Simultaneous and sequential presentation of realistic and schematic instructional dynamic visualizations
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of combining realistic and schematic dynamic visualizations of mitosis. Ninety-two students from four different biology classes were randomly assigned to one of four conditions. Participants in the simultaneous condition studied both a realistic and a schematic visualization of mitosis that were presented simultaneously; participants in the sequential condition studied these two visualizations sequentially; and participants in the schematic-only condition and the realistic-only condition studied only one of the visualizations. Afterwards, participants made a verbal and visual recognition test, and rated the difficulty and comprehensibility of the visualizations. The results showed that the conditions did not differ on verbal and visual recognition. Only on the schematic questions of the visual recognition test, the realistic-only condition scored significantly lower than the other three conditions. Also, no differences were found on the difficulty and comprehensibility ratings. It is concluded that studying multiple representations of a dynamic process is not necessarily better than studying only one representation.