Today I read Animation: can it facilitate? by Tversky, Morrison, and Betrancourt. They argue that animation has little power to “facilitate comprehension, learning, memory, communication and inference” since it violates the Apprehension Principle.

I think they’re right. Comprehension requires time to analyze the graphic and to develop a mental model. An animated graphic is continually presenting new information; interrupting our attempts to understand.

When I’ve used animations or movies in my own learning, I find myself having to compensate by repeating it multiple times or pausing at key frames, etc. In essence, I’m trying to build a static understanding of the animation.

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