A theoretical analysis of how segmentation of dynamic visualizations optimizes students' learning

Ingrid Spanjers*, Tamara Van Gog, Jeroen Van Merriënboer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Abstract

    This article reviews studies investigating segmentation of dynamic visualizations (i.e., showing dynamic visualizations in pieces with pauses in between), and discusses two not mutually exclusive processes which might underlie the effectiveness of segmentation. First, cognitive activities needed for dealing with the transience of dynamic visualizations impose extraneous cognitive load, which may hinder learning. Segmentation may reduce the negative effect of this load, by dividing animations into smaller units of information and providing pauses between segments that give students time for the necessary cognitive activities after each of those units of information. Second, event segmentation theory states that people mentally segment dynamic visualizations during perception (i.e., divide the information shown in pieces). Segmentation of dynamic visualisation could cue relevant segments to students, which may aid them in perceiving the structure underlying the process or procedure shown.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)411-423
    Number of pages13
    JournalEducational Psychology Review
    Volume22
    Issue number4
    Early online date10 May 2010
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

    Keywords

    • Dynamic visualizations
    • Animations
    • Segmentation
    • Cognitive load
    • Learning

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