Thursday, January 31, 2013

Comic Books May Be the Future of Textbooks

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I've been in love with comic books since I was a kid. I'm also totally into learning things so I was totally jazzed to read that a new study has shown the power of using comic books to help people learn. In "OU study shows graphic novel readers retain more information versus traditional textbook users," Matthew Price reports:


In the experiment, one set of participants read a short excerpt from “Atlas Black: The Complete Adventure,” a graphic novel created to teach key management concepts using the storyline of two students aspiring to start their own business. A second set of participants read material from a traditional textbook covering the same topics.
After reading, participants were given a short quiz about the material covered in the excerpts. In the study, the participants who had read the graphic novel excerpt were better able to recognize direct quotes than those who read the traditional textbook.

In a companion study, 114 students assigned a graphic novel in a senior-level business course were asked to provide feedback regarding their experiences with the book. More than 80 percent of students indicated that the graphic novel compared favorably to traditional textbooks.

“With that kind of information, that really has a lot of implications about how we should be teaching business, how we should be teaching a lot of things, really,” Short said.

Short said he believes his study is the first of its kind in business or any field that directly compares the impact of traditional textbooks and graphic novel/comic type content. He'll host an exhibit about using graphic novels in education at Friday's TEDxOU at the University of Oklahoma.
I know that for me, despite my love of reading and learning, slogging through textbooks was THE WORST! It was especially irritating when the professors would cover nothing but what was in the book during classes, on the assumption that no one was reading it. It definitely felt like a waste of time, most of the time. How much more exciting it would be to have colorful, visually-appealing texts to read? I really hope this catches on!

Related posts:
Why I Love Comic Books
How Our Fantasies Help Us
Jackie Ormes: The First African-American Woman Cartoonist
Comics I've Been Reading Lately

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