Supporting learning with interactive multimedia through active integration of representations.
When learners explore dynamic and interactive visualisations they are often not able to interact with them in a systematic and goal-oriented way. Frequently, even supporting learners in processes of discovery learning does not lead to better learning outcomes. This can be due to missing pre-requisite knowledge such as the coherent mental integration of the pictorial and symbolic sources of information. In order to support learners in this process, we encouraged them to interactively and externally relate different static sources of information to each other before exploring dynamic and interactive visualisations. We evaluated the benefit of this instructional support in two experimental studies concerning the domains of statistics and mechanics. It revealed that the active integration of static representations before processing dynamic visualisations resulted in better performance and can provide a basis for a more systematic and goal-oriented experimentation behaviour during simulation-based discovery learning.
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