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Visualizing time in evolution
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7267-0773
Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Time is a difficult concept to define and understand, let alone time required for evolutionary events such as speciation. In fact, time scale is considered as a threshold concept in teaching and learning evolution. One way of addressing this issue might be via visualizations, which offers different ways of representing evolutionary time. The aim of this exploratory design study was to investigate how various representations of time in an animation affect the way participant’s apprehended different temporal aspects of hominin evolution. Two variables, i) number of timelines with different scales and ii) mode of default animated time pace – were combined to yield four combinations of time representations; either constant throughout the animation, or the animated time pace decreased as the animation reached the later parts. The animation used in the study was specifically produced for the research purpose with a design inspired by similar visualizations exhibited in museums and available online. It was designed as a map, superimposed by animated areas representing the appearance, dynamic distribution and disappearance of a chosen sample of different species, or groups of species in hominin evolution. The results reveal that “finding points in time” close the end of the animation, where the sequence of events appeared very quickly, were harder for groups working with animations with only one timeline. We also found that the ability to apprehend concurrent events can be impaired if several timelines are displayed and the animated time pace is relatively high. The ability to estimate a time interval was harder for groups working with animations with only one timeline, especially at the end of the animation where the sequence of events occurred quickly. To make correct comparisons of time intervals was relatively independent of which animation that was used with one notable exception: groups working with an animation featuring several timelines and a decreasing animated time pace, performed worst in comparing events with a duration that transgressed parts of the timeline with different scales. This result indicates that temporal scale-shift may interfere with the perception of time. Implications for teaching and outreach are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-74375OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-74375DiVA, id: diva2:1317786
Conference
XII Conference of European Researchers in Didactics of Biology (ERIDOB 2018), Zaragoza, Spain, July 2-6, 2018
Available from: 2019-05-23 Created: 2019-05-23 Last updated: 2019-05-29Bibliographically approved

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Stenlund, Jörgen

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf