What follows below are the abstracts of articles on the instructional uses of 3D modeling and animation. There is a total of eight articles, and then there is a description of the search strategy and findings. Finally, there is a literature review on the topic with the comparison and contrasts on the findings from the articles covered and conclusions made from these articles. There is a demonstration of how these findings can be applied to a potential future 3D animation project.
Chapter 18. The Animation and Interactivity Principles in Multimedia Learning
This first article is titled the animation and interactivity principles in multimedia learning. The article starts by examining what it means by the animation principle and the interactivity principle after the technological developments of the last decade. The article was seeking to make people have an understanding of what it means by animation as an instructional material. The article then groups the idea of animation into three different levels for the purposes of discussion: technical, semiotic and psychological. It then distinguishes between the two forms of interactivity: control and interactive. Betrancourt (n.d.) notes that the control is the capability of the learner to take action on the pace and path that is in the movement of the frames. In contrast it notes that interactivity is the ability for one to take action based on the contents of the frames that appear after the current frame in terms of relating the changes to the current value of the parameters (Betrancourt, n.d.). There are examples that are of places where people utilize animation and interactivity in their work related activities. It then addresses the question of the scenarios in which the people involved can make use of animation to improve the learning process and make it effective and more interesting. The article notes that animation can be used specifically to visualize ideas that would otherwise not be explained in a different way and understood using the scientific domain that they represent and it further enables learners to explore complex phenomena. The article goes ahead noting the research that is being carried out to discover new ways to facilitate learning and notes the limitations encountered and how to overcome them. It concludes by noting the consequences for cognitive theory and effects on instructional design.
Making Sense of Animation: How do Children Explore Multimedia Instruction?
The next article is titled making sense of animation and how children explore multimedia instruction. The article starts the introduction by noting that with time there has been an increasing sophistication of computer technology and the technology cost have been reducing and therefore this has triggered the increased use of animation and interactive graphics in our instructional materials (Betrancourt & Chassot, n.d.). It goes ahead to focus on the various instructional materials that are in multimedia format that is part and parcel of the animated graphics and animation. The principal objective of the article is to find out the how children perceive the use animation and whether they do make sense of their use as instructional materials. The research is being undertaken to get the results of their behavior in relation to this concept. This research had other minor objectives like carrying out an assessment of how students’ explorative behavior was affected by the concept of animations and their subjective reactions to the same.
The article then goes ahead to give the use of the animated graphics. In the past studies have been carried out to investigate whether the popularity of the use of graphics can be supported by empirical evidence on its effectiveness in supporting the education process. It then questions the circumstances in which the use of animation to pass information is effective and for what particular reasons. It then examines the use of animation and its effect on the learning of primary and secondary school students citing examples like audiovisual materials. The limitations to online animation research are, and then research questions are given. The data analysis, method and analysis are depicted, and their frequency noted and concluded with the calling for additional research on the role of metacognitive prompts in children’s explorative approaches.
This article Gill (2006) starts by noting that an ordinary user can be able to notice the significant effect of the digital 3-D CGI (three-dimensional computer graphic imaging) on visual information and appearance of prevalent traditional imagery in a number of years that have gone by. There have been a number of films that have reached a large audience examples of which are Disney’s TRON and Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (Gill, 2006). These films were used to show the possibilities that have arisen out of utilizing modeling, lighting and animation among other aspects. The research in visual culture enabled students interested in a career in the production imagery media also to show some interest in electronic forms of art like 3-D CGI.
The infiltration of virtual imagery that was made using computers and its software into the television world and the movie world and, in addition, the increase of the use of video games has led to the demand for computer experts in the same field to meet the demand for such products. Colleges and universities are now coming up with courses to prepare skilled personnel for these fields.
According to Gill (2006) among the most popular software in this field is Autodesk Maya for coming up with 3D modeling and animation which was preceded by Power Animator which allows the user to come up with digital images of real life objects and images and include additional features like colors and texture. Despite their continued use, there has been a lack of written material to guide the-would be users on their features and benefits. In the meantime, the technical know-how of the computers students has been undergoing considerable improvement as more materials are availed. The author completes by calling for more studies to come up with the best worth and procedures for the application and use of 3-D CGI classes.
The (In) Effectiveness of Animation in Instruction
The article starts with an introduction that notes that every type of presentation has its merits and demerits in getting the information to the perceived audience (Morrison & Tversky, 2001). It further notes that one can make use of space like in graphics to show the causal structure of the arrangement. It is that animations have an advantage over text and immobile graphics in portraying the change of objects with time, and this is obvious in that animation can be used to portray motion by utilizing motion. The paper goes ahead by trying to observe that all media do not have the same effect in portraying all forms of information across to the audience. The current studies note that since animations represent change in relation to time making them the best mode in representing motion when one is facilitating learning.
In this article Morrison and Tversky (2001) undertook a research wasundertaken in which the participants were divided into three groupings for the investigation the same number of presentation media. The three forms of presentation media were the use of text, text with graphics and the use of text and animated graphics. The conclusions drawn from this research were that animated graphics was better in the presentation of information compared to the use of text and graphics. The use of text alone came in as the least effective form of conveying information to the audience. In addition, the use of text and animation came in handy in maintaining the audience’s attention and understanding difficult concepts.
Developing 3D Modeling Courses for Online Teaching: Instructional Technologies to Consider
The article begins by noting that the capability to make use of 3D modeling training has beenutilized for a number of years. Graphics is taken to be an independent language by itself that incorporates its various aspects like grammar and style and has been utilized in engineering for effective communication and the generation of engineering designs (Mapson, Ernst, & Clark, 2012). With the advancements in the fields of information technology, the abstraction found in the field of engineering has been made simpler through computer aided software in specific fields of engineering.
As a result of the developments in technology, a number of tools have been designed and come into use in interactive and collaborative aspects of web pages as the users are making use of them. In an effort made to simplify the aspects necessary for the effective development and implementation of the research looked at all the categories affecting this area. Mapson, Ernst and Clark (2012) note that the Delphi practice started with seeking participants for a skill and performance review from the various associations in order to get information on the best way to deal with them. The results from the study concluded that 3D modeling was one of the most effective ways for the delivery of the course content to various learners participating in engineering courses or programs.
Animation and learning: Value for money?
Animations are increasingly becoming popular in technology-based delivery of the course content because they are perceived to be more effective than motionless graphics and text that does not include graphics (Lowe, 2004). Most disciplines that are in higher institutions of learning deal with content that is dynamic in nature. The participants to such courses are with equipping themselves with skills that are complex in nature and concerned with systems that exhibit changes over time.
Recent educational use of animation works on two assumptions in the part that they contribute in education. First they are used to attract the learner’s attention and ensure that they remain motivated in the course of learning. They make certain that the learning activity is humorous and bizarre in a way to sustain the user’s attention. The second and vital purpose is to support the cognitive functions ensuring that their understanding is .
Lowe (2004) concurs that the benefits of animation make it easy to understand challenging content among others. It then goes ahead to explain why animation is superior and why it can be demanding to the people preparing the instructional content especially when they do not have the required tools. Towards the end, it addresses the animation’s requirements and looks at the trend towards more effective types of animation for learning purposes. To this end animation designers are challenged to develop systems that learners will be ready to perceive as truly worth the amount they invest in education.
Facilitating Learning from animated Instruction: Effectiveness of Questions and Feedback as Attention-directing Strategies
The objective of the article was to look at the effectiveness of various visual forms both static and animated and the educational approaches used to support visualized resources on the learners different aims in achieving various goals in computer-based instructional (CBI) environment (Lin, 2011). Lin (2011) notes that technological advancements in the recent times have brought about the probability of personalized acquisition of knowledge through a number of ways that make use of a combination of pictures, sound and graphic content. It is on from studies that human beings find it easier to recall images much better and for a longer time that simple text messages. From it, it is assumed that the human mind memory is into two forms that are either verbal or nonverbal forms. It further notes that animation has beenused in other disciplines in the delivery of content that is difficult to visualize using static material.
Lin (2011) carries out comparisons between visualized and non-visualized approaches to learning. The article aims at investigating the different types of questioning procedures and the effectiveness of an interactive approach to the learning process. The changes in the visualized learning environment were reliant on the response from the learners engaged in the educational process. For purposes of the research, the participants were divided into various groups to investigate the effectiveness of animation in the learning process. From the results, there was a significant difference between the learning process with static visuals as opposed to the ones that were utilizing animated visuals with the later having more favorable results and hence optimizing the learner’s ability.
Principles for Using Animation in Computer-Based Instruction: Theoretical Heuristics for Effective Design
The article starts with noting that as tools for multimedia and computer-based instruction (CBI) that are for learning get advanced then it becomes highly likely for the incorporation of animations in the programs. Computers offer a state-of-the-art and proficient mode for training students, and this has triggered the development of various other forms of computer-based animated instructions (Weiss et.al, 2002). The article goes ahead to give a number of reasons for the utilization of animation.
The article examines the nature of the animation used in various aspects. Animated visuals are as originating from static graphics without which its believed their development could not have been realized. It is important to know the objectives of animations in order to utilize them much more effectively in issuing instructions. Some of these functions are as the cosmetic function, attention-gaining function and the motivation function. In addition, there is the presentation function and the clarification function.
The physical aspect of the animation is also taken into consideration these include the surface structure and the fidelity level. Weiss et.al (2002) agrees that the animation’s trajectory and movement are two features that would have a significant effect on the CBI. There are topics within various disciplines that are more favorable to the use of animation than others. The author gives strong recommendation for thorough research to be undertaken to discover more effective ways of using animation in CBI and utilizing the same in various disciplines.
Description of the Search Strategy and Findings
There was the utilization of the search engine in arriving at the various articles. There were a number of keywords like animation, 3D modeling and instructional use. The main phrase was the ‘instructional uses of 3D modeling and/or animation.’ The phrase was presented to the search engine with 3D modeling without animation, then with an animation without 3D modeling. In addition, there was the combination of 3D modeling and animation, and the combination of 3D modeling or animation in the phrase.
There were a number of findings that were presented by the search engine. Since the writer was looking for articles plain websites wereignored because there was a possibility that they could have been referring to information that was not quite reliable. This being the case focus was put on the portable document format (pdf) documents for which it is easier to locate peer-reviewed articles, reports, book section and conference proceedings. A majority of such documents would show the date of publication, author or authors and the publisher. Such pertinent details would enhance the credibility of the document that one is using in his work.
Having used this search strategy with a number of findings, there was the task of separating what is relevant to what is not relevant to the matter in question. The concentration was not only on articles that were talking about animation and 3D modeling, but the ones that were relating them to their use as instructional material. The ones that were giving their definitions and others that were relating them to other aspects other than learning were irrelevant to the matter at hand. From the listing of more than twelve relevant articles, the writer made a random selection of eight articles.
Literature Review on the Topic
There are a number of similar items that are coming out from the eight articles. The point of focus here is the instructional uses of 3D modeling and /or animation. Most of the articles were giving comparisons to static graphics and text without graphics. In this comparison, animated graphics came out leading in effectiveness, followed by static graphics and then last on the list was text without graphics. They all agreed to the fact that animation had a number of uses in learning. It wasnoted that especially with the sophistication in information technology the need to make use of animations in the field of computer-based instructions delivery became a reality.
Some of these articles were actual research studies undertaken based on specific hypothetical situations with discussions and results that were depicting similarities on their findings. It has beenagreed upon from findings that human beings are more likely to recall concepts portrayed using animated graphics and for a longer period that the ones that are portrayed using plain text. It, in essence, supports the idea of incorporating 3D modeling and animation in instructional material for learning purposes.
There were a number of uses for animation in various disciplines that was common in the articles. Some of these functions are worth mentioning in summary. Animations make instruction and concepts being portrayed more attractive from the student’s point of view. Therefore, the instructor will have a number of choices in trying to make the animation more attractive like the use of different colors, size and bizarre figures and shapes. There is the possibility that the use of cosmetics could distract students from the point that is being put across and therefore have them end up misunderstanding important concepts. The uses of special effects serve in gaining the attention of the learner, and this is important to capture the attention on noticeable facts. Its overuse is not directly proportional to the gaining of the learner’s attention and can be counterproductive.
According to Lowe and Schnotz (2008) animation can be used to serve as a motivational function where for example if is computer aided learning a dancing bear could appear when the learner gets a correct answer and one that is collapsed could appear for wrong answers. The designer has to exercise caution on the type of animations selected for specific purposes. An attractive and colorful animation for an incorrect answer could reinforce the incorrect response. Therefore, it is significantly important to use the right animation for the right answer in order to achieve the desired effects.
The main purpose and most significant one is the use of animation as part of the demonstration strategy. It would then aid in the retention of the information presented for a longer time compared to the case where one is using text only or static graphics for presentation. In a number of circumstances, animation can be used to aid text in the expounding of an idea or a concept. For example, it can be used in demonstrating an explosive reaction in chemistry that cannot be in the laboratory because of the danger that can be posed to the learners.
Finally, there is the use of animation for clarification purposes. In this case, it is used to aid the learner in understanding abstract concepts and not providing additional information. An animated graph can be used to represent the relationship between two variables to aid learners in understanding how a change in one variable affects changes in the other variable. In conclusion, teachers are encouraged to utilize 3D modeling and animation in learning in order to achieve better results (Sarris & Strintzis. 2005). It would be that this takes so much input, but the final results justify the effort utilized, and it makes learning more interesting.
Betrancourt, M. (n.d.). Chapter 18. The Animation and Interactivity Principles in Multimedia Learning. Geneva University.
Betrancourt, M., & Chassot, A. (n.d.). Making Sense of Animation: How do Children Explore Multimedia Instruction?
Gill, D. V. (2006). Student Learning Through Engaged Use of 3-D Modeling and Animation Software in a High School Art Class. Marilyn Zurmuehlen Working Papers in Art Education.
Lin, H. (2011). Facilitating Learning from Animated Instruction: Effectiveness of Questions and Feedback as Attention-directing Strategies. Educational Technology & Society, 31-42.
Lowe, R. K. (2004). Animation and Learning: Value for Money? Perth.
Lowe, R., & Schnotz, W. (2008). Learning with animation: Research implications for design. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mapson, K. H., Ernst, J. V., & Clark, A. C. (2012). Developing 3D Modeling Courses for Online Teaching: Instructional Technologies to Consider. Texas: Galveston.
Morrison, J. B., & Tversky, B. (2001). The (In) Effectiveness of Animation in Instruction. Short Talks, 377-378.
Sarris, N., & Strintzis, M. G. (2005). 3d modeling and animation: Synthesis and analysis techniques for the human body. Hershey PA: IRM Press.
Weiss, R. E., Knowlton, D. S., & Morrison, G. R. (2002). Principles for using animation in Computer-Based Instruction: Theoretical Heuristics for Effective Learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 465-477.