Effects of Interactive Animations on Student Learning in High School Biology
Agile Mind for Biology (AMB) is an online tool that supports the teaching and learning of high school biology content. Interactive visualizations or animations help teachers present, and students to explore and experiment with, important concepts and phenomena. WCER researchers study the usability and feasibility of AMB visualizations, as well as the effects of visualization use on teaching and student achievement. Research is conducted in various Texas school districts where teachers and students are using AMB Biology.
Research for Year 1 focuses on qualitative studies of student and teacher usability and feasibility. Usability refers to how readily students and teachers can access, manipulate, and comprehend animations. Feasibility concerns the extent to which students and teachers actually use animations for classroom or independent learning, including factors that affect usage levels in real classrooms. With funding from the IES Small Business Innovation Research program, WCER researchers and Agile Mind staff collaborate on all aspects of the research.