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Facilitating Understanding of Movements in Dynamic Visualizations: An Embodied Perspective


Educational Psychology Review Volume 23, Number 4, ISSN 1040-726X


Learners studying mechanical or technical processes via dynamic visualizations often fail to build an accurate mental representation of the system's movements. Based on embodied theories of cognition assuming that action, perception, and cognition are closely intertwined, this paper proposes that the learning effectiveness of dynamic visualizations could be enhanced by grounding the movements of the presentation in people's own bodily experiences during learning. We discuss recent research on embodied cognition and provide specific strategies for how the body can be used to ground movements during the learning process: (1) making or observing gestures, (2) manipulating and interacting with objects, (3) using body metaphors, and (4) using eye movements as retrieval cues. Implications for the design of dynamic visualizations as well as directions for future research are presented.


de Koning, B.B. & Tabbers, H.K. (2011). Facilitating Understanding of Movements in Dynamic Visualizations: An Embodied Perspective. Educational Psychology Review, 23(4), 501-521. Retrieved February 19, 2020 from .

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