, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.010111 (accessed 7 April 2020).
MLA Format
Chen, Zhongzhou, and Gary Gladding. "How to make a good animation: A grounded cognition model of how visual representation design affects the construction of abstract physics knowledge." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 10.1 (2014): 010111. 7 Apr. 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.010111>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Zhongzhou Chen and Gary Gladding", Title = {How to make a good animation: A grounded cognition model of how visual representation design affects the construction of abstract physics knowledge}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {10}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010111}, Month = {April}, Year = {2014} }
Refer Export Format

%A Zhongzhou Chen
%A Gary Gladding
%T How to make a good animation: A grounded cognition model of how visual representation design affects the construction of abstract physics knowledge
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 10
%N 1
%D April 3, 2014
%P 010111
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.010111
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Chen, Zhongzhou
%A Gladding, Gary
%D April 3, 2014
%T How to make a good animation: A grounded cognition model of how visual representation design affects the construction of abstract physics knowledge
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 10
%N 1
%P 010111
%8 April 3, 2014
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.10.010111


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