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Department of Communication and Media Research Science Communication

Science Communication: Learning From Science News via Interactive and Animated Data Visualizations

Relying on a multimethod approach with eye tracking, cued retrospective reporting, and a memory test, this experimental study (N = 45) shows how individuals engage with static, interactive, and interactive-animated data visualizations embedded in online science news. The results suggest that interactivity and animation engage participants most strongly: The second part of the news article is fixated the longest by participants exposed to the interactive-animated visualization, which translates into higher learning outcomes. However, the dynamic process of news reception requires a nuanced understanding of how users attend to visual and textual parts of a message to make informed statements about their effectiveness.

Greussing, E., Kessler, S. H., & Boomgaarden, H. G. (2020). Learning from science news via interactive and animated data visualizations: An investigation combining eye tracking, online survey, and cued retrospective reporting. Science Communication. DOI: 10.1177/1075547020962100