;Previous studies indicated that e-books were beneficial for educational settings while animated films also have positive effects on student learning. On the other hand, e-books and animation have different advantages. However, few studies integrated animation into an e-book. Thus, this research developed an animated e-book by incorporating animation films into an e-book. On the other hand, the animated e-book contains rich media, which may cause learners’ cognitive overload. However, not all of the learners can cope such cognitive overload. Thus, human factors are essential. In particular, gender is a relatively fixed and not malleable variable. Additionally, recent research suggested that gender differences existed in students’ attitudes toward multimedia technology and online learning. To this end, this research aimed to provide a gender equality animated e-book that can accommodate the preferences of males and females. More specifically, two empirical studies were included in this research. Study One targeted to examine how males and females used a Prototype of an Animated E-book System differently. Study Two attempted to develop the Animated E-book System that could provide gender equality based on the results of Study One.
The result from Study One showed that there were gender differences between males and females when the used the Prototype of the Animated E-book System. For instance, males emphasized on the functionalities of the animated e-book while females focused on the content of the animated e-book. In addition, males emphasized on the convenience of interacting with the prototype of an animated e-book while females focused on the vivid content presentation of the e-book mode.
The results obtained from Study One were applied to redesign the animated e-book, where diverse tools were provided based on expectation from males and females. According to the different preference of males and females, the operation of the animated e-book was improved and the presentation of the e-book mode was enriched. The results from Study Two indicated that gender differences were removed, in term of learning perception and learning performance. However, correlations between learning perception and learning performance were found for male students while no such significant correlations were shown for females. More specifically, males who had higher sensitivity to background music spent more time for completing the tasks. Moreover, males and females showed similar and different learning behaviors. Regarding differences, males and females demonstrated different preference with animated e-book. For example, males used diverse tools to assist themselves to read the e-book while females used diverse tools to complete the task. Therefore, males and females could use diverse tools provided by the animated e-book with their own strategies to achieve the same learning goals.
In summary, this research contributes to develop deep understandings of how to design animated e-books that were suitable for males and females. By doing so, the ultimate goal of providing gender equality contexts can be achieved.