Examining the Effects of Animated Narratives of Chinese Characters as a Pedagogical Tool to Enhance Learning Experiences and Outcomes


Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipientJia Fei, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Project teamXiaotong Zhang, graphic designer, and research assistant, TBD

Timeframe: June 2021 to July 2022

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: CHIN 100 – Beginner Mandarin 1

Description: For this project, I want to investigate whether developing teaching materials and tools on orthographic knowledge and character narratives helps to enrich our curriculum. My goal is to explore using a visual representation of 20 to 30 character narratives in the form of short animations for the most frequently used Chinese characters. I plan to pilot these animated narratives of characters in the hybrid beginner Mandarin course and evaluate their effectiveness as a pedagogical tool to enhance learning motivation, experiences, and outcomes on character recognition and writing.

Questions addressed

  • Can animated character narratives improve learners’ understanding, recognizing and writing of Chinese characters?
  • Can animated character narratives improve learners’ motivation and experiences?
  • Can animated character narratives improve and inform instruction?

Knowledge sharing: The series of digital narratives will be posted on an online platform (i.e., google drive; webpage, etc). I will share this resource with my colleagues through departmental workshops, meetings, and local conferences. I will be glad to share the resource with Chinese language teaching colleagues in other post-secondary institutions locally, and internationally by attending academic conferences.