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The effect of a computer-based cartooning tool on children’s cartoons and written stories

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journal contribution
posted on 2008-07-08, 15:57 authored by Mark Madden, Paul Chung, Christian DawsonChristian Dawson
This paper reports a study assessing a new computer tool for cartoon storytelling, created by the authors for a target audience in the upper half of the English and Welsh Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6, covering ages 9 to 11 years). The tool attempts to provide users with more opportunities for expressive visualisation than previous educational software; its design was motivated by earlier work connecting “moving image literacy” with print literacy, and it was used here in storywriting preparation work: users first visualised a known story, then wrote their versions of it based on the cartoons they had made. The stories produced are compared with stories written using two other preparation activities, one a pencil-and-paper cartooning exercise and the other a teacher’s normal planning session, which also resulted in a retelling of a known story. The study finds that no one preparation process had a noticeably different effect on the final written stories; however, the cartoons produced with the software are found to be quite different to their paper counterparts, showing a greater variety of character action, pose and interaction, slightly more variety of camera shot distance, and more pictures. Children’s and teachers’ reactions to the software tool are also discussed.



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  • Computer Science


MADDEN, M., CHUNG, P.W.H. and DAWSON, C.W., 2008. The effect of a computer-based cartooning tool on children’s cartoons and written stories. Computers & Education, 51 (2), pp. 900-925


© Elsevier

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This is a journal article. It was published in the journal, Computers & Education [© Elsevier]. The definitive version is available at: www.elsevier.com/ locate/compedu




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