Weaving Together Literacies


Out of Stanford research, ” designed and built a web application allowing students to read and write interactive fiction and a curriculum weaving the two literacies together.  A study evaluating the curriculum found modest adoption of literacy practices from each domain. Our qualitative observations suggest a mechanism for how each literacy can support the other: . .”

Chris Proctor and Paulo Blikstein. 2017. Interactive fiction: Weaving together literacies of text and code. In Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 555-560. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3078072.3084324


Some questions about “learning” outcomes

In the following thesis the author investigated the effects of using tablets on learning.  The important take away from this study is that the researcher found no effect on success rate nor on grades.  However, the students using tablet learning devices were able to display other types of learning and its effects.  Most notably the students who used tablets conducted independent research, shared their ideas with peers and in the opinion of the researcher created new knowledge.  Specifically, users reported that the tablets’ portability and storage capacity for resources enhanced usage outside the classroom and enabled communications and information sharing with peers.   Such learning outcomes are not part of standardized testing and not always included as a grading criteria but are extremely desired in the work place.



“Interestingly, the tablet devices did not have any effect on the success rate and quality of the student grades for the respective courses they were enrolled in. The study also showed that the tablet devices were a good sharing and knowledge creating tool as the devices enabled students to conduct independent research, share ideas with peers and create new form of knowledge from the concepts they learnt.”



Richard Mayer’s Using Multimedia for eLearning

Mayer, R. E. (2017Using multimedia for e-learningJournal of Computer Assisted Learning, doi: 10.1111/jcal.12197.

“This paper reviews 12 research-based principles for how to design computer-based multimedia instructional materials to promote academic learning, starting with the multimedia principle (yielding a median effect size of d = 1.67 based on five experimental comparisons), which holds that people learn better from computer-based instruction containing words and graphics rather than words alone.”

journalAlso includes descriptions of the principles for multi-media principles that affect learning.

  • Coherence principle: Eliminate extraneous material.
  • Signaling principle: Highlight essential material.
  • Redundancy principle: Do not add on-screen text to narrated graphics.
  • Spatial contiguity principle: Please printed words next to corresponding graphics.
  • Temporal contiguity: Present narration simultaneously with corresponding graphics.
  • Segmenting principle: Break lesson into to self-paced parts.
  • Pre-training principle: Provide pre-training in key terms.
  • Modality principle: Use spoken text rather than printed text with graphics.
  • Personalization principle: Use conversational language.
  • Voice principle: Use appealing human voice.
  • Embodiment: Show on-screen agents that use human-like gestures

Fun for students, encourages research

This article explains how to use some free apps and pictures of scientists, authors, historical figures, etc., and have students script information about them.   The free apps allow the recording of the scripts using their own voice or the voice of their choosing and then animating a still photograph so that it appears to be speaking the words.   Students would pick up numerous skills and facts in this assignment and probably have quite a bit of fun.  Engaging way to research and report.

J Microbiol Biol Educ. 2017 Apr; 18(1): 18.1.90.
Published online 2017 Apr 21. doi:  10.1128/jmbe.v18i1.1228
Photo Animation Brings Scientists Back to Life in the Classroom

Animation in Stem courses

This research report is available in full online.
The researchers used a quasi-expermental design with three groups.   They tested for various demographic variables within the groups and there were no differences.  The two experimental groups had significantly higher scores in the subject matter tested.  Nice links to 24 free animations from the North Dakota State University.   The virtual cell animation collection Available to download to mobile devices.  Also downloads with captions are available on the website.
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Home About Current Issue Submit Register Journals.ASM.org Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
“The instructional animation used in this study was entitled “ATP Synthase (Gradients)” and is a part of the Virtual Cell Animation Collection (NSF awards: 0086142, 0618766, and 0918955). This set of multimedia resources was developed using the research-based principles of multimedia design (4950), and they are free to use for both instructors and students.  The Virtual Cell Animation Collection currently consists of 24 animations available for either streaming or downloading in multiple formats from the project’s website (http://vcell.ndsu.edu/animations/).
J Microbiol Biol Educ. 2017 Apr; 18(1): 18.1.50.
Published online 2017 Apr 21. doi:  10.1128/jmbe.v18i1.1223
Learning about Chemiosmosis and ATP Synthesis with Animations Outside of the Classroom

Main topic, animation and learning

Good open access article explaining the research on using animations for instruction with significant results in physiology for the experimental groups.  Study took place at an army medical college and used McGraw Hill medical animations.Image 2017-05-18 at 12.35.49 PM

EFFECT OF COMPUTER BASED ANIMATIONS ON LEARNING OF PHYSIOLOGY Muhammad Alamgir Khan, Irfan Shukr, Sohail Sabir*, Khadija Qamar Army Medical College/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Rawalpindi Pakistan

Multimedia plus Flipped Classroom

In a flipped classroom trial, chemistry students passed at at 85% rate as opposed to 35 to 60% rate.  This lectureless hybrid used iClickers for quizzing during the class portion and used “a set of short instructor-made videos, podcasts, an online homework system and  WordPress website. …They found that students watched videos multiple times and even rewound and slowed the speed in order to master the relevant points.”