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Instructional animation versus static pictures: A meta-analysis


Learning and Instruction Volume 17, Number 6, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


A meta-analysis of 26 primary studies, yielding 76 pair-wise comparisons of dynamic and static visualizations, reveals a medium-sized overall advantage of instructional animations over static pictures. The mean weighted effect size on learning outcome is d=0.37 (95% CI 0.25–0.49). Moderator analyses indicate even more substantial effect sizes when the animation is representational rather than decorational (d=0.40, 95% CI 0.26–0.53), when the animation is highly realistic, e.g., video-based (d=0.76, 95% CI 0.39–1.13), and/or when procedural-motor knowledge is to be acquired (d=1.06, 95% CI 0.72–1.40). The results are in line with contemporary theories of cognitive load and multimedia learning, and they have practical implications for instructional design.


Höffler, T.N. & Leutner, D. (2007). Instructional animation versus static pictures: A meta-analysis. Learning and Instruction, 17(6), 722-738. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved August 8, 2022 from .

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