Science Content Knowledge Gained through the Use of Slowmation

By David Macdonald and Garry Hoban.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

“Slowmation” (abbreviated from “Slow Motion Animation) is a new yet simple form of stopmotion animation which enables learners to create their own animations of science concepts. This paper presents a study of preservice elementary teachers in a science method classes (14 in one class in 2009) to ascertain if they improved their science knowledge when using a three phase framework requiring them to: (i) create their own Slowmation about a science concept; (ii) upload them to a web site ( so that they could be reviewed by a peer and a content expert; and (iii) if necessary, modify the animation and reupload it to be published on the Slowmation website. The two research questions were: (i) How did the three phase framework change the preservice teachers’ science content knowledge and (ii) What was the value and motivation of the web site, for uploading and reviewing the animations? Qualitative data (three interviews, two concept maps and the animations as knowledge artifacts) collected from each preservice teacher showed that all of them increased their science content knowledge as a result of using the framework. Uploading the Slowmations to the website was successful for the students and enabled them to view other animations and created a social motivation to make and improve their animations. Getting preservice teachers to create Slowmations is a new way for them to engage with science content knowledge and is a new way for them to represent their science understandings.

Keywords: Slowmation, Science, Teacher Education, Qualitative, Constructionism

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp.319-330. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.365MB).

David Macdonald

Higher Degree by Research Student, Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong, NWS, Wollongong, Australia

David Macdonald is a Learning Designer in the Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources, University of Wollongong. He is completing a higher degree by research which focuses on the impact of the internet on sharing one’s work, and is the project manager of an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant for 2008-2010 entitled “Generating Science Content Knowledge through Digital Animation in a Knowledge-building Community of Preservice Teachers.”

Dr. Garry Hoban

Associate Professor of Education, Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

Dr. Garry Hoban is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is currently the Science Education Coordinator for the Faculty of Education. Garry’s research interests focus on teachers’ long term professional learning and the use of animation for teaching educational concepts supported by ICT.


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