The impact of animation interactivity on novices' learning of introductory statistics



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study examined the impact of animation interactivity on novices’ learning of introductory statistics. The interactive animation program used in this study was created with Adobe Flash following Mayer’s multimedia design principles as well as Kristof and Satran’s interactivity theory. The research was guided by three main questions: 1) Is there any difference in achievement improvement among students who use different interactive levels of an animation program? 2) Is there any difference in confidence improvement among students who use different interactive levels of an animation program? 3) Is there any difference in program perception among students who use different interactive levels of an animation program? This study was a one-way design where the independent variable was animation interactivity. In addition to a control group (Static Group) provided with only static materials, there were three groups with different levels of animation interactivity: 1) Animation with simple interactivity (Simple Animation Group), 2) animation with input manipulation (Input Group), and 3) animation with practice and feedback (Practice Group). A sample of 123 college students participated in the study and was randomly assigned into groups. They gathered in the computer lab to work with the animation program and then took online surveys and tests for evaluation. Students were expected to learn Principles of Hypothesis Testing (concepts of type I error, type II error and p-value). The data collected in this study included 1) student learning attitudes, 2) achievement and confidence pre-test scores, 3) achievement and confidence post-test scores, and 4) program perception. Also, student manipulation of the animation program was recorded as Web log data. The data were analyzed by using multivariate analysis (MANOVA), univariate analysis (ANOVA), regression analysis, regression tree analysis and case analysis. The findings were as follows: 1) Animation interactivity impacted students’ improvement in understanding (p=.006) and lower-level applying (p=.042), 2) animation interactivity did not impact student confidence and program perception, 3) the regression analysis indicated that student prior knowledge and interest were the most important predictors on student achievement post-test scores instead of program manipulation, and 4) the regression tree showed that there were interactions among student interest, prior knowledge, and program manipulation on the achievement post-test scores. The case analysis showed that not all students manipulated the interactive animation program as expected due to a lack of motivation and cognitive skills, and this could decrease the effect of the interactive animation. This study hoped to broaden theories on interactive learning and serve as a reference for future statistics curriculum designers and textbook publishers.