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How Does Animation-based Learning Affect Students' Achievements and Attitudes Towards Electronics?

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Integration of Research and Education in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.700.1 - 25.700.8



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Paper Authors


Aharon Gero Technion - Israel Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Aharon Gero holds a B.A. in physics, a B.Sc. in electrical engineering, a M.Sc. in electrical engineering, and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, all from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. In addition, he has a M.B.A. from the University of Haifa, Israel. Gero is a faculty member at the Department of Education in Technology and Science of the Technion. His research focuses on electrical engineering education and interdisciplinary education that combines physics with electronics, such as electro-optics and microelectronics education.

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Wishah Zoabi Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

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Wishah Zoabi received a B.Sc. in technology and science education in 2008, from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and she is now completing the final step in getting her master's degree in technology and science education at the Technion. In addition, she is a lecturer at the Department of Electronics of Ort Braude College, Israel. Her research focuses on animation-based learning of electronic devices for practical engineering students.

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Nissim Sabag Ort Braude College of Engineering

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Nissim Sabag is a Senior Lecturer, Department of EEE, and Chair, Collegial Committee of Academic Affairs, Ort Braude College, Israel. Sebag received eight prizes for outstanding member of the academic staff (2004-2010), and is Program Manager of interdisciplinary programs (more than $20 million), ELBIT computers, Israel (1983-1989). His academic activity comprises EEE as well as technology education, particularly project-based learning. Recent Publications: "Methodology of Change Assimilation in Technology Education – Case Study," (with Dupelt) IEEE Transactions on Education, accepted for publication 2011. "Engineering Thinking: The Experts’ Perspective," (with Waks, Trotskovsky, & Hazan) International Journal of Engineering Education. (2011). His academic education includes a B.Sc.E.E (1982), Second B.Sc. (1995), M.Sc. (1998), and Ph.D. (2002) in technology and science education at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.

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How Does Animation-Based Learning Affect Students' Attitudes Towards Electronics? One of the fundamental subjects taught in electronics is the bipolar junction transistor(BJT), a topic that requires a firm knowledge of mathematics and physics. Students studyingtowards a practical engineering degree in electronics often face great difficulty when studyingthe BJT, as they lack the necessary scientific background. The authors have therefore recently developed a new computerized animation to assist suchstudents in understanding the dynamic processes of the BJT in its three modes of operation:cut-off, forward-active, and saturation. The paper describes the results of a study that compared the attitudes towards electronicsand academic achievements of students who learned about the BJT through animation(experimental group) with those of student who learned using static drawings andsummarizing notes from the blackboard (control group). The research population comprised41 students who in 2011 were studying towards a practical engineering degree in electronicsat a leading college and were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Aquantitative approach was applied based on a pretest-posttest control group design. Thepretest findings showed no significant differences between the two groups’ attitudes andachievements. The posttest results, however, indicated that students who learned BJT throughanimation gained a significantly better understanding than those who learned according to thetraditional format. Moreover, students in the experimental group exhibited significantly morepositive attitudes towards electronics, as measured on a Likert-type scale, compared withthose exhibited by the control group. Students who learned about the BJT through animationfound electronics to be more interesting and had stronger feelings of competence than didtheir peers from the control group. We recommend that our colleagues include animations, developed with an eye toward thestudents' background, when teaching the operation principles of electronic devices such as theBJT.ReferencesDeci, E. L., Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., & Ryan R. M. (1991). Motivation andEducation: The Self-Determination Perspective. Educational Psychologist, 26, 325-346.Karmalkar, S. (1999). Simple unified elucidations of some semiconductor device phenomena.IEEE Transactions on Education, 42, 323 – 327.Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Animation as an aid to multimedia learning.Educational Psychology Review, 14, 87-99.Mayer, R. E, Hegarty, M., Mayer, S., & Campbell, J. (2005). When static mediapromote active learning: annotated illustrations versus narrated animations inmultimedia instruction. Journal of experimental psychology: Applied, 11, 256-265.Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classicdefinitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54-67.Sihar, S., Aziz, S. H., & Sulaiman, Z. A. (2011). Design and development ofsemiconductor courseware for undergraduate students. Journal of Applied Sciences, 11,883-887.Tversky, B., Bauer-Morrison, J., & Betrancourt, M. (2002). Animation:can it facilitate? International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 57,247-262.

Gero, A., & Zoabi, W., & Sabag, N. (2012, June), How Does Animation-based Learning Affect Students' Achievements and Attitudes Towards Electronics? Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21457

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