Examining the Effects of Digital Animation
Integrated into the Mathematics Teaching
Graduate Institute of Mathematics and Science Education, National Chiayi University, Taiwan
Submission: February 04, 2019; Published: May 08, 2019
*Corresponding author: Der-Ching Yang, Life-Time Distinguished Professor, Graduate Institute of Mathematics and Science Education, National Chiayi University, 85 Wen Lung, Ming-Hsiung, Chiayi, 621, Taiwan
How to cite this article:Der-Ching Yang. Examining the Effects of Digital Animation Integrated into the Mathematics Teaching. Ann Soc Sci Manage Stud.
2019; 3(3): 555613. DOI: 10.19080/ASM.2019.03.555613
The purpose of this study was to examine the students’ learning effect when the digital animation activities were integrated into mathematics teaching. Generally, the normal mathematics classroom is tedious and abstruse for students, which may cause students’ dislike to mathematics. Three sixth-grade students joined the case study. The results showed that using digital animation could promote students’ interest in mathematics learning and improve students’ concepts of mathematics. The integration could make the mathematics course more interesting and more connecting to daily life situations.
Nowadays, with advanced technology and universal internet, many new developments of computers or calculators can be used to assist mathematics teaching. In addition, research studies indicated that technology can enhance students’ mathematics concept development efficiently [1,2]. The integration of digital animation into mathematics teaching can bring a new bright to mathematics class. Earlier studies pointed out that integrating digital animation into mathematics classrooms can help students’ mathematics learning and raise their mathematics learning interest [3-5]. To sum up, researchers claim that integrating digital animate activities of number sense into mathematics classroom can aid students’ number sense ability development and learning interest .
Based on the above motivation, this study aimed to investigate the situation of integrating digital animation into mathematics classroom and observed the benefit of this kind of teaching method for students’ mathematics learning
People in this generation can’t live without technology from earlier computer to recent smart phone, and even Wi-Fi as well, which means that technology integrates into our life insensibly. The significant invention also affects modern classrooms, which is full of advanced and various technology. These tools can make
teaching more convenient for teachers and students. It is common for computer projector used in every classroom and with universal of electronic interactive whiteboard, electronic book bag, and IRS classroom immediate feedback system; the blueprint of “future classroom” is more evidently. Therefore, the technology is used as teaching assistant tools in the mathematics classrooms which is common sense [1,7].
Why is teaching number sense for elementary school students so important? Several reasons can be used to highlight its importance. First, number sense is highly connected to our daily life situations. For example, children need to make sense the meanings of 1 meter, 1 km of 1 kg and so on . Second, number sense encourages students to develop flexible and efficient approaches to solve problems [6,8,9]. For example, when students were asked to find the answer to 24×25÷ (8×5), children usually tended to use rule-based method to calculate the answer: 24×25 = 600, 8×5 = 40, and then 600÷40 = 15
However, if students have good number sense, they should quickly find the relationships among these numbers. This will help them quickly find the answer, such as 24 ÷ 8 = 3 and 25 ÷ 5 = 5 and then the answer is 3 × 5 = 15, which is more flexible and efficient way to decide the answer. Third, earlier studies showed that number sense is a good predictor for future mathematics achievement to primary school children Jordan, Glutting, Ramineni (2010) Yang & Li (2008). For example, the findings of Yang & Li
(2008) showed that number sense is significantly correlated with
fifth grade students’ mathematics achievement. Fourth, earlier
studies showed that mathematics teaching overemphasized on
standard written algorithm may limit students’ thinking and
reasoning, however number sense can promote students to
develop flexible thinking and reasoning 
If teaching activities and content cannot attract learners’
attention, they will be distracted easily which leads to decrease
their learning motivation and learning effect. Earlier study
suggested that the use of technology can attract students’
learning interest and concentration . Interest is always the
most important issue to trigger learning; therefore, in a successful
teaching, the interaction between teacher and students should
be active. According to students’ degree and need, teacher can
observe students’ performance by interaction and further can
adjust their own teaching method. Teacher only has little time
to interact with students using traditional lecture, but if teacher
use computer technology, they can let interaction become more
Because mathematics concepts become more difficult and
tedious in higher grade levels, many students have given up
mathematics insidiously once they enter higher grade levels. If
we can use technology efficiently in mathematics classes, then
we can raise students’ learning motivation and learning interest.
In addition, if we can let students’ concentration focus on the
mathematics learning as well as they play video games, learning
mathematics would not be a nightmare for students anymore. As
a matter of fact, the use of interactive media can support students’
learning [10,11]. Assisted by information technology and
multimedia teaching mode, learning mathematics is not merely
an abstract thinking system but a concrete and visible method.
Integrating information technology into mathematics classroom
can change the way teacher teaches which is one-way mode to
Three (S1, S2, and S3) six-grade students from one public
elementary school from southern Taiwan. Were selected to join
this study. S1, S2, and S3 belonged to low, middle, and highlevel
mathematics performance based on the mathematics test
scores from school tests. After activities, we started to interview
immediately, and the time for interview was about 50 minutes for
The interview outline and questions were designed by the
author based on the research purpose. The interview outline for
students focused on the students’ feeling about the use of digital
animation and the effects of mathematics learning. In addition,
the interview instrument included eight items and described as
a) Comparing with previous studying method, what
differences do you feel?
b) Did you like mathematics class, and why?
c) How do you feel that teacher use digital animation
d) Do you like mathematics more if teacher uses digital
animation materials, and why?
e) Do you feel there are any differences between previous
and now learning atmosphere in class, and why?
f) Is there any inspiration for your mathematics studying,
g) Is there any help for your mathematics concept if teacher
uses the digital animation materials, and why?
h) Do you still hope that teacher uses the digital animation
materials in class, and why?
During the interview, the processes of interviewing were
recorded based on the agreement of participants. After the
interview, the interview data were transcribed into verbal scripts.
The procedure of collecting, transcribing and analyzing
data was loyal to the original recording files and we also used
triangulation to examine interview context, recording of
participants’ problem-solving and so on. In order to reduce
researchers’ bias, we must assure that all the data were close to
participants’ thought. Therefore, this study had good reliability
Researcher inquired S1 the question “Comparing with previous
studying method, what differences do you feel?” followings were
S1’s original responses.
Q: OK, that’s all right, well…Comparing with teacher’s previous
studying method, what differences do you feel? In order words, is
there any difference between previous teaching method and now
digital animation teaching method?
S1: Digital method is clearer.
As for participant’s answer “It is clearer”, we wanted to know
more about the answer so keeping asked for the details:
Q: It is clearer! For example, what part do you think it is clearer?
Q: What part? The half…
The key concept of the digital animation was to compare
the fractional size. “Half” in the context was the process when
comparing fractional size. Students applied 1/2 as a benchmark to
decide which one is bigger or smaller.
Researcher asked S2 to answer the question: “Comparing
with previous studying method, what differences do you feel?”
followings were S2’s original responses.
S2: Yes, animation is more interesting.
Except for interesting, in order to know more about the S2’s
feeling, researcher asked S2 the question “Do you like mathematics
more if teacher uses digital animation materials, and why?”
S2: Mm…I feel that it is not that difficult. It is much more simplify.
Q: Mm…you mean animation makes difficult concept easier to
Q: It makes you easy to learn.
From the above original context, S2 believed that integrating
animation into mathematics classroom not only made
mathematics interesting, but also let mathematical concepts be
easy to understand. As for the understanding, we can analyze the
following original context.
Q: Which part of fraction concepts will help you understand?
(The question refers to comparing number of fraction)
S2: Mm…I will find a common denominator.
Q: Oh, you use the common denominator so what do you feel the
half method to compare number that teacher uses?
S2: It is faster.
From the original context, S2 believed that integrating digital
animation into mathematics classroom helped him understand the
concepts of comparing fractional size. Before presenting digital
animation, participant used to utilize the traditional strategy, but
now S2 could apply the idea of benchmark and agreed that it was
the faster way to solve the problem.
S: More interaction, it is fun if we have interaction.
Q: Oh, so you like the kind of interaction.
From the above discussions, we could find that high achiever
S3 liked digital animation because it provided certain functions
that students could operate by themselves and teacher and
students could discuss together in classroom. To recognize S3’s
thinking about digital animation, researcher asked S3 about her
feelings related to digital animation teaching (Figure 1).
Q: Okay, how do you feel that teacher use the digital animation
Q: Do you feel…
S3: It is kind of interesting.
Q: Anything else except for interesting?
S3: Mm…it seems easier to understand the math concept.
To sum up, three different level students all agreed that with
digital animation, teacher can express the mathematical concepts
clearer, and made tedious mathematics class become more
vivid and interesting. Most important of all, they all agreed that
digital animation materials could help them learn mathematics
We want to know whether students liked mathematics
more by integrating digital animation into mathematics class
or not from this research. Followings were original responses
before presenting digital animation. Their answers were “okay”
Q: Do you use to like mathematics class?
S1: So so!
Q: Well, do you use to like mathematics class?
Q: All right, do you use to like mathematics class?
From the original responses, boring and difficult would
be the reasons that made mathematics class to be not popular
among students no matter what levels of students. However, after
presenting digital animation, students started to like mathematics.
Details as following;
Q: Do you like math after teacher uses digital animation to teach
Q: Ok, use…comparing previous math class, do you a little more
like math when teacher use digital animation to teach math?
Q: It is easier to understand. Well, do you a little more like math
when teacher use digital animation to teach math?
We could find that no matter what levels of students would
like mathematics class more after integrating digital animation
into mathematics class, and obviously they did not reject the new
technology teaching materials.
Because tedious and abstruse are the common sense for
mathematics learning, most students did not like mathematics.
Mathematics is always the last choice for most students. In
addition, the mathematical concepts of grade 5 and 6 are more
complicated so that many students usually give up learning
mathematics. However, using digital animation to assist teaching
and building a realistic situation and interaction between teacher
and students are the method to make mathematical concepts to
be easier to study. Students are not afraid of mathematics class
because of the vivid and interesting learning environment.
Integrating digital animation into mathematics teaching
can trigger students’ learning interest. With learning interest,
students will study mathematics voluntarily. Compare with other
subjects, mathematics is more difficult to learn, so the fundamental
method is to let students have interest in learning mathematics.
In this study, no matter what level of students all accepted
digital animation and the attitude to mathematics from “okay”
becomes “yes”. We noticed that students’ learning interest has
high influence on studying mathematics; therefore, how to raise
students’ learning interest is one of the key issues we must work
on it. From the aspect of triggering students’ learning interest, the
benefit on digital animation teaching materials is quite workable
This paper is a part of a research project supported by
the National Science Council, Taiwan with grant no. NSC
105-2511-S-415-003-MY3. Any opinions expressed here are
those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the
Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan.
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