The effectiveness of placing temporal constraints on a transmedia STEM learning experience for young children.
This article describes a transmedia learning experience for early school-aged children. The experience represented an effort to transition a primarily television-based series to a primarily web-based series. Children watched new animation, completed online activities designed to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) exploration, and participated in (and reported on) offline activities that required them to investigate real-world phenomena. Children were expected to visit the website every weekday, for four weeks, as part of the experience. A single group pre-post test design was utilized to assess the impact of the experience on science knowledge and participants' satisfaction with the temporal and other elements of the multimedia experience. The national sample included 115 children aged five to eight years. Families preferred not to visit the website daily and instead preferred to follow their own pace. We observed no differences in key outcomes based on frequency of use. We observed a significant improvement in children's science knowledge and attitudes towards doing STEM activities at home. We also observed significant improvements in parental attitudes towards doing science activities. This study has implications for the design of transmedia learning experiences that are designed around temporal constraints.