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Comics are popular with adolescents because of their features of humor, narrative, and visual imagery. The purposes of this study were to examine the learning outcomes and emotional perceptions of reading a science comic book and a science text booklet for students of different levels of achievement, and to explore the main factors of the two media which attract high-school students to learn science. A mixed-method quasi-experimental design was adopted. The participants were 697 grade ten students from eight schools with different levels of academic achievement. Two similar classes in each of the eight schools were assigned as the comic group or the text group. The results indicated that the science comic book benefited medium achievers more than the science text booklet did, but the contrary result was found for the high achievers. In comparison, the two media benefited the low achievers equally, but both had only a limited effect due to the students’ lack of prior knowledge. We conclude four kinds of evidence, including perceived difficulty of comprehension, reasons for interest/disinterest, emotional perceptions of learning science, and learning time, to support the phenomenon of the learning benefit of media specific to certain achievers’ science learning.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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