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Moving fish help shed light on learning

Media release

Unique research from Curtin University of Technology is using animated fish to find out how people learn.

Curtin School of Education Professor of Learning Technologies, Richard Lowe, is using computer generated 3D images of moving fish as part of his research.

“With the advent of the internet and online learning, more animation is being used on the web to help people learn,” Professor Lowe said.

“Much of this animation is done intuitively and sometimes conflicts with our capacity to process information and learn.

“We are researching how to design animation so that it can help learning.”

Professor Lowe’s research is part of international projects with the University of Bourgogne, France and the Knowledge Media Research Centre in Tübingen, Germany.

“Being able to understand and identify movements and locomotion is a very complex skill,” he said.

“We are using eye-tracking to find out how people process movement by showing them animated moving fish.

“Our findings show when they are forced to make inferences they become more analytical and learn more efficiently.

“Animation is used for teaching and learning in many areas such as education, medicine, finance, and engineering.

“Our research will provide the fundamental guidelines for designing effective animations that are good for learning.”

Contact: Professor Richard Lowe, Curtin School of Education, 08 9266 2186,