Real vs. Animated: A comparison of video formats as they relate to teaching parents and caregivers about childhood language development.

Level of Education of Students Involved


Faculty Sponsor

Abbie Thompson


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-27-2023


A child’s language develops both prenatally and throughout childhood and can significantly impact their abilities to produce and understand language throughout their lifespan. The goal of this study is to find accessible ways to equip caregivers with resources to set their child up for future success in the comprehension and production of language. Parent’s understanding of childhood development is related to their child’s efficiency in moving through developmental stages, specifically in relation to the acquisition of language (Booth, 2018). To further research this topic, we are creating a remote video-training process to teach parents. Existing literature has shown the power of video-training on parent’s understanding, showing that those who received specific training could implement new activities with their children, leading to an increased development of language-related skills (Blom-Hoffman, 2008). Current research about video formats, conducted on college students, has found that participants learn best from combined audio and visual aspects that included social cues from footage of the instructor speaking (Brünken, 2002; Kizilcec, 2015). As an expansion of these ideas, this study will focus on finding out what video format is most beneficial to teach parents new information. Specifically, we will compare learning outcomes from videos of a real person presenting information compared to those with an animated character. Findings from this research will provide a more efficient way of equipping parents to best support their child in the process of being able to understand and produce written and spoken language.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Kaylee Shank, Class of 2025

Throughout the 21st Century, the way we learn has been changing. The research we plan to carry out has potential to showcase that learning via different mediums could be beneficial for learning about, or how to do, certain things. I became interested in this project because of an interest in developmental psychology, and this project focuses on ways caregivers can become more apt in assisting their child’s language development.

Mary Emma Zimmermann, Class of 2024

I plan to go into occupational therapy in the future, in that field it is necessary to advocate for and equip individuals with resources needed to have a great quality of life. After taking psychology courses related to both lifespan development and research, I was inspired to be part of this work to uncover the most effective ways of getting critical developmental information to parents.

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