Using animations to support student learning in undergraduate physiology

Daniel J. Peart*, Karen M. Keane, Georgia Allen, Claire Bruce-Martin, Penny L. S. Rumbold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate if videos created by teaching staff had a positive impact on student learning of integrative physiological concepts. Eighteen undergraduate students enrolled on a sport and exercise science degree attended an introduction to immunology short course. All students were taught together and then split into two groups stratified by performance on a recent summative assessment. One group used the taught materials to prepare for a test, and the other group was provided with three animations alongside the taught materials. All students sat matching tests on the day of the course and repeated the test 1 week later. The intervention group scored on average 22% (95% CI 11, 33) higher than the control group on test one. The scores from both groups reduced by approximately 10% on test two. Results on the multiple-choice questions were comparable between groups, with the main difference observed in short answer questions. Students in the intervention group identified that the animations helped to simplify processes by providing a more visual way of learning. This may suggest that the videos are most efficacious for helping the understanding of biological processes rather than the recollection of facts or information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-442
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number4
Early online date6 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2022


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