The Effects of Still Images and Animated Images on Motion-Related and Non-Motion Related Learning Tasks in College Students of Different Levels of Field Dependence

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Virginia Tech


The use of still images in instruction has a long history in the field of education. With the widespread use of microcomputers and the development of graphic software, the ability to create and use animated images has greatly increased; today many people use animated images in their teaching and training activities. Since the use of different types of images in instruction has various influences on students'learning results, the different effects between animated images and still images have been studied widely among researchers. However, the research results are not consistent. Some research results show that animated images are more effective than still images and some show no difference or less effective results.

This experimental study explores the effects of animated images and still images on college students' learning of motion-related tasks and non-motion related tasks, with the students possessing different levels of field dependence-independence. This study found that:

For learning tasks involving motion and/or change, animated images were more effective than still images for college students, and field dependent students benefited more from animated images than did the field independent students. However, for learning tasks that did not involve motion or change, there was no difference in learning results from the use of still images as opposed to animated images. In addition, for such learning tasks, there was no difference in the learning benefits of still images to field dependent versus field independent learners.



non-motion related learning tasks, motion-related learning tasks, Chinese characters, animated images, still images, cognitive style