Lilienfield LS and Broering NC. Computers as teachers: learning from animations. The American Journal of Physiology. 1994 Jun;266(6 Pt 3):S47-54

PMID: 8017519


The effectiveness of an interactive multimedia computer program, the "Electronic Textbook in Human Physiology," in improving the knowledge of students studying cardiovascular physiology was determined from scores on tests given before and immediately after completion of a two-hour animation program on the Cardiac Cycle and Introduction to Electrocardiography and by comparison of performance on a final examination taken later with their unexposed (control) classmates. Unsigned comments on the use of the program were obtained from all participants and were universally laudatory. A marked and significant improvement in the immediate posttest compared with the pretest scores was found. More importantly, the students who had used the computer program achieved a significantly higher grade in the cardiovascular section of the final exam than their (control) classmates. Several possible explanations of the results are offered; the most likely one is that the use of the computer program facilitated learning. The implications of this, especially for curriculum planning, are discussed.