Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)


Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type



This study explores the effect of animations versus static cartoons on students’ content retention in a high school biology classroom. Students were pre-tested prior to the introduction of content in three units of study: cellular transport, protein synthesis, and mitosis. After instruction on the topic via PowerPoint presentations, students were randomly assigned to either the test group or experimental group for each unit. The control group was removed from the room and given a series of static cartoons with captions to view. The experimental group viewed an animation on the topic, accompanied by teacher narration, which consisted of the captions from static cartoons read aloud. The two groups were post-tested together immediately following the treatment, and again approximately 21 days later. Analyses were done to compare both raw score means and normalized learning gains of the experimental and control groups. No statistically significant differences due to animations were found in these comparisons, though student engagement and class discussion were increased by the use of animations based on teacher observations. A class survey revealed an overwhelming interest in continued use of the animations as an instructional technique.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Moroney, James