Fostering Pre-Service Teacher Trainees’ Understanding of Membrane Transport with Interactive Computer Animations


Educators often struggle when teaching various membrane transport processes because typically they have only two-dimensional tools to teach something that plays out in four dimensions. Research has demonstrated that visualizing processes in three dimensions aids learning, and animations are effective visualization tools for learners and aid with long-term retention. The purpose of this study was to explore how far the use of computer animations in membrane transport instruction can contribute to pre-service teacher trainees’ understanding of concepts and processes in membrane functions. Two comparable groups of first year pre-service teacher trainees participated: The control group (30 trainees) was taught in the traditional lecture format, while the experimental or animation group (32 trainees) received instructions which were integrated with computer animations. Four instruments were designed and used in the study: a closed form statement based questionnaire, a multiple choice questionnaire, an open ended questionnaire and personal interview. Analysis of the pre-test and post-test results showed that the experimental group had significantly higher scores than the control group. This trend was also reflected in personal interviews. This clearly indicates that computer animations have deepened the understanding of various concepts and processes of membrane transport of experimental group teacher trainees compared to that of control group. On the basis of these findings, it is concluded that animations can provide learners with explicit dynamic information that is either implicit or unavailable in static graphics. Therefore, it is recommended that the use of computer animation, a type of instructional mode which is capable of transforming students from passive receptacles of knowledge into active learners, should be used to teach Biology.

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Mohapatra, A. (2013). Fostering Pre-Service Teacher Trainees’ Understanding of Membrane Transport with Interactive Computer Animations. Creative Education, 4, 640-645. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.410092.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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