“Data dumping, after the test you forget it all”: Seeking Deep Approaches to Science Learning with Slowmation (Student-generated Animations)


  • Garry Hoban


It is not uncommon for university students to rote learn facts and formulae in order to memorise information for a test. Unfortunately, these surface approaches to learning are encouraged by the complex and inflexible teaching and learning system embedded in university courses. Where possible, academics should encourage students to develop a deep approach to learning using innovative teaching strategies in their subjects. “Slowmation” (abbreviated from Slow Animation) is an innovative teaching strategy that encourages students to design and make their own narrated digital animation that is played slowly at 2 frames/second to explain a concept. It is a simplified way of making animations that has been developed over the last four years and is one way for students to engage deeply with science content. This strategy encourages such an approach because students design a sequence of five multimodal representations which involves them thinking about a concept in many different ways. These digital animations explaining science concepts can be shared and critiqued by other students or instructors.