A list of academic studies investigating the effects of visual narratives in science communication and education.

This is a work in progress, it is not meant to be exhaustive nor complete. The potential for comics in education has been advocated since the early 1940s but research studying the effects of visual narratives on knowledge acquisition, attitude and engagement with science remains scarce. Here I am trying to collect studies which take an empirical approach to the subject and explore the cognitive mechanisms involved in learnning from comics, rather than collecting every single opinion or report on the use of comics/animations in the classroom. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any comments or recommendations. 

  1. Aleixo, P.A., and Sumner, K. (2017). Memory for biopsychology material presented in comic book format. J. Graph. Nov. Comics 8, 79–88.

  2. Amaral, S.V., Forte, T., Ramalho-Santos, J., and Cruz, M.T.G. da (2015). I Want More and Better Cells! – An Outreach Project about Stem Cells and Its Impact on the General Population. PLOS ONE 10, e0133753.

  3. Bach, B., Riche, N.H., Carpendale, S., and Pfister, H. (2017). The Emerging Genre of Data Comics. IEEE Comput. Graph. Appl. 38, 6–13.

  4. Bach, B., Wang, Z., Farinella, M., Murray-Rust, D., and Henry Riche, N. (2018). Design Patterns for Data Comics. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, (New York, NY, USA: ACM), pp. 38:1–38:12.

  5. Berney, S., and Bétrancourt, M. (2016). Does animation enhance learning? A meta-analysis. Comput. Educ. 101, 150–167.

  6. Cirigliano, M.M. (2012). Exploring the Attitudes of Students Using an Edutainment Graphic Novel as a Supplement to Learning in the Classroom. Sci. Educ. 21, 29–36.

  7. Cohn, N. (2014). The Visual Language of Comics: Introduction to the Structure and Cognition of Sequential Images. (London ; New York: Bloomsbury Academic).

  8. Cohn, N. (2016). The Visual Narrative Reader (Bloomsbury Publishing).

  9. Collver, J., and Weitkamp, E. (2018). Alter egos: an exploration of the perspectives and identities of science comic creators. J. Sci. Commun. 17, A01.

  10. Farinella, M. (2018). The potential of comics in science communication. J. Sci. Commun. 17, Y01.

  11. Frey, N., and Fisher, D. (2008). Teaching Visual Literacy: Using Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Anime, Cartoons, and More to Develop Comprehension and Thinking Skills (Corwin Press).

  12. Höffler, T.N., Prechtl, H., and Nerdel, C. (2010). The influence of visual cognitive style when learning from instructional animations and static pictures. Learn. Individ. Differ. 20, 479–483.

  13. Hosler, J., and Boomer, K.B. (2011). Are Comic Books an Effective Way to Engage Nonmajors in Learning and Appreciating Science?1. CBE Life Sci. Educ. 10, 309–317.

  14. Jee, B.D., and Anggoro, F.K. (2012). Comic Cognition: Exploring the Potential Cognitive Impacts of Science Comics. J. Cogn. Educ. Psychol. 11, 196–208.

  15. Kim, J., Chung, M.S., Jang, H.G., and Chung, B.S. (2016). The use of educational comics in learning anatomy among multiple student groups. Anat. Sci. Educ.

  16. Kraft, S.A., Constantine, M., Magnus, D., Porter, K.M., Lee, S.S.-J., Green, M., Kass, N.E., Wilfond, B.S., and Cho, M.K. (2016). A randomized study of multimedia informational aids for research on medical practices: Implications for informed consent. Clin. Trials Lond. Engl.

  17. Landherr, L.J.T. (2016). The Production of Science Comics To Improve Undergraduate Engineering. Proc. ASEE Northeast Sect. Conf.

  18. Leinfelder, Reinhold, Hamann, Alexandra, Kirstein, Jens, Schleunitz, Marc, Habermann, Theresa, Sousanis, Nick, Teaiwa, Katerina. (2017) Science Meets Comics. Proceedings of the Symposium on Communicating and Designing the Future of Food in the Anthropocene. Zenodo.

  19. Leung, M.M., Green, M.C., Tate, D.F., Cai, J., Wyka, K., and Ammerman, A.S. (2017). Fight for Your Right to Fruit: Psychosocial Outcomes of a Manga Comic Promoting Fruit Consumption in Middle-School Youth. Health Commun. 32, 533–540.

  20. Lin, S.-F., Lin, H., Lee, L., and Yore, L.D. (2015). Are Science Comics a Good Medium for Science Communication? The Case for Public Learning of Nanotechnology. Int. J. Sci. Educ. Part B 5, 276–294.

  21. McNicol, S. (2016). The potential of educational comics as a health information medium. Health Inf. Libr. J.

  22. Muzumdar M. and Pantaleo N.L. (2017) Comics as a Medium for Providing Information on Adult Immunizations, Journal of Health Communication, 22:10, 783-791

  23. Nagata, R. (1999). Learning biochemistry through manga — helping students learn and remember, and making lectures more exciting. Biochem. Educ. 27, 200–203.

  24. Naylor, S., and Keogh, B. (1999). Science on the Underground: an initial evaluation. Public Underst. Sci. 8, 105–122.

  25. Naylor, S., and Keogh, B. (2000). Concept Cartoons in Science Education (Sandbach, Cheshire, UK: Millgate House Publishers).

  26. Short, J.C., Randolph-Seng, B., and McKenny, A.F. (2013). Graphic Presentation An Empirical Examination of the Graphic Novel Approach to Communicate Business Concepts. Bus. Commun. Q. 76, 273–303.

  27. Sousanis, N. (2015). Unflattening (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press).

  28. Spiegel, A.N., McQuillan, J., Halpin, P., Matuk, C., and Diamond, J. (2013). Engaging Teenagers with Science Through Comics. Res. Sci. Educ. 43.

  29. Tatalovic, M. (2009). Science comics as tools for science education and communication: a brief, exploratory study. JCOM - J. Sci. Commun.

  30. Tekle-Haimanot, R., Pierre-Marie, P., Daniel, G., Worku, D.K., Belay, H.D., and Gebrewold, M.A. (2016). Impact of an educational comic book on epilepsy-related knowledge, awareness, and attitudes among school children in Ethiopia. Epilepsy Behav. EB 61, 218–223.

  31. Tjiam, A.M., Holtslag, G., Minderhout, H.M.V., Simonsz-Tóth, B., Vermeulen-Jong, M.H.L., Borsboom, G.J.J.M., Loudon, S.E., and Simonsz, H.J. (2013). Randomised comparison of three tools for improving compliance with occlusion therapy: an educational cartoon story, a reward calendar, and an information leaflet for parents. Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. 251, 321–329.

  32. Tribull, C.M. (2017). Sequential Science: A Guide to Communication Through Comics. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 110, 457–466.

  33. Tversky, B., Morrison, J.B., and Bentracourt, M. (2002). Animation: can it facilitate? Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Stud. 57, 247–262.

  34. Wang, Z., Wang, S., Farinella, M., Murray-Rust, D., Henry Riche, N., and Bach, B. (2019). Comparing Effectiveness and Engagement of Data Comics and Infographics. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, (ACM).

  35. Weitkamp, E., and Burnet, F. (2007). The Chemedian Brings Laughter to the Chemistry Classroom. Int. J. Sci. Educ. 29, 1911–1929.

  36. Wysocki, L. (2018). Farting Jellyfish and Synergistic Opportunities: The Story and Evaluation of Newcastle Science Comic. Comics Grid J. Comics Scholarsh. 8.

  37. Zhao, Z., Marr, R., and Elmqvist, N. (2015). Data Comics: Sequential Art for Data-Driven Storytelling. (Human Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland).