Is enriching static-simultaneous visualizations with motion-indicating arrows helpful for learning about locomotion patterns?


In the current study, multiple static-simultaneous visualizations were combined with motion-indicating arrows and were compared either to multiple static-simultaneous visualizations without arrows, which proved to be effective in former studies concerning static visualizations, or to a single static visualization enriched with motion-indicating arrows. Seventy-one students were randomly assigned to the three conditions. Learning outcomes were measured by pictorial tests at three difficulty levels. Contrary to our expectations the results showed that the combined condition (multiple static-simultaneous visualizations with arrows) was worse than both other conditions on the critical intermediate tests. Therefore, it seems that multiple static-simultaneous visualizations without any further enriching components and single static visualizations with motion-indicators have their own facilitating effects on fostering mental animation. These effects are possibly caused either by supporting comparisons among simultaneously presented multiple pictures or by showing the dynamic information (more) explicitly and thereby stimulating and guiding mental imagery of the movements, respectively.

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