This project was funded by the Program Council for Fundamental Educational Research of The Netherlands Initiative for Education Research, which resides under the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (PROO # 411-10-905) and has 4 subprojects:
1. Grammar animations: Lysanne Post (EUR; PhD student 2011-2015)
Title: Effects of Observing and Imitating Gestures on Learning (Artificial) Grammar Rules from Instructional Animations
Observing and imitating gestures has shown benefits in terms of reduced cognitive load and improved learning or performance. However, it is unclear whether these benefits also apply to learning abstract content from dynamic materials. We therefore investigated whether observing and imitating gestures would positively affect learning from animations demonstrating a(n artificial) grammar rule (sentence transformation). Results of three experiments with 10-13 year old children will be presented.
Experiment 1 investigated effects of simultaneously observing and imitating gestures during the animation of a sentence transformation compared to no observation/imitation. This did not affect learning for children with higher general language ability, and it even hampered learning (i.e., higher cognitive load and lower test performance) for children with lower ability.
Experiment 2 investigated the effects of imitating the observed steps in the transformation after each step in the animation. Children who imitated gestures invested less mental effort (an indicator of lower cognitive load); however, their test performance was lower (although not significantly) compared to children in the no gesture control condition.
Experiment 3 investigated (within-subjects) the effects of imitating the observed steps after the entire animation. Children saw a demonstration of the transformation being made with a LEAP-motion (an infra-red device that registers gestures) of two different rules and they either imitated or did not imitate one of the rules with the LEAP-motion (whether they imitated the first or second rule was counterbalanced). Imitation had a positive effect when the first rule was imitated and this carried over to performance on the second rule (that was not imitated).
2. Math animations: Michael Wiemers(RU; PhD student 2011-2015)
Title: Embodied representations of number in children and adults
3. Science animations and problem solving: Wim Pouw (EUR; PhD student 2012-2016)
Title: Embodied and Embedded Problem Solving in Primary School Children and Adults
Pouw, W. T. J. L., Van Gog, T., & Paas, F. (2014). An embedded and embodied cognition review of instructional manipulatives. Educational Psychology Review, 26, 51-72. doi:10.1007/s10648-014-9255-5
Pouw, W. T. J. L., De Nooijer, J., Van Gog, T., Zwaan, R., & Paas, F. (2014). Toward a more embedded/extended perspective on the cognitive function of gestures. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, doi: 359.10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00359
4. EEG: Lea Hald (RU; postdoc; 2015-2016)